Outdoors briefs: Commission to consider fishing rule changes

OLYMPIA -- Washington's Fish and Wildlife Commission will accept final public input on new state sportfishing rules proposed for 2010-12 during its Dec. 4-5 meeting in Olympia.

The December meeting offers the last opportunity for public comment on more than 100 rule-change proposals that would affect a variety of state freshwater and saltwater sport fisheries. To see the proposed changes, visit the department's website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fish/regs/rule_proposals/

The deadline for accepting written comments on the proposals is Tuesday.

Final commission action on the rules is Feb. 4-6 in Olympia.

Once adopted, the rules will be in effect for two years beginning May 1, 2010.

The commission will meet both days at 8:30 a.m. in Room 172 of the Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington St. S.E., Olympia.

The commission also is scheduled to take action on proposed land transactions in Skagit and Yakima counties.

Oregon puts new fees on boats to fight mussels

Out-of-state boaters who launch their craft in Oregon's waters will have to pay a $22 annual fee starting in 2010.

Oregon's registered boaters will pay $5, and the state's owners of non-motorized boats such as canoes will pay $7. Zebra and quagga mussels that can clog up power plants and hydroelectric dams are the target of the new fee, which takes effect in the new year.

Until now, only owners of boats with motors had to pay to register their craft. But the threat of waterborne invasive species prompted the Oregon Legislature to authorize a new fee for all boats over 10 feet long.

The estimated $3 million to be raised every two years will pay for teams to travel around the state looking for the unwanted creatures, and hose them down with hot water to kill them.