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PostTue Oct 25, 2016 1:12 pm 
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These don't belong in "trail talk", and "Full Moon Saloon" doesn't seem the right place, so I'll drop them here.
I've been flooded almost daily with news releases from WDFW since being added to their email list - some days they send over half a dozen announcements.
I thought these warranted a heads up. Tom please let me know if you feel these are inappropriate here. BK

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Thursday, October 20, 2016 13:29 PDT

WDFW FISHING RULE CHANGE 

Fishing for salmon, steelhead to close from mouth of Columbia River to Pasco


Action:  Fishing for salmon and steelhead will close Oct. 22 on the mainstem Columbia River from Buoy 10 near the mouth of the river upstream to the Hwy 395 Bridge near Pasco, Washington.

Species affected: Salmon and steelhead.

Effective dates: Oct. 22 through Dec. 31, 2016. 

Location:  Mainstem Columbia from Buoy 10 upstream to the Highway 395 Bridge.

Reason for action: Based on the most recent in-season run forecast, the non-treaty allocation of Upriver Bright (URB) fall chinook has been reached. The URB component of the run includes Snake River fall chinook, which are listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA).

Additional information: Allowable impact rates on listed chinook salmon stocks are based on a percentage of the total chinook run. The preseason forecast for the 2016 fall chinook run to the Columbia River was 960,200 fish, including an estimated 579,600 URB chinook. Based on actual returns, those projections have been reduced several times during the course of the season by the multi-jurisdictional Technical Advisory Committee (TAC). On Oct. 17, the TAC reduced its official forecast of the URB chinook run to 412,700, leaving no additional impacts available for the non-treaty fishery.

==

Monday, October 24, 2016 17:10 PDT

WDFW NEWS RELEASE

Razor clam dig at Twin Harbors cancelled due to elevated levels of marine toxins


OLYMPIA – Elevated marine toxin levels have prompted the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) to cancel a razor clam dig scheduled to start Friday at Twin Harbors.

State shellfish managers already scratched a dig at Long Beach – that was also scheduled to start Friday – due to elevated levels of domoic acid, a natural toxin produced by certain types of marine algae. The toxin can be harmful or even fatal if consumed in sufficient quantities.

"We're disappointed to have to cancel this week's opening but we can't take chances when public health is at stake," said Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager for WDFW.

Domoic acid levels started to increase along Washington's southern coast, at Long Beach, just before the first opening this fall. Recent testing indicates that domoic acid levels are on the rise further north, at Twin Harbors.

WDFW will continue to monitor toxin levels on all Washington beaches. The department has tentatively scheduled the next opening to start on Nov. 12 with potential digging opportunities on four ocean beaches. Final approval will depend on the results of toxin tests that will occur about a week before the dig is scheduled to begin.

State health officials require that each beach must pass two rounds of toxin testing, showing levels of domoic acid below 20 parts per million, to be considered for clam digging. 

"We're hopeful that toxin levels will drop and allow us to open ocean beaches to digging later this season," Ayres said.

Elevated levels of domoic acid also forced state shellfish managers to cut short the razor clam season in the spring of 2015 and delay openings last fall.

More information about razor clams and domoic acid can be found on WDFW's webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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PostWed Oct 26, 2016 3:26 am 
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You can add your self to the list here   http://wdfw.wa.gov/lists/
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PostMon Oct 31, 2016 11:19 am 
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Monday, October 31, 2016 11:28 PDT

NEWS RELEASE

Commission to discuss proposed sportfishing rules, protective status of 5 wildlife species

OLYMPIA — The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will hold a public hearing on proposed changes to sportfishing rules for the saltwater areas of Puget Sound and the Washington coast during its public meeting Nov. 4-5 in Olympia.

The commission also will take public comment on state recommendations to change the listing status for five protected wildlife species in Washington – bald eagles, peregrine falcons, American white pelicans, marbled murrelets, and lynx.

The commission, a citizen panel appointed by the governor to set policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), will convene in Room 172 of the Natural Resources Building at 1111 Washington St. SE in Olympia. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. both days.

An agenda for the meeting is available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/

WDFW is recommending that 11 sportfishing rule proposals move forward for public comment. The rules are specific to saltwater areas of Puget Sound and the Washington coast.

The changes – which cover fishing seasons, daily limits and other rules – include proposals that would:

- Require fishing vessels carry a descending device when fishing for bottomfish or halibut in Puget Sound (marine areas east of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line). The devices are used to return rockfish to deep water, reducing the number of rockfish deaths due to barotrauma, which occurs when rockfish are brought to the surface quickly.

- Make it unlawful to possess another person's shellfish or food fish (including halibut, salmon and sturgeon) without written permission while in the field or in transit.

- Implement a 4 ½-inch minimum size requirement for Tanner crabs harvested in Puget Sound.

- Prohibit shellfish harvesters from cooking oysters in the shell or using heat to open oysters on the beach.

- Allow squid harvest year-round, including the harvest of Humboldt squid, in Hood Canal.

To review proposed rules online, visit WDFW's webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/rule_proposals/. The webpage has more information about the proposals as well as those not recommended for further consideration.

In other business, the commission will hold a public hearing on state wildlife managers' recommendations to remove bald eagles and peregrine falcons from Washington's endangered species list and downlist American white pelicans to threatened status from endangered. Wildlife managers are also recommending elevating the protective status of marbled murrelets and lynx to endangered from threatened status.

More information is available on the department's website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/endangered/status_review/. Information on Washington's protective listing classifications can be found online at http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/endangered/status_definitions.html.

The commission also will receive a briefing from a representative of the Georgia-based Quality Deer Management Association about the objectives of the quality deer management philosophy. White-tailed deer populations are managed under this approach in portions of the southern and eastern United States.

In addition, the commission will receive briefings on the Columbia River salmon management policy, the North of Falcon salmon season-setting policy, the Puget Sound Recreational Salmon and Marine Fish Enhancement Program, and federal permits necessary to conduct salmon fisheries in Puget Sound.

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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PostTue Nov 15, 2016 11:20 pm 
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Tuesday, November 15, 2016 17:45 PST

WDFW NEWS RELEASE

WDFW seeks comments on draft status reviews for 3 species of sea turtles


OLYMPIA – State wildlife managers are seeking public comments on the protective status of three species of sea turtles that are on Washington's list of endangered, threatened, and sensitive species.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) periodically reviews the status of protected species in the state. The public can comment through Feb. 13, 2017, on wildlife managers' recommendations to:

Keep leatherback sea turtles listed as a state endangered species.
Elevate the level of protection for loggerhead sea turtles to endangered from threatened species status.
Keep green sea turtles listed as a state threatened species.
The draft reviews for all three species of sea turtles can be found on WDFW's website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/endangered/status_review/

Written comments on the reviews and recommendations can be submitted via email to TandEpubliccom@dfw.wa.gov or by mail to Hannah Anderson, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, 600 Capitol Way N., Olympia, WA 98501-1091.

WDFW staff members are tentatively scheduled to discuss the reviews and recommendations with the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission at its April 2017 meeting. The commission is a citizen panel appointed by the governor to set policy for WDFW. For meeting dates and times, check the commission webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/

Leatherback sea turtles that occur in Washington belong to the western Pacific population and have been listed as an endangered species in the state since 1981.These turtles migrate across the Pacific from nesting beaches in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea to forage each summer in waters off the west coast of North America, including Washington.

The population of western Pacific leatherback sea turtles has declined by 80 percent since the mid-20th century, primarily due to harvest by humans, animal predation on turtle eggs, and entanglement of turtles in marine debris. Despite actions by national and state governments and conservation groups to protect this species, the western Pacific population is expected to decline by 96 percent from historical levels by the year 2040.

Loggerhead sea turtles have been listed as a threatened species in Washington since 1990. These turtles are part of the north Pacific population, which migrates from nesting sites near Japan to waters off the west coast of North America. Loggerhead sea turtles are rarely seen in Washington.

The north Pacific population of loggerhead sea turtles declined substantially in the last half of the 20th century. Threats to these turtles include harvest by humans, incidental capture in fisheries and damage to nesting habitat.

Green sea turtles that occur in Washington belong to the east Pacific population, which is mostly found in waters from San Diego, Calif., south to Peru and the Galapagos Islands. The global population of green sea turtles has declined by 67 percent in the last 100 to 150 years, though the east Pacific population of green sea turtles seems to be faring slightly better. Green sea turtles face similar threats as loggerhead sea turtles.

Forty-five species of fish and wildlife are listed for protection as state endangered, threatened or sensitive species. Information on Washington's protective listing classifications can be found online at http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/endangered/

-WDFW-

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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PostTue Nov 29, 2016 7:05 pm 
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Tuesday, November 29, 2016 16:20 PST

WDFW NEWS RELEASE

WDFW seeks comments on management plan for Scotch Creek and Sinlahekin wildlife areas


OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is seeking public comments on a draft management plan for the Scotch Creek and Sinlahekin wildlife areas in north central Washington.

WDFW also will host a public meeting next month to discuss the plan. The meeting is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m., Dec. 8, at the Okanogan PUD Auditorium, 1331 N. Second Ave., Okanogan.

The two wildlife areas are located in Okanogan County and cover a combined total of nearly 48,000 acres. Over the past year, WDFW staff has worked with a citizen-based advisory group to develop a draft management plan that addresses the status of wildlife species and their habitat, forest management, restoration efforts and public recreation on the wildlife area.

"Wildlife areas are public lands, so it is critical for us to have public input to inform management," said Clay Sprague, WDFW lands division manager.

The plan is now available for review on WDFW's website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/lands/wildlife_areas/management_plans/scotch_creek/

The public can submit comments online through Dec. 29 at http://wdfw.wa.gov/licensing/sepa/sepa_comment_docs.html. Comments can also be submitted at the Dec. 8 meeting.

The public comment period will be conducted under the State Environmental Policy Act, which is designed to ensure that Washington citizens can participate in governmental decisions that could affect the environment.

The department is revising management plans for the state's 33 wildlife areas to reflect current conditions and identify new priorities. WDFW is currently updating plans for Oak Creek Wildlife Area in Yakima County and Snoqualmie Wildlife Area in King and Snohomish counties.

-WDFW-

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PostTue Feb 28, 2017 3:24 pm 
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Tuesday, February 28, 2017 14:21 PST

WDFW NEWS RELEASE

Seized antlers up for bid at auction; Proceeds support anti-poaching efforts


OLYMPIA – About a thousand pounds of antlers – many seized from poachers by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) – are currently being sold through the Department of Enterprise Services (DES), Surplus Operations program. Proceeds will support efforts to stop wildlife poaching.

The moose, elk and deer antlers were received from WDFW by Surplus Operations and are being sold through an online auction (http://www.publicsurplus.com/sms/state,wa/browse/home?tm=m) and in the retail space in the program's Tumwater warehouse, located at 7511 New Market St.

Deer, elk and moose are popular targets for poachers, said Mike Cenci, deputy chief of enforcement at WDFW. Legal hunting seasons are designed to control wildlife populations, but illegal hunting of these animals can harm the herds and create a disadvantage for ethical hunters, he added.

Funds from the antler auction will be used to pay rewards to people who report poaching violations that lead to a conviction, said Cenci. Some of the funds may also help pay for forensic work used to tie violators to crime scenes, surveillance technology and investigations into illegal trafficking of wildlife.

In 2012, antler sales contributed more than $21,000 to state government anti-poaching efforts.

To report poaching, call 1-877-933-9847, or visit the Fish and Wildlife enforcement webpage (http://wdfw.wa.gov/enforcement/reporting_violations.html) for more information.

Enterprise Services' Surplus Operations program sells goods ranging from antlers and tools to computers and used vehicles directly to the public, both online and in its Tumwater warehouse (http://des.wa.gov/services/surplus/buy-surplus). The sale and reuse of the goods keeps thousands of pounds of materials from being dumped in landfills. Proceeds from sales are returned to state agencies to help fund their programs and operations.

The Tumwater warehouse is open five days a week, and online auctions are really popular, said Jennifer Reynolds, a communications consultant with DES.

-WDFW-

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"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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PostFri Mar 17, 2017 1:27 pm 
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Friday, March 17, 2017 11:50 PDT

WDFW NEWS RELEASE

WDFW and DNR continue to seek public involvement on recreation priorities for Manastash Ridge trails


The popular Manastash Ridge trail system near Ellensburg is due for improvement, and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) continue to seek public involvement in planning upgrades.

Representatives from the two agencies and a 15-member stakeholder committee made up of people with interests such as hiking, biking, and wildlife viewing, began meeting last December to develop a plan for the Manastash Ridge trails.

The plan, which will provide guidance for long-term maintenance, design improvements, signs and volunteer projects, is scheduled to be completed by June 2018.

"Our most important goals are to improve the recreational experience throughout the Manastash Ridge trail system and to advance habitat conservation efforts," said Cindi Confer Morris, WDFW's Wenas Wildlife Area manager.

"Creating a common vision for this well-loved community asset is going to help us attract more volunteers and obtain competitive grant funds," said Stephanie Margheim, DNR volunteer specialist. "The community's participation improves our ability to be better stewards of the state's natural resources, and to protect public access."

The Manastash Ridge stakeholder committee meets from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of each month at DNR's Southeast Regional office, 713 Bowers Road, Ellensburg. Each meeting includes a brief opportunity for public comment. The next meeting will take place March 28.

Confer Morris said the ridge is becoming more popular, which has increased the need to ensure that the use of new and existing trails protects natural resources and local habitats.

"I am grateful for the support and dedication of our stakeholder committee," said Confer Morris. "We have a productive group interested in coming to solutions that will benefit people for generations to come."

"In addition to the hikers and mountain bikers, we've been reaching out to hunters, horseback riders and conservation organizations to see if there are other groups using the area that would be interested in serving on the committee," said Confer Morris.

The committee discusses challenges at the wildlife area such as unauthorized trail expansion, erosion, safety and other issues that come along with increasing public use of the trails.

The work is funded by a $60,000 Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) grant to WDFW. The grant funds planning to improve, relocate or abandon unauthorized trails in accordance with habitat and wildlife needs.

Additionally, WDFW, DNR and local volunteers are providing $15,500 in match funding to support the work.

For more information on meetings, work to date, and planning documents visit the project web page at http://wdfw.wa.gov/manastash-ridge-trails/.  For additional information on the project and committee, email Manastashtrails@dfw.wa.gov.

-WDFW-

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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PostFri Mar 31, 2017 5:38 pm 
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Friday March 31, 2017 15:07 PDT

WDFW NEWS RELEASE

WDFW seeks comments on Oak Creek Wildlife Area management plan


OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is seeking public comments on a draft management plan for the Oak Creek Wildlife Area in southcentral Washington.

WDFW also will host a public meeting next month to discuss the plan. The meeting is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m., April 11, at the West Valley Fire and Rescue, 10000 Zier Rd., Yakima.

The wildlife area is located in Yakima and Kittitas counties and covers a total of roughly 67,100 acres. Oak Creek features diverse forests, high quality shrub-steppe and riparian areas that support steelhead and other fish. Each year, thousands of visitors take part in a variety of recreational activities – including hunting, fishing, hiking and wildlife watching – on the wildlife area.

Over the past year, WDFW staff has worked with a citizen-based advisory group to develop a draft management plan that addresses the status of wildlife species and their habitat, forest management, restoration efforts and public recreation on the wildlife area.

"Wildlife areas are public lands, so it is critical for us to have public input to inform management," said Cynthia Wilkerson, WDFW lands division manager.

The plan will be available for review in early April on WDFW's website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/lands/wildlife_areas/management_plans/oak_creek/.

The public can submit comments online through May 11 at http://wdfw.wa.gov/licensing/sepa/sepa_comment_docs.html. Comments can also be submitted at the April 11 meeting.

The public comment period will be conducted under the State Environmental Policy Act, which is designed to ensure that Washington citizens can participate in governmental decisions that could affect the environment.

The department is revising management plans for the state's 33 wildlife areas to reflect current conditions and identify new priorities. WDFW is currently updating a plan for Snoqualmie Wildlife Area in King and Snohomish counties.

-WDFW-

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PostThu Apr 13, 2017 1:01 pm 
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Thursday April 13, 2017 09:55 PDT

WDFW NEWS RELEASE

Trout stocking crews active across Washington; Preparations continue for April 22 opening day


OLYMPIA–Trout stocking crews are working to plant fish throughout the state in preparation for April 22, when several hundred lowland lakes open for a six-month fishing season.

Although many lakes are open year-round, the fourth Saturday in April marks the traditional start of the lowland lakes fishing season, when hundreds of thousands of anglers are expected to turn out to fish.

WDFW fish hatchery crews have been stocking more than 16 million trout and kokanee in lakes statewide. Those fish include 2.3 million catchable trout, nearly 150,000 larger trout averaging about one pound apiece, and millions of smaller trout that were stocked last year and have grown to catchable size. 

At this point, we are about half finished with the stocking effort, said Steve Thiesfeld, WDFW inland fish program manager. "We are working hard to have it all done in time for opening weekend," he said.

Many of the triploid trout are coming in at about a pound, but there are several thousand that are three pounds or more, said Thiesfeld. "These are all high quality fish that are significantly larger than our regular catchable trout, and those three pounders are outstanding fish," he said.

A lot of the larger fish are destined for lakes on the eastern side of the state, ensuring great fishing in perennial hotspots like Loon, Jameson, and North Fio Rito lakes, he said.

On the westside, the department is going to add some of these fish to each of our regular plants in lakes that haven't been stocked yet, said Thiesfeld. "We expect these larger fish are going to make some kids very happy."

To participate on opening day, Washington anglers must have an annual freshwater or combination fishing license valid through March 31, 2018. Licenses can be purchased online at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov; by telephone at 1-866-246-9453; or at hundreds of license dealers across the state. For details on license vendor locations, visit the WDFW website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/licensing/vendors/

Anglers who catch one of 1,000 tagged fish can also claim prizes provided by license dealers and other sponsors located across the state. The total value of prizes is more than $25,000. For a list of lakes with prize fish and details on how to claim prizes, visit http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/derby/

Fish stocking details, by county and lake, are available in the annual stocking plan on WDFW's website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/statewide/

Before heading out, anglers should check fishing regulations on WDFW's webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/.  With snow and ice still present in some parts of the state, anglers should also check ahead of time to be sure their preferred lake is accessible.

WDFW employees and their immediate families are not eligible to claim fishing derby prizes.

-WDFW-

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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PostTue May 02, 2017 10:27 am 
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Tuesday May 02, 2017 09:52 PDT

WDFW NEWS RELEASE

Climbing area on Oak Creek Wildlife Area in Yakima County closed after basalt column collapses


YAKIMA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) closed the Royal Columns climbing area on the Oak Creek Wildlife Area in Yakima County after a basalt column collapsed April 28.

Greg Mackey, WDFW Oak Creek Wildlife Area manager, said the month-long closure of the popular climbing area went into effect April 28 to protect public safety and to assess long-term use of the site.

Closed are all lands within 150 feet of the cliffs known as the Royal Columns climbing area, and the access trail directly across the Tieton River from the Oak Creek Wildlife Area headquarters off Highway 12, northwest of Yakima. The closure includes about 3.5 acres and about 1,000 feet of access trail.

Mackey explained that at 6:50 a.m. on Friday, April 28, a large basalt column detached from the Royal Columns cliffs and plummeted to the valley floor. Signs about the closure are posted throughout the wildlife area and its parking lots.

Mackey said other popular climbing sites on the wildlife area remain open, including Bend and Moon Rocks. The Tieton River Nature Trail also remains open.

-WDFW-

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PostTue May 02, 2017 10:37 am 
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I wonder which climbs fell down with it?

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PostWed May 10, 2017 8:02 pm 
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Wednesday May 10, 2017 16:22 PDT

WDFW NEWS RELEASE

WDFW invites public to May 23-24 Blue Mountains wildlife area planning meetings


The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will hold public meetings May 23 and 24 to discuss the development of a new management plan for three WDFW wildlife areas in the Blue Mountains region of southeast Washington.

The region includes Asotin Creek Wildlife Area in Asotin County, with three units totaling 37,020 acres; Chief Joseph Wildlife Area in Asotin and Garfield counties, with four units totaling 25,037 acres; and W.T. Wooten Wildlife Area in Columbia and Garfield counties, with three units totaling 16,481 acres.

All three areas will be discussed at the public meetings, which are scheduled for:

Tuesday, May 23, 6 to 8 p.m., in the multi-purpose room at the Clarkston campus of Walla Walla Community College, 1470 Bridge St.

Wednesday, May 24, 6 to 8 p.m., at the Waitsburg Town Hall, 121 Main St.

The management plan will address the status and management of wildlife species and their habitat, restoration efforts, and public recreation in the three wildlife areas.

"We want to encourage people who are interested in these wildlife areas to help shape our plans, including how we manage habitat and public use," said Bob Dice, who manages the wildlife areas from his base in Clarkston.

At the meetings, Dice and other WDFW staff will review the areas' history and features, discuss the planning process, and ask for public comments.

He said when the draft management plan is developed later this year, the department will conduct additional meetings to gather public input.

Cynthia Wilkerson, WDFW Lands Division Manager in Olympia, said the department is developing new management plans for all of its 33 wildlife areas to reflect current conditions, identify new priorities and initiatives, and ensure that each wildlife area is managed to reflect its unique contribution to WDFW's mission and the vitality of Washington State.

More information about each of the wildlife areas can be found on the WDFW website.

Asotin Creek: http://wdfw.wa.gov/lands/wildlife_areas/asotin_creek/
Chief Joseph: http://wdfw.wa.gov/lands/wildlife_areas/chief_joseph/
W.T. Wooten: http://wdfw.wa.gov/lands/wildlife_areas/wt_wooten/
For more information on the wildlife area planning process, see http://wdfw.wa.gov/lands/wildlife_areas/management_plans/

Contact: Bob Dice, (509) 758-3151

-WDFW-

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PostFri May 19, 2017 4:06 pm 
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Friday May 19, 2017 15:44 PDT

WDFW NEWS RELEASE

WDFW seeks comments on draft status reviews for fisher, 5 whale species


OLYMPIA – State wildlife managers are seeking public input on their recommendations to keep the fisher and five species of large whales on Washington's list of endangered species.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) periodically reviews the status of protected species in the state. The public can comment through Aug. 19 on the listing recommendations and recently updated status reports for fishers, blue whales, fin whales, sei whales, North Pacific right whales and sperm whales.

The draft reviews for these species are available online at http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/endangered/status_review/

Written comments on the reviews and recommendations can be submitted via email to TandEpubliccom@dfw.wa.gov or by mail to Hannah Anderson, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, 600 Capitol Way N., Olympia, WA 98501-1091.

WDFW staff members are tentatively scheduled to discuss the reviews and recommendations with the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission at its September 2017 meeting. The commission is a citizen panel appointed by the governor to set policy for WDFW. For meeting dates and times, check the commission webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/

The fisher is a mid-sized member of the weasel family that once lived in the coniferous forests of Washington. The species was eliminated from the state in the late 1800s and early 1900s, mainly as a result of trapping. The fisher was listed as endangered in Washington in 1998.

Between 2008 and 2010, WDFW reintroduced fishers to the Olympic Peninsula and reintroductions into the Cascade Range have been underway since 2015. WDFW and private landowners have worked together to implement voluntary measures that protect fishers and forestry on more than 1.4 million acres of land. Despite the success of these efforts, fisher populations in Washington do not yet meet the criteria that would allow the species to be downlisted from endangered to threatened status.

Blue, fin, sei, North Pacific right, and sperm whales have been listed as endangered species in Washington since 1981. Populations of all five species greatly declined in the 1800s and 1900s from being severely overharvested by whalers. Information on each of these species is summarized below.

Blue whales – These large whales forage primarily on krill. Animals off Washington belong to the eastern North Pacific population and are migratory. The current population is about 1,600 whales, well below the estimated historical level of 2,200 individuals.

Fin whales – This species of large whales feed on krill, forage fish, and other prey. Fin whales off Washington belong to the California/Oregon/Washington population, which includes about 9,000 animals. While fin whales are now regularly present off the outer coast of Washington, several significant threats remain to the species.

Sei whales – These medium-sized whales feed on small crustaceans and other prey mainly in deep ocean waters. Animals off Washington belong to the eastern North Pacific population, which currently includes about 500 whales. The species is a rare visitor to the state's outermost waters.

North Pacific right whales – These large whales feed primarily on small crustaceans and are migratory. Once abundant, the eastern North Pacific population is nearly extinct with only about 30 whales and no sign of recovery. These whales are very rare visitors south of Alaska, with just a handful of sightings off the outer coast of Washington since the early 1900s.

Sperm whales – The largest of the toothed whales, sperm whales dive deep to prey on squid. More than half of the whales harvested in the north Pacific in the 1900s were sperm whales. Animals off the Washington coast belong to the California/Oregon/Washington stock, which currently includes about 2,100 whales.

All five species face potentially significant and increasing threats from one or more factors, including collisions with ships, entanglement in fishing gear and marine debris, and climate change. At the federal level, all five species are listed as endangered species and protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. WDFW wildlife biologists recommend keeping all five species of whales as state endangered species in Washington.

Forty-three species of fish and wildlife are listed for protection as state endangered, threatened or sensitive species.

-WDFW-

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PostMon Jun 05, 2017 10:33 am 
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Monday June 05, 2017 09:13 PDT

WDFW NEWS RELEASE

WDFW seeks advisory committee candidates for the Chief Joseph and Asotin Creek wildlife areas

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is seeking candidates by June 16 to serve on a new committee that advises the department on the management of the Chief Joseph and Asotin Creek wildlife areas.

The two wildlife areas, totaling 62,057 acres in Asotin and Garfield counties, are located in the Blue Mountains region. The W.T. Wooten Wildlife Area, which covers 16,481 acres in Columbia and Garfield counties, is also in the Blue Mountains region but already has an existing advisory committee due to its geographic separation, types of uses of the wildlife areas, and management priorities.

The new advisory group, together with the W.T. Wooten advisory committee, will assist the department with the development of the new Blue Mountains Wildlife Areas Management Plan, which will guide the actions on the three wildlife areas for the next 10 years.

WDFW manages the Chief Joseph and Asotin Creek wildlife areas primarily to protect big game winter range and to protect habitat for steelhead and bull trout.  The areas also provide opportunities for hunting, fishing, and wildlife-related recreation, plus other compatible uses such as agriculture.

The department is seeking broad and diverse representation from interested and affected groups. This includes tribes, local governments, hunters, anglers, other recreationists, environmental groups, nearby landowners, and local business owners.

"We would like participation in our advisory group to reflect the different uses of the Chief Joseph and Asotin Creek wildlife areas," said Bob Dice, WDFW Blue Mountains Wildlife Areas manager.

The selected members will be expected to attend the first wildlife area advisory committee meeting this summer, as well as one or two other meetings per year.

For more information about the committee membership and roles and responsibilities, please go to http://wdfw.wa.gov/about/advisory/cja-waac/

Applicants should submit a letter of interest that includes the following:

Name, address, telephone number, and email address.
Organization the individual is representing (if any) and its mission and location.
The applicant's familiarity with the wildlife areas and interest in participating in the advisory group.
His or her experience in the advisory group process and in collaborating with people who have different values.
A summary of experience with this or other wildlife areas, and land management issues.
Name and contact information for alternate member if selected member is unavailable.
Applications should be postmarked by 5 p.m., June 16, and sent to WDFW Eastern Region Headquarters, Attn: Chief Joseph/Asotin Creek WAAC Recruitment, 2315 North Discovery Place, Spokane Valley, WA 99216-1566; or by email to TeamSpokane@dfw.wa.gov with the subject line "Chief Joseph/Asotin Creek WAAC Recruitment."

For more information, contact Bob Dice at (509) 758-3151.

-WDFW-

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PostFri Jun 16, 2017 5:06 pm 
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Thursday June 15, 2017 17:01 PDT

WDFW FISHING RULE CHANGE 

Hoh River and South Fork Hoh River to open July 1 for trout and steelhead


Action: The Hoh River and South Fork Hoh River outside of Olympic National Park will open.

Effective date: July 1 through Aug. 31, 2017.

Species affected: Trout and other game fish.

Location: The Hoh River and South Fork Hoh River outside the boundaries of Olympic National Park.

Reason for action: The continuing need to conserve spring/summer chinook in the Hoh River led to this delayed opening of the Hoh.

Other information: Daily limit of 2 trout over 14 inches, except no size limit on hatchery origin (adipose clipped) trout, and anglers are required to release wild (unclipped) rainbow trout.

Use of bait is prohibited, and only one barbless hook with up to three points may be used. Anglers are required to release any Chinook and coho salmon encountered, and any wild steelhead.

Fishing from a floating device equipped with an internal combustion motor is prohibited.  Fishing for other game fish is open under statewide minimum size and daily limit regulations.

These regulations are listed in the 2017-2018 "Washington Sport Fishing Rules" pamphlet.

Information contact: Mike Gross, District 16 fish biologist, (360) 249-1210.

-WDFW-

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