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PostTue Aug 18, 2020 4:38 pm 
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Tuesday August 18, 2020 15:47 PDT

WDFW NEWS RELEASE

Scientists will use drone to collect habitat restoration data in Kittitas and Yakima counties


YAKIMA – Starting this week, scientists with the Yakama Nation Fisheries will fly a drone over sections of land managed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) in Kittitas and Yakima counties to collect information for habitat restoration work.

For the next two years, scientists will use a drone to capture high-resolution imagery data along stream corridors and floodplains within the Wenas, L.T. Murray, and Oak Creek wildlife areas. Data collected from the drone will provide valuable information in assessing the value of wood placement for improving fish habitat and stream function.

Drone flights will take place occasionally on weekdays between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. in compliance with all federal and state regulations.

"We are excited to partner with the Yakama Nation on stream restoration," said Ross Huffman, Regional Lands Operations Manager for WDFW. "Using a drone gives us an opportunity to conduct monitoring safely, while also efficiently providing a view of the landscape that would otherwise be impossible."

WDFW actively manages approximately 1 million acres of land and over 500 water access areas across the state to preserve natural and cultural heritage, provide access for hunting, fishing, and wildlife-related recreation, and to foster experiences and exploration for thousands of Washingtonians and visitors each year.

WDFW is the state agency tasked with preserving, protecting and perpetuating fish, wildlife and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing, hunting, and other recreation opportunities.

-WDFW-

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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PostFri Aug 21, 2020 6:17 pm 
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Friday August 21, 2020 17:05 PDT

WDFW NEWS RELEASE

Target shooting ban in effect for all WDFW lands statewide


OLYMPIA – To help prevent wildfires, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is alerting the public of a temporary target shooting ban on all department-managed lands statewide. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) also announced target shooting restrictions on Aug. 15 for all DNR-managed lands.

"We implemented several fire risk prevention measures for WDFW lands in Eastern Washington earlier this summer," said Cynthia Wilkerson, Lands Division Manager for WDFW. "With increasing fire danger and several recent incidents of human-caused fires in southwest Washington, we want to emphasize that the target shooting ban includes Western Washington."

This ban applies to the approximately one million acres of land managed by WDFW, including wildlife areas and water access areas throughout the state. The temporary rule does not restrict lawful hunting.

All temporary restrictions will remain in effect until the risk of wildfire decreases, Wilkerson said. Any changes to these restrictions will be posted on the department's website at wdfw.wa.gov.

Discharging firearms poses a greater risk in dry conditions as bullets pass through decayed wood, cause sparks off rocks, or break into fragments in dry grass. Fires can ignite even after a shooter has left an area.

Fire danger on most of the east side is rated as "high" or "extremely high". Many counties in Western Washington are also at a "high" fire danger level. Residents should check for burn bans in their areas on DNR's website.

WDFW actively manages approximately 1 million acres of land and over 500 water access areas across the state to preserve natural and cultural heritage, provide access for hunting, fishing, and wildlife-related recreation, and to foster experiences and exploration for thousands of Washingtonians and visitors each year.

WDFW is the state agency tasked with preserving, protecting and perpetuating fish, wildlife and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing, hunting, and other recreation opportunities.

-WDFW-

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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PostThu Aug 27, 2020 9:08 am 
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Tuesday August 25, 2020 16:59 PDT

NEWS RELEASE

CORRECTION: This news release was updated Aug 25, 2020 to correct the link to the position statement.

Commission seeks habitat, access funding for increasingly outdoor-oriented public; wrestles with possible COVID-related cuts


OLYMPIA – The Fish and Wildlife Commission, on Friday, approved $17 million in budget requests for needed enhancements to manage fish and wildlife in Washington state. Commissioners also provided a list of potential service cuts, while pointing out the counterproductive nature of such cuts should statewide elected officials adopt them.

A unanimously adopted Commission position statement outlined how the $23.5 million in possible cuts, if realized, would have significant impact on local economies, and asserted that investments in the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife's (WDFW's) work serves to generate revenue.

A 2016 analysis by the Washington Department of Revenue estimated that fishing, hunting, and watchable wildlife activities would deposit $340 million into the State General Fund in the 2017-19 biennium – a significant return-on-investment from the $94 million of State General Fund appropriated by the legislature (and then leveraged with other fund sources).

The Commission's statement also outlined how residents, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, are using and counting on access to fish, wildlife and other outdoor resources more than ever.

To meet the statewide government reduction exercise, the Commission adopted proposals that would result in $23.5 million in operational cuts in the 2021-23 biennium budget. The general fund service cuts may be considered as the state anticipates a $9 billion shortfall in state general fund over the next several years. If executed, the cuts to WDFW would impact salmon, steelhead, trout and warm-water fishing opportunities; enforcement and public safety; lands stewardship; conservation; and the Department's ability to partner with others. Department staff will submit these options – representing a 15% reduction in its state general fund appropriations – to the Governor's Office in mid-September.

The Commission's position statement urges, "…that the Governor and Legislature consider the long-term impacts to fish and wildlife conservation while this near-term economic crisis is addressed."

The budget proposal also includes $8.1 million requests to address certain declining fund sources with State General Fund.

The $17 million in new enhancements would support WDFW's ability to monitor and enforce Aquatic Invasive Species, improve steelhead spawning surveys, enhance salmon habitat, and increase actions to recover Southern Resident Killer Whales, among other important work.

Members of the public may access information about the meeting at wdfw.wa.gov/about/commission/meetings. The 2021-23 budget proposals will be posted at wdfw.wa.gov/about/administration/budget/update.

The Commission is a citizen panel appointed by the governor that sets policy for the WDFW. WDFW is the primary state agency tasked with preserving, protecting, and perpetuating fish and wildlife and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing and hunting opportunities.

-WDFW-

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Tuesday August 25, 2020 20:35 PDT

WDFW NEWS RELEASE

Fungus that causes bat-killing disease confirmed in Chelan and Snohomish counties


OLYMPIA – The fungus that causes white-nose syndrome, an often fatal disease of hibernating bats, has been confirmed for the first time in Chelan and Snohomish counties. Other Washington counties affected by the disease or the causal fungus include King, Kittitas, Lewis, and Pierce.

White-nose syndrome is harmful to hibernating bats, but does not affect humans, livestock, or other wildlife. The disease is caused by the fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructans, which attacks the skin of hibernating bats and damages their delicate wings, making it difficult to fly. Infected bats often leave hibernation too early, which causes them to burn through their fat reserves and become dehydrated or starve to death.

As part of an ongoing white-nose syndrome monitoring effort, WDFW biologists collected guano (feces) samples this spring from areas frequented by bats around the state. WDFW sent guano samples to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, WI for testing.

USGS scientists recently confirmed the presence of Pseudogymnoascus destructans, the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome, in samples collected from a mixed Yuma myotis (Myotis yumanensis) and little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus) maternity colony in Snohomish County, and a little brown bat maternity colony in Chelan County.

"These findings are concerning and suggest the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome continues to spread in Washington," said Abby Tobin, White-nose Syndrome Coordinator for WDFW. "We're concerned this eventually may lead to population declines in Yuma myotis, little brown bat, and other bat species vulnerable to the disease."

As predators of night-flying insects, bats play an important ecological role in preserving the natural balance of properties and neighborhoods. Washington is home to 15 bat species that benefit humans by eating tons of insects that can negatively affect forest health, commercial crops, and human health and well-being.

First seen in North America in 2006 in eastern New York, white-nose syndrome has killed millions of hibernating bats in eastern North America and has now spread to 35 states and seven Canadian provinces.

In 2016, scientists first documented white-nose syndrome in Washington near North Bend in King County. Since then, WDFW has confirmed over 70 cases of the disease in four bat species in the state. A map showing fungus and white-nose syndrome detections in Washington is available online at https://wdfw.wa.gov/bats.

WDFW collaborates with partners, including U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington State Department of Health, wildlife rehabilitators, and others to collect samples from bats and the areas where they live around the state for the past four years. This proactive surveillance work helps scientists detect the presence of the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome and track its spread.

WDFW urges people to not handle wild animals, especially if they appear sick or are found dead. If you find sick, dead, or groups of bats, or notice bats acting strangely, such as flying outside during the day in winter or spring, please report your sighting online at https://wdfw.wa.gov/bats or call WDFW at 360-902-2515.

Even though the fungus is primarily spread from bat-to-bat contact, humans can unintentionally spread it as well. People can carry fungal spores on clothing, shoes, or recreation equipment that touches the fungus.

To learn more about the disease and the national white-nose syndrome response, and to get the most updated decontamination protocols and other guidance documents, visit www.whitenosesyndrome.org.

For more information on Washington bats, visit https://wdfw.wa.gov/species-habitats/living/species-facts/bats.

WDFW is the state agency tasked with preserving, protecting and perpetuating fish, wildlife and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing, hunting, and other recreation opportunities.

-WDFW-

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Wednesday August 26, 2020 18:35 PDT

WDFW NEWS RELEASE

WDFW to use drone to count spawning salmon nests


Starting in September and going through November of 2020, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will partner with Washington State University (WSU) on a research project to use drone technology to advance conservation efforts for summer Chinook salmon.

An unmanned aerial vehicle - commonly known as a drone - will be used to identify and inventory salmon spawning nests, called redds, in three areas of the Upper Wenatchee River watershed. Those areas include near Tumwater Campground, near Blackbird Island (near Leavenworth), and lower Wenatchee site (near Dryden). In addition, surveys conducted on foot and by boat will also be used.

High resolution photos and video taken by the drone will help to identify spawning locations and habitat characteristics. Redd abundance and distribution are common metrics used to monitor and evaluate the status and trend of adult salmon populations.

The use of a drone is expected to provide improved data for more accurate population forecasting. It is also less expensive and labor intensive than manual count methods used in the past. Drone pilot Daniel Auerbach, a graduate student at WSU's School of Environment, and his thesis research work will provide a benefit to the department at minimal cost. Auerbach's work is a collaboration with WDFW's Katy Shelby, who leads WDFW research efforts in the area.

During this project, drone flights will take place once or twice per week for approximately an hour at a time, typically during early morning hours. Photos and video will be taken of the river only, not surrounding areas. The majority of surveys will take place on public land and flying over private land will be avoided when possible. Flight plans and procedures will be carried out in accordance with WDFW Policy and Procedures.

WDFW is the state agency tasked with preserving, protecting and perpetuating fish, wildlife and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing, hunting, and other recreation opportunities.

-WDFW-

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Wednesday August 26, 2020 21:11 PDT

WDFW NEWS RELEASE

'Recreate Responsibly' signs in English and Spanish to be installed on recreation sites statewide
Signage results from partnership between state agencies and REI Co-op


OLYMPIA – Starting this week, new aluminum signs will greet visitors at state parks, wildlife areas, and recreation lands around the state with guidance on how to "recreate responsibly" during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.The signs feature seven tips developed by the Recreate Responsibly Coalition .

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission , the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) are installing nearly 400 signs in English and Spanish at popular recreation areas.

Land managers are observing a sharp increase in visits to state public lands compared to previous years leading to health and safety concerns. State land managers' goal is to provide guidance on how people can protect their families, their communities, and the environment while enjoying public lands, trails, and waters. REI Co-op, a founding member of the Recreate Responsibly Coalition, funded the sign creation.

"We are thrilled to partner with REI to share the message that we're all in this together as we battle to slow and stop the spread of this pandemic, including while we're enjoying our public lands," said Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz. "This is our collective effort to educate recreationists on the importance of taking precautions while out on the trail or at the local park. We know how critical our lands are to residents during this unprecedented time. We just ask that they enjoy them responsibly."

The Recreate Responsibly Coalition first released their outdoor recreation tips in May as parks, beaches, and recreation areas started to reopen around the state. The recreate responsibly tips follow recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control, state and local public health professionals, and recreation experts. Over the summer, the coalition added a new foundational principle, calling on outdoor enthusiasts to do their part to help build a safe and welcoming outdoor for all identities and abilities.

The seven guidelines are:

Know Before You Go:
Check the status of the place you want to visit. If it is closed, don't go. If it's crowded, have a backup plan.

Plan Ahead: Prepare for facilities to be closed, pack lunch, and bring essentials like hand sanitizer and a face covering.

Explore Locally: Limit long-distance travel and make use of local parks, trails, and public spaces. Be mindful of your impact on the communities you visit.

Practice Physical Distancing: Keep your group size small. Be prepared to cover your nose and mouth and give others space. If you are sick, stay home.

Play It Safe: Slow down and choose lower-risk activities to reduce your risk of injury. Search and rescue operations and health care resources are both strained.

Leave No Trace: Respect public lands and communities and take all your garbage with you.

Build an Inclusive Outdoors: Be an active part of making the outdoors safe and welcoming for all identities and abilities.

"Some of our most treasured areas have seen an unprecedented amount of use this summer," said WDFW Director Kelly Susewind. "We're glad to see so many people enjoying the outdoors and visiting public lands, and we're asking everyone to play their part to protect our natural resources and local communities so these areas can remain open."

"Our public lands belong to everyone, and everyone has a role to play in keeping them safe and pristine," said State Parks Director Don Hoch. "These guidelines serve as a reminder of our shared responsibility in maintaining our state's most treasured places."

"The Recreate Responsibility Coalition is working to reach all Washingtonians who love the outdoors and seek nature to reflect and recharge," said Taldi Harrison, REI community and government affairs manager. "The new signs will serve as an important reminder as people start their adventure or moment of solitude that their actions will keep them healthy while helping to maintain open access to parks, trails, and beaches."

About the Recreate Responsibility Coalition

The Recreate Responsibly Coalition is a newly formed partnership of nonprofits, outdoor businesses, and land managers developing and sharing best practices to protect each other and our natural landscapes. We are a diverse community brought together by our love of the outdoors and a desire to help everyone experience the benefits of nature safely during this public health crisis.

Building off the work of the Washington state coalition, which formed to provide guidance to the public as Washington's public lands were slowly reopening, the national coalition is a working group that looks to unify and amplify common-sense guidance about getting outside during COVID-19.

The national group includes partner organizations representing a diverse community of outdoor groups and advocates committed to helping all Americans navigate new norms and experience the benefits of nature during the COVID-19 pandemic. To learn more, visit recreateresponsibly.org.

About Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission manages more than 120 state parks and properties totaling approximately 120,000 acres. The Commission provides a variety of recreation opportunities for citizens and provides stewardship protection for a diverse array of natural, cultural and historic resources. State Parks' statewide programs include long-distance trails, boating safety and winter recreation.

About WDFW

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife actively manages about one million acres of land, with 33 wildlife areas and nearly 500 water access areas around the state. These public lands help sustain wildlife habitat and public recreation opportunities for current and future generations. WDFW is the primary state agency tasked with preserving, protecting, and perpetuating fish, wildlife, and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing and hunting opportunities.

About DNR Recreation

The Washington State Department of Natural Resources, led by the Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz, manages almost 1,300 miles of trails and 160-plus recreation sites in 3 million acres of working forest state trust lands and 92 natural areas. DNR trust lands keep forests development-free, provide clean water, and generate revenue for public services and school construction. To learn more about recreation on DNR-managed lands, visit dnr.wa.gov/go.

About the REI Co-op

REI is a specialty outdoor retailer, headquartered near Seattle. The nation's largest consumer co-op, REI is a growing community of more than 19 million members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips, and outstanding customer service. REI has 165 locations in 39 states and the District of Columbia. If you can't visit a store, you can shop at REI.com, REI Outlet, or the REI shopping app. REI isn't just about gear. Adventurers can take the trip of a lifetime with REI's active adventure travel company, a global leader that runs more than 250 itineraries across all continents. In every community where REI has a presence, professionally trained instructors share their expertise by hosting beginner-to advanced-level classes and workshops about a wide range of activities. To build on the infrastructure that makes life outside possible, REI invests millions annually in hundreds of local and national nonprofits that create access to—and steward—the outdoor places that inspire us all.

-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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PostThu Aug 27, 2020 10:07 pm 
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(* be sure to check press release posted just above *)

Thursday August 27, 2020 21:35 PDT

WDFW NEWS RELEASE

Biologists will use drone to assess habitat at the Skagit Wildlife Area


MILL CREEK – Biologists with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will use a drone to assess habitat conditions at the Skagit Wildlife Area from Aug. 31 to Sept 3.

Drone flights will take place between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. along the south fork marsh of the Skagit River Delta. The drone will collect imagery of 1,200 acres of tidal marsh habitat.

In collaboration with Western Washington University, WDFW is surveying several areas to document invasive and native vegetation, sloughs, channels, large woody debris, and other natural and manmade features. WDFW will use the data to adapt current management practices and inform future noxious weed treatments.

The Skagit Wildlife Area contains approximately 13,000 acres of wildlife habitat composed primarily of intertidal estuary, managed agricultural lands, and native habitats. The area is divided into 16 separate management units, the majority of which are scattered throughout the west half of Skagit County, with some in Island, Snohomish, and San Juan counties.

WDFW actively manages approximately 1 million acres of land and over 500 water access areas across the state to preserve natural and cultural heritage, provide access for hunting, fishing, and wildlife-related recreation, and to foster experiences and exploration for thousands of Washingtonians and visitors each year.

WDFW is the state agency tasked with preserving, protecting and perpetuating fish, wildlife and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing, hunting, and other recreation opportunities.

-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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PostWed Sep 02, 2020 7:00 pm 
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Wednesday September 2, 2020 18:15 PDT

WDFW NEWS RELEASE

State, tribes celebrate progress rebuilding North Fork Nooksack River spring Chinook fishery


Tribal co-managers' support, coupled with increased hatchery production, enables first recreational fishery in 60-plus years

OLYMPIA – Years of work by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and treaty tribes to rebuild the North Fork Nooksack River spring Chinook salmon population resulted in the first recreational fishery on this run since 1954.

Tribal co-managers' support, coupled with increased production at WDFW's conservation-oriented Kendall Creek hatchery, helped to foster sufficient forecasted spring Chinook returns and begins to offset historic habitat loss. This fishery resulted from this year's North of Falcon process, an annual salmon season-setting effort in which state, federal, and tribal fishery managers gather to plan the Northwest's recreational and commercial salmon fisheries.

"Without the collaboration of the treaty tribes in the Nooksack River basin we wouldn't have been able to offer this fishery," said Edward Eleazer, north Puget Sound regional fish program manager. "It's an incredible testament to our work together to improve Chinook salmon populations and support orca recovery — and brings an added bonus for recreational anglers."

The Endangered Species Act listed Nooksack spring Chinook run is recognized as a critical part of the Southern Resident killer whale diet.

"Nooksack Tribe and Lummi Nation are working hard to address habitat problems that are limiting recovery of the wild population" said George Swanaset Jr., Natural and Cultural Resources Director for the Nooksack Tribe.

"Working together will provide more fishing opportunity for everyone," said Gerald James, Lummi Nation senior ESA policy analyst.  "We are focusing on what we can actually accomplish instead of what we wish we could do. The 10-year management plan for the watershed that we signed last year with WDFW is working well with agreed goals and outcomes."

This fishery follows efforts to ramp up spring Chinook release goals at WDFW's Nork Fork Nooksack River Kendall Creek Hatchery, which is releasing 1.3 million juvenile Chinook, an increase from 800,000 previously. On the South Fork Nooksack River, Lummi Nation's Skookum Creek Hatchery saw its first release in 2010 with 1,989 fish and has now ramped up and seen releases as high as 1.6 million with an eventual goal of 2 million.

One of 35 WDFW conservation hatcheries, Kendall Creek Hatchery's operations focus on supporting the recovery of wild salmon under the guidance of a federal hatchery genetic management plan currently in progress, designed to ensure that the increase in production can occur with minimal impact to wild fish populations.

This year's season provided anglers with more than 7,600 hours of fishing opportunity with few impacts to wild Chinook.

-WDFW-

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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PostFri Sep 11, 2020 1:06 pm 
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WARNING
Extreme Fire Danger Sept. 11-14





Many areas in Eastern Washington are under extreme fire danger through Sept. 14 due to low humidity, above-normal temperatures, and breezy conditions.
Prevent fires and stay safe!


• Keep a cold camp. Campfires and charcoal briquets are currently prohibited across Eastern WA state lands. Also avoid using personal camp stoves and lanterns fueled by propane.


• Be aware when smoking. Smoking is only allowed in an enclosed vehicle. Throwing a lit cigarette or any other burning materials from a motor vehicle is prohibited.


• Drive and park carefully. Do not park vehicles in dry, grassy areas as residual heat from exhaust systems can ignite the dry grass. Avoid operating a vehicle away from developed roads and ensure that motorized recreation vehicles have the required spark arresters.


• Do not target shoot. Discharge firearms only if engaged in lawful hunting



Anyone who is found responsible for starting a fire may be liable for ALL expenses. (RCW 76.04.495)


To report illegal activities, call 877-933-9847. For emergencies, call 911.




WDFW Licensing

1111 Washington St Se, Olympia, WA 98501

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PostThu Sep 17, 2020 8:31 am 
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Monday September 14, 2020 17:03 PDT

WDFW NEWS RELEASE

WDFW hatcheries remain closed to public


OLYMPIA – With salmon spawning season in full swing at many state hatcheries, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) reminds the public that hatchery facilities remain closed statewide due to the continued spread of COVID-19.

Many people visit hatcheries in late summer and early fall to observe spawning activity, or to take advantage of available parking to fish nearby for returning salm on. However, WDFW hatcheries remain closed at this time to ensure the health and safety of hatchery employees, and visitors may find some areas or facilities that are typically open may not be accessible as they have been in past years.

"Our hatcheries are home to some of the Department's most important work, and hatchery staff provide a vital service to the entire state," said Eric Kinne, WDFW's hatchery division manager. "We're hoping to reopen these facilities as soon as it's safe to do so, but for now we're asking the public to please respect any posted closures and be prepared to go elsewhere if an area remains closed."

Not all hatcheries have gates, but may have temporary barriers or posted signage indicating closed areas. Other facilities, such as portable toilets or parking spots, may also be unavailable.

As with all outdoor recreation, anyone hoping to fish near a hatchery should have a backup plan if their preferred access is closed, since some fisheries can be accessed through hatchery property.

WDFW is the primary state agency tasked with preserving, protecting, and perpetuating fish, wildlife, and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing and hunting opportunities.

-WDFW-

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Monday September 14, 2020 17:15 PDT

WDFW NEWS RELEASE

WDFW will use drone to monitor noxious weeds along Klickitat River


OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will fly a drone over an 11.5-mile section of the Klickitat River about 15 miles west of Goldendale to collect data on noxious weeds along the shoreline.

Drone flights will start as early as this week and continue into October, depending on visibility and weather. Flights will take place between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. and last approximately 30 to 60 minutes.

"We will use a drone to detect and document occurrences of reed canarygrass along the shoreline of the Klickitat River and nearby wetlands," said George Fornes, WDFW biologist. "The data we collect will help us prioritize where to send herbicide applicator crews next spring."

Reed canarygrass is an aggressive, non-native grass that can overwhelm native vegetation in many seasonal wetlands and displace native plant communities that support local species of fish and wildlife.

Fornes said the area where the Klickitat River flows through the Soda Springs Wildlife Area Unit is especially important to protect because it offers natural spawning beds for salmon.

WDFW is the state agency tasked with preserving, protecting, and perpetuating fish, wildlife, and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing, hunting, and other outdoor recreation opportunities.

-WDFW-

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Wednesday September 16, 2020 14:02 PDT

WDFW NEWS RELEASE

State seeks policy feedback on Willapa Bay salmon management, hatchery reform


Public invited to submit comments online through Oct. 12

OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is seeking public feedback on two salmon management policies.

Both policies, the Willapa Bay Salmon Management Policy and draft revisions to the Hatchery and Fishery Reform Policy, were up for public discussion at the Fish and Wildlife Commission's September meeting. The public comment period for draft revisions to the Hatchery and Fishery Reform Policy has been extended by request of the Commission. WDFW will now accept comments for both policies through Oct. 12.

"Public input is critical to our work," said Ron Warren, WDFW fish policy director. "We want to provide additional opportunity for people to weigh in so that we ultimately adopt policies that have benefitted from the knowledge of those most invested in their implementation."

Based on Commission guidance, any Hatchery and Fishery Reform Policy revised language will be submitted for additional public review and will be discussed with tribal co-managers in advance of a final Commission decision at its December 3-5 meeting. Commission meeting times and agendas can be found online at wdfw.wa.gov/about/commission/meetings.

In June 2018, the Fish and Wildlife Commission directed WDFW to review and update its Hatchery and Fishery Reform Policy, which was originally adopted in November 2009. The policy is intended to advance the conservation and recovery of wild salmon and steelhead by promoting and guiding the implementation of hatchery reform. To view the Hatchery and Fishery Reform Policy draft revisions and instructions for providing comments, visit wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/management/hatcheries/hatchery-reform-policy-review.

WDFW staff will present a summary of public feedback on the Willapa Bay Salmon Management Policy and draft revisions to the Hatchery and Fishery Reform Policy to the Commission for consideration at its Oct. 22-24 meeting. Comments on the Willapa Bay policy will inform Commission discussion in October about possible modifications to policy language. The Commission is interested in hearing public feedback on whether the Willapa Bay policy should be modified and what sort of modifications are needed.

Adopted in June 2015, the Willapa Bay Salmon Management Policy is designed to help restore natural salmon runs, reduce conflicts between commercial and recreational fisheries in Willapa Bay, and enhance the economic well-being and stability of the recreational and commercial fishing industry in the state. To view the Willapa Bay Salmon Management Policy and provide comments, visit wdfw.wa.gov/about/commission/policies/willapa-bay-salmon-management.

WDFW is the state agency tasked with preserving, protecting and perpetuating fish, wildlife and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing, hunting and other outdoor recreation opportunities.

-WDFW-

60618

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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PostFri Sep 18, 2020 4:30 pm 
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Friday September 18, 2020 16:27 PDT

WDFW NEWS RELEASE

Biologists will use drone to collect habitat restoration project data at Sunnyside-Snake River Wildlife Area


YAKIMA – Starting Sept. 21, scientists with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will fly a drone over sections of the Sunnyside-Snake River Wildlife Area Headquarters Unit near Mabton for two days to collect information to support habitat enhancement work.

Drone flights will take place exclusively on department-managed lands between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. for approximately 30- to 60-minute periods within the two-day window.

"We are working to enhance wetland habitat to benefit waterfowl and other wetland-dependent species," said Kyle Spragens, waterfowl manager for WDFW. "By using a drone, we can collect imagery and videos to provide important insights about elevation, vegetation, and water conditions at the site, and how we might be able to improve them."

Spragens said this project is one of more than 30 wetland enhancement projects funded by the Migratory Waterfowl and Wetlands Conservation Program, also referred to as the state Duck Stamp Program.

The Sunnyside-Snake River Wildlife Area Headquarters Unit is one of several areas in Washington that plays an important role for migratory birds, including waterfowl and shorebirds, that are reliant on a network of wetlands between breeding and wintering areas. Located in the Yakima River floodplain, the wildlife area unit features nearly 13 miles of river shoreline, supporting a variety of fish and wildlife species year round.

WDFW actively manages approximately one million acres of land and over 500 water access areas across the state to preserve natural and cultural heritage, provide access for hunting, fishing, and wildlife-related recreation, and to foster experiences and exploration for thousands of Washingtonians and visitors each year.
WDFW is the state agency tasked with preserving, protecting and perpetuating fish, wildlife and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing, hunting, and other recreation opportunities.

-WDFW-

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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