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PostFri Aug 17, 2018 6:54 pm 
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Friday August 17, 2018 15:38 PDT

WDFW NEWS RELEASE

Commission takes action on protective status of two species 


OLYMPIA – The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission voted to change the protective status of two wildlife species during a conference call Friday.

Commissioners voted to reclassify sea otters as state threatened, downlisting the species from endangered. The commission also approved uplisting Columbian sharp-tailed grouse in Washington to endangered from threatened.

The commission is a citizen panel appointed by the governor to set policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). A full agenda of the call can be found online at https://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/meetings.html.

Sea otters were eliminated from the state in the early 20th century by fur traders but were reintroduced in 1969 and 1970. The state’s population of sea otters has steadily increased over the last 30 years, which prompted WDFW to recommend reclassifying the species as threatened, said Hannah Anderson, the department’s wildlife recovery specialist. Sea otters remain at risk from disease, toxins, the effects of climate change, and the possibility of a catastrophic event – such as a large oil spill – along Washington's coast.

Columbian sharp-tailed grouse were classified as a threatened species under state law in1998. Commission members said they favored reclassifying the species as endangered, which could increase the likelihood of the species' survival and recovery.

In the 1800s, the sharp-tailed grouse was the most abundant game bird in eastern Washington, with its highest densities in relatively moist grassland and sagebrush vegetation. But with much of its habitat converted to cropland, and in the wake of major fires in 2015, the population has declined to an estimated total of fewer than 600 birds.

Status reviews for both sea otters and Columbian sharp-tailed grouse can be found on WDFW’s website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/publications/search.php?Cat=Threatened%20and%20Endangered%20Species&SubCat=Status%20Reports.

In other business, the commission approved a utility easement and road right-of-way on department property in Pend Oreille County near Cusick related to a planned fish conservation project at the site.

Additionally, commissioners renewed their discussion of the department’s proposed recreational license fee increase. A conference call will be scheduled in late August to allow commissioners another opportunity to discuss the fee increase. Information on that call will be posted online at https://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/meetings/2018/.

-WDFW-

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PostSun Aug 26, 2018 7:11 pm 
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Friday August 24, 14:57 PDT

WDFW NEWS RELEASE

Large portion of Columbia River will close to steelhead fishing to protect weak runs


OLYMPIA – Starting Monday (Aug. 27), anglers must release any steelhead they intercept on a large portion of the Columbia River under a new emergency rule adopted by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

The new rule, prompted by a sharp decline in projected returns of upriver summer steelhead, will be in effect until further notice from Buoy 10 at the mouth of the Columbia River to Highway 395 in Pasco.

Ryan Lothrop, Columbia River fishery coordinator for WDFW, said monitoring at Bonneville Dam now indicates that 110,300 upriver steelhead will return to the Columbia this year, down from 182,400 fish projected before the fishing season began.

The new projection is similar to the number of steelhead that returned last year, when fishery managers from Washington and Oregon closed steelhead fishing in the Columbia and many of its tributaries.

Although the new emergency rule does not close fisheries in area tributaries, that may be necessary in the weeks ahead, Lothrop said.

“Many factors are clearly taking a toll on our steelhead populations right now, including difficult ocean conditions,” he said. “We need to do what’s necessary to protect these runs.”

WDFW recently prohibited fishing for salmon or steelhead at night to protect steelhead in the same waters of the Columbia River that will close to all steelhead fishing.

That “night closure” will remain in effect from Buoy 10 to Pasco, and at the Wind River and Drano Lake, two tributaries of the Columbia River.

Lothrop said WDFW will continue to monitor the summer steelhead returns as the season progresses.

The new emergency fishing rule is posted on WDFW’s website at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/.

-WDFW-

(* emphasis added *)

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PostTue Aug 28, 2018 9:51 pm 
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Monday August 28, 2018 17:24 PDT

NEWS RELEASE

Fish and Wildlife Commission revises proposed license fee increase


OLYMPIA – The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission is proposing a 15-percent boost in recreational hunting and fishing license fees for 2019, with caps on the increase for people who buy multiple licenses in "bundled" packages.

The commission, a citizen board appointed by the governor to set policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), will include the recommendation with other proposals designed to eliminate a $31 million gap between projected revenue and expenses during the two-year state budget cycle that begins next July.

The commissioners voted on Monday (Aug. 27) to replace an earlier 5-percent proposed increase with the 15-percent proposal.  To cushion the impact on people who buy multiple hunting and fishing licenses, the commission would limit the maximum increase for bundled packages to $7 for fishing and $15 for hunting. For example, WDFW sells multiple fishing licenses in the "Fish Washington" package and plans to create additional value packages to hold down license costs for avid recreationists.

The commission's action came after 15 conservationists and outdoor recreation advocates who serve on a WDFW budget and policy advisory group expressed concern that the 5-percent increase approved by commissioners on Aug. 10 would not have contributed enough revenue to close the funding shortfall.

The revenue generated by a 5-percent boost "is far less than just the effect of inflation since the last (2011) fee increase and we fear will be frowned upon by legislators and force the department into cuts that will harm our interests and the state's natural resources," they wrote.

"The commission never likes to propose fee increases, but WDFW needs better funding to meet public expectations and ongoing legal requirements," Chairman Brad Smith said after Monday's decision. "Knowing we have the support of key recreation and conservation leaders enabled us to improve the balance of our funding request between general tax dollars and revenue from license sales."

With Monday's revision, the commission directed WDFW to propose to Governor Inslee that the state close the $31 million funding gap and make another $28 million of spending increases with a mix of roughly 75 percent in general funds and 25 percent in increased license revenue.  Earlier in August, the commission also approved making the Columbia River Salmon and Steelhead Endorsement permanent, which would otherwise expire June 30, 2019.

The commission approved the license-fee revision on a voice vote, with only Commissioner Don McIsaac expressing opposition.

Additional information about WDFW's budget and policy development for the 2019 legislative session is available at https://wdfw.wa.gov/about/budget/development/. The site will be updated as the department completes its budget and fee proposals, which are due to the governor in mid-September.

-WDFW-

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PostFri Sep 07, 2018 1:05 pm 
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Friday September 07, 2018 13:51 PDT

WDFW NEWS RELEASE

WDFW hosts free National Hunting and Fishing Day celebration, Sept. 22


Olympia – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is hosting a National Hunting and Fishing Day celebration on Sept. 22. The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Sun Valley Shooting Park, 1452 Suntargets Rd, Moxee, in South Central Washington.

“This family-oriented event, just 30 minutes outside Yakima, is a great way to introduce youth and newcomers to target shooting, hunting, fishing, and conservation activities,” said David Whipple, WDFW hunter education division manager.

National Hunting and Fishing Day, formalized by Congress in 1971, was created by the National Shooting Sports Foundation to celebrate the conservation successes of hunters and anglers.

Gov. Jay Inslee also recently recognized the economic and conservation significance of hunting and fishing in Washington in a proclamation.

Youth, 17 years of age and under, who attend the event with an accompanying adult can shoot WDFW firearms, archery equipment, and air rifles. Agency staff, WDFW hunter education instructors, and Master Hunters, as well as conservation organization volunteers will be on hand to teach shooting safety and provide instruction and guidance.

For those interested in fishing, participants can catch and keep trout and learn to cast a line with spinning reels. “Going fishing is a great way to get outside, relax, and spend time with your friends and family,” said Steve Caromile, WDFW warmwater fish program manager. “It also gives us the opportunity to mentor others to be good stewards of our state’s natural resources.”

The event also features:

- Free shooting safety gear for the first 500 youth attendees.
- Door prize drawings.
- Fun learning activities, such as how to hunt turkey, basic knot tying, making plaster casts of animal tracks and Japanese-style (Gyotaku) fish prints.
- Displays and information from numerous conservation organizations.

The free event is hosted by WDFW’s Hunter Education Division and Volunteer Program. It is sponsored by WDFW, hunter education instructors, Master Hunters, the Washington Hunter Education Instructor’s Association, the Mule Deer Foundation, and grant funding from Friends of the National Rifle Association.

Visit https://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/huntered/hunt_fish_day.html for more information on National Hunting and Fishing Day, Governor Inslee’s proclamation, and the role hunters and anglers play in conservation across the nation.

-WDFW-

=======================================================

So you may be wondering now "When is National Hiking Day?"

National 'Take A Hike' Day is November 17th

and June 1, 2019 is National Trails Day

And for those who are inclined to be a little more adventurous, there's the unofficial Naked Hiking Day on June 21st

* which event are you making plans for right now? wink.gif

=========================================================

WDFW wrote:
"...Japanese-style (Gyotaku) fish prints..."

Now wait just a minute.... I've done these before (using sumi ink and rice paper) and it requires killing the fish before this process can be done.
Considering how many fisheries are now catch-and-release, how is this to be accomplished?
Are we supposed to go to the pet store and buy some carp or something?

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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PostFri Sep 14, 2018 5:33 pm 
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Wednesday September 12, 2018 15:07 PDT

WDFW NEWS RELEASE

WDFW will use drone to collect river restoration project data at Elochoman River Hatchery


OLYMPIA – Scientists with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will fly a drone over a section of the Elochoman River in Wahkiakum County during the week of Sept. 24 to collect information to support river restoration work.

WDFW scientist Jane Atha said a drone would collect imagery at the Elochoman River hatchery, where the agency recently removed the lower weir and fishway from the river.

The agency will also collect imagery of a portion of the river along and upstream from the hatchery property to assess restoration opportunities.

Atha said the drone will be flown between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. for approximately 30 to 60 minute periods within a four day window over approximately 1 1/2 miles of the Elochoman River between mileposts 8 and 11 of Elochoman River Road.

WDFW scientists regularly collect imagery of river restoration projects to support design and document their progress. Drones provide an opportunity to conduct river restoration monitoring safely, while also efficiently providing a view of rivers that would generally not be possible otherwise.

-WDFW-

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Friday September 14, 2018 15:17 PDT

WDFW NEWS RELEASE

Statewide shooting ban to be lifted on WDFW lands


OLYMPIA – With cooler temperatures and higher humidity reducing wildfire danger, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is lifting target shooting restrictions on WDFW lands beginning Saturday, Sept. 15.

A similar target shooting ban will be lifted the same day on lands managed by the state Department of Natural Resources.

"These changes reflect an easing of fire danger, but we still urge anyone heading outdoors this fall to be extremely cautious while participating in any activity that could spark a wildfire," said Cynthia Wilkerson, manager of the WDFW Lands Division.

Target shooters should remain vigilant and avoid shooting into tall dry grass where sparks could start a fire. Discharge of a firearm for legal hunting remains permitted on all WDFW lands.

Although the risk is lower, the wildfire season is not over. Wilkerson noted that other restrictions remain in place on WDFW-managed properties in eastern Washington. Those restrictions include:

- Fires or campfires, including those in fire rings, are prohibited. Personal camp stoves and lanterns fueled by propane, liquid petroleum, or liquid petroleum gas are allowed.

- Smoking is prohibited, except in an enclosed vehicle.

- Welding and operating chainsaws are prohibited. Operating a torch with an open flame and all equipment powered by an internal combustion engine is also prohibited.

- Operating a motor vehicle away from developed roads is prohibited. Parking is permitted within designated parking areas, including developed campgrounds and trailheads; and in areas without vegetation that are within 10 feet of roadways.

- State law also prohibits the discharge of fireworks and the disposal of a lit cigarette or other burning material from a vehicle on a state highway.

Any changes to these restrictions will be posted on the department's website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/.

More information about fires and fire prevention is available online from the Washington Department of Natural Resources (http://www.dnr.wa.gov) and the U.S. Forest Service (http://www.fs.usda.gov).

-WDFW-

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PostFri Sep 21, 2018 12:42 pm 
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Monday September 17, 2018 17:00 PDT

NEWS RELEASE

Commission approves Wooten land purchase, hoof disease designations


OLYMPIA – The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission has approved the acquisition of a timbered 58-acre property that will provide habitat for deer and elk and increase recreational access within the Wooten Wildlife Area in Columbia County.

The commission, a citizen panel appointed by the governor to set policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), also approved several other property transactions during a meeting Sept. 14-15 in Olympia, including an easement for a trail linking the department's Tumwater Falls Hatchery to the mouth of the Deschutes River at Capitol Lake in Olympia.

WDFW plans to use federal grant funds – generated through a tax on the sale of arms and ammunition – to buy the Wooten land from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation for $175,000. The parcel is an "inholding" within the wildlife area.

In other business, the commission added four game management units (568, 572, 574, and 578) in Clark, Klickitat, and Skamania counties to the list of GMUs where infectious hoof disease has been confirmed in elk. Hunters who harvest an elk in these areas are required to remove the hooves and leave them in place to avoid spreading the disease..

On three other issues, the commission delayed action until a future date, including:

Consideration of the Columbia River Basin Salmon Management Policy, which was tabled until a special meeting scheduled Oct. 15.

A proposal to open the recreational crab-fishing season off the Washington coast Nov. 15 rather than Dec.1, which the commission will also consider at its Oct. 15 meeting.

A discussion about wolf-management planning efforts, which has not yet been rescheduled.

Information about upcoming commission meetings is available at https://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/.

-WDFW-

==========================================================

Monday September 17, 2018 17:11 PDT

WDFW NEWS RELEASE

WDFW plans controlled burns on wildlife areas in Eastern Washington


The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will be conducting controlled burns on department lands in Okanogan, Ferry, Pend Oreille, Kittitas, and Yakima counties to reduce wildfire risks and enhance wildlife habitat.

As conditions allow, controlled burns are planned to start later this month or early October on the Sinlahekin Wildlife Area in Okanogan County, Methow Wildlife Area in Okanogan County, Sherman Creek Wildlife Area in Ferry County, Rustlers Gulch Wildlife Area in Pend Oreille County, L.T. Murray Wildlife Area in Kittitas County, and Oak Creek Wildlife Area in Yakima County.

The burn areas range from grasslands to Ponderosa pine and Douglas fir stands that have been thinned and currently contain logging debris and slash. WDFW may conduct other burns on department lands throughout Eastern Washington later this fall as well.

WDFW Prescribed Fire Manager, Matt Eberlein, said controlled burns are monitored constantly until they are out, and signs are posted to alert recreationists about them.

"We work to minimize smoke impacts," said Eberlein, noting that smoke could nonetheless make its way down the valleys into town areas, or temporarily reduce visibility on roadways at night or early morning. "Motorists should use caution and watch for personnel, fire equipment, and smoke on roads in the vicinity of the burns," Eberlein said. "Recent wildfires demonstrate the importance of conducting controlled burns."

"By burning off accumulations of natural vegetation and logging debris, we can reduce the risk of high-intensity wildfires that can destroy wildlife habitat," he said. "It's not a question of whether we'll have fires on these lands in the future, but rather the degree to which we can reduce the damage they cause."

Eberlein said WDFW is coordinating with other agencies in the area to provide assistance with the burns and is using private contractors and equipment from the local communities.

Maps showing the vicinity of the proposed burns are available at:

Post-Harvest Unit of Sinlahekin Wildlife Area (https://wdfw.wa.gov/news/attach/sep1718b_01.pdf)

Rustlers Gulch Unit (https://wdfw.wa.gov/news/attach/sep1718b_02.pdf)

Hutchins Unit of LT Murray Wildlife Area (https://wdfw.wa.gov/news/attach/sep1718b_03.pdf)

Oak Creek Unit (https://wdfw.wa.gov/news/attach/sep1718b_04.pdf)

Bear Creek Unit of Methow Wildlife Area (https://wdfw.wa.gov/news/attach/sep1718b_05.pdf)

-WDFW-

(* Contact: Matt Eberlein, 509-429-4236  *)

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PostFri Sep 21, 2018 6:05 pm 
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Friday September 21, 2018 16:54 PDT

WDFW NEWS RELEASE

WDFW schedules controlled burns in two South Sound wildlife areas


Starting Sept. 24, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will be conducting controlled burns for habitat restoration on two wildlife areas in the South Puget Sound region.

The burns are scheduled through mid-October at the Scatter Creek Wildlife Area northeast of Rochester and the West Rocky Prairie Wildlife Area northwest of Tenino.

Darric Lowery, WDFW wildlife area manager, said the burns are weather dependent, and will be conducted for one to three days in each area. The areas targeted for burning are small, varying in size from one to 10 acres.

"Portions of the wildlife areas may be closed during the burns, and people may see smoke from the fires for one to two hours after the burns," Lowery said. "We will be working to minimize smoke impacts to homes and the surrounding community."

WDFW is working cooperatively with Washington Department of Natural Resources, fire districts, and other partners, utilizing professional fire crews experienced with successfully conducting controlled burns on public and private lands in the region.

Lowery said the department uses prescribed fire to maintain native grassland habitats, also known as prairies, and control invasive weeds before seeding and planting native species.

Coastal prairies are one of the rarest ecosystems in Washington, now reduced to less than 3 percent of their former area. They support a large number of rare plants and animals, including birds, animals, and butterflies, some of which are listed as threatened or endangered species.

(* Contact: Darric Lowery, 360-902-2558 *)

-WDFW-

(* see also WDFW controlled burn news release for Eastern Washington immediately above *)

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PostThu Oct 04, 2018 9:34 am 
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Thursday October 4, 2018 10:08 PDT

WDFW NEWS RELEASE

Most popular hunting seasons of the year open Oct. 13


OLYMPIA – Some of Washington's most popular hunting seasons will get underway Oct. 13, when modern firearm deer hunters and waterfowl hunters take to the field.

The winter of 2017-18 put less stress on deer than the previous year—especially in parts of eastern Washington, said Jerry Nelson, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) deer and elk section manager. Hunting prospects in many areas are starting to look up, he added.

"Winter conditions in the past ten years, wildfires, fall green-up and weather during the hunting season are just some of the factors that can influence deer numbers and distribution," said Nelson. "That is why we are encouraging hunters to review the Hunting Prospects on WDFW's website to find location-specific forecasts."

WDFW's 2018 Hunting Prospects reports (https://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/prospects/) include local information on what upcoming seasons may hold.

Hunters will also take to the field for waterfowl. Last season, nearly 445,000 ducks were harvested in Washington. Duck, goose, coot, and snipe seasons open Oct. 13.

The exceptions include dusky Canada goose hunting, which is closed to harvest. Brant season in Skagit County, determined by the midwinter waterfowl survey, is also currently closed, but may open on selected dates in January. Scaup season is also currently closed, but opens on Nov. 3.

"With healthy waterfowl populations, mild temperatures, and some early rainfall, it should be a strong opener," said Kyle Spragens, WDFW waterfowl manager. "Favorable habitat conditions and breeding pair counts from Washington, Alaska, and Canada indicate a strong fall flight."

Information on access to more than 1 million acres of private land can be found at the Private Lands Hunting Access page (https://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/hunting_access/private_lands/).

Hunters can also find information on public or private lands open to hunting by visiting WDFW's interactive webmap program, available at https://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/regulations/.

Hunters can purchase their licenses at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov, at any WDFW license dealer (https://wdfw.wa.gov/licensing/vendors/), or by calling WDFW's licensing customer service number at (360) 902-2464.

-WDFW-

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PostWed Oct 17, 2018 11:20 pm 
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Wednesday October 17, 2018 10:40 PDT

WDFW NEWS RELEASE

WDFW invites the public to attend open house events across state


OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has scheduled six open house events this fall to give the new director an opportunity to discuss the agency's long-term plans to conserve fish and wildlife and promote outdoor recreation throughout the state.

"The department's work is fundamental to people's quality of life and livelihoods in Washington," said Kelly Susewind, WDFW director. "Our work to conserve fish and wildlife and provide sustainable opportunities affects everyone. Whether you're an active outdoorsperson or you're someone that buys locally-caught seafood at the market, the public expects us to be good stewards of these resources and the public has a say in how they are managed."

Susewind added, "These meetings will allow me to introduce you to my values and approach and I'm eager to hear what's important to you."

Specific topics will include an overview of the department's work in each region, a summary of budget and policy proposals for the 2019 legislative session, and a discussion about how the department should position itself to address new, long-term challenges that affect fish and wildlife.

The open houses, all scheduled for 6:30-8:30 p.m., will take place at the following dates and locations:

Nov. 5 – CenterPlace Regional Event Center, 2426 N. Discovery Place, Spokane Valley
Nov. 6 – Grant County Public Works, 124 Enterprise St. SE, Ephrata
Nov. 7 – Selah Civic Center, 216 1st St., Selah
Nov. 13 – Montesano City Hall, 112 North Main Street, Montesano
Nov. 14 – WDFW Ridgefield Office, 5525 South 11th Street, Ridgefield
Dec. 12 – Issaquah Salmon Hatchery Watershed Science Center, 125 W Sunset Way, Issaquah
Last June, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission voted unanimously to select Susewind as WDFW's director.

"I am committed to the mission of the agency, and that means hearing from people who care about Washington's fish and wildlife," said Susewind. "I want to share what I have learned so far, but listening to people and their ideas is my main reason for inviting people to attend these events."

Reporters/editors: A photo of Susewind is available at https://wdfw.wa.gov/about/director/graphics/k_susewind.jpg.

Contact: Jason Wettstein (360) 902-2254

-WDFW-

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PostFri Oct 19, 2018 2:27 pm 
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Friday October 19, 2018 14:52 PDT

WDFW FISHING RULE CHANGE 

A portion of the Skagit River to close to all fishing


Action: Close a portion of the Skagit River to all fishing for a day and a half.

Effective date: Oct. 22 through noon Oct. 23, 2018.

Species affected:  All species.

Location:  Skagit River (Skagit County) from the mouth to a line projected across the thread of the river 200 feet upstream of the mouth of the Baker River.

Reason for action: Based on in-season information, WDFW and tribal co-managers have determined that the coho return to the Skagit River is larger than the pre-season forecast. This increase in runsize has already resulted in an increase in the daily limit for recreational anglers and is sufficiently large enough to create a harvestable surplus which allows for additional fishing dates for treaty Indian fishers. A portion of Skagit River will close to all fishing to avoid gear conflicts with treaty fisheries on those dates.

Additional information: WDFW and the Upper Skagit Indian Tribe are working together to conduct orderly and productive fisheries for both the Tribe and the recreational fishing community within the Skagit. By keeping the two fisheries separate, the Tribe has been able to fish more efficiently, requiring fewer days on the water (around seven actual days of fishing time in 2018). State and tribal co-managers continue to discuss ways to improve the quality of fisheries on the Skagit.

Aside from the above closures, salmon fishing remains open on the Skagit River from the mouth to Cascade River Road (Marblemount Bridge) through Dec. 31, 2018. The daily limit is 4 salmon which may include up to 2 wild coho; release all chinook and chum.

Information contact: Edward Eleazer, Region 4 Fish Program Manager, (425) 775-1311, Ext. 109.

-WDFW-

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PostThu Oct 25, 2018 4:57 pm 
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Thursday October 25, 2018 11:19 PDT

WDFW NEWS RELEASE

WDFW will use drone to collect habitat restoration project data  at South Bachelor Island


OLYMPIA – Scientists with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will fly a drone over a section of the Lower Columbia River and adjacent areas during the week of Oct. 30–Nov. 2 to collect information supporting river restoration work.

WDFW scientist Jane Atha said a drone will collect imagery of a wetland project at South Bachelor Island, where the agency will be reconnecting off-channel wetland habitat starting later this year.

Atha said the drone will be flown between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. for approximately 30 to 60 minute periods within a four day window over approximately 2,000 feet on South Bachelor Island upstream of the confluence of Lake River with the Columbia River (river mile 91).

Nicole Czarnomski, lower Columbia habitat restoration program manager, said participants in the reconnection project will cut a channel through previously placed dredge material and will deposit the material along the bank to be entrained by the river in order to create shallow water habitat downstream for species such as chinook salmon, eulachon, and lamprey, among others.

WDFW scientists also want to monitor changes to the constructed channel over time to determine if it is maintaining connection between the wetland and the river.

Collection of imagery by a drone provides safer and more efficient river restoration monitoring than would otherwise be possible.

Funding for this project originates from Washington Department of Natural Resources and Bonneville Power Administration. Monitoring will be supported by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, among others.

-WDFW-

===

> 45°48'21.6"N 122°45'18.8"W <

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PostFri Oct 26, 2018 9:10 am 
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Friday October 26, 2018 09:16 PDT

NEWS RELEASE

Commission to discuss Columbia River fisheries, take input on Willapa Bay salmon management


OLYMPIA – The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will discuss the management of Columbia River fisheries Nov. 1-3, which will include a one-day information-sharing workshop with its Oregon counterpart.

The commission, a citizen panel appointed by the governor to set policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), will convene in the Howard Marshall Room at the Heathman Lodge, 7801 NE Greenwood Dr., Vancouver. The meeting will begin at 8:30 a.m. Nov. 1 and at 9 a.m. both Nov. 2 and 3.

A detailed agenda is available online at https://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/meetings.html.

Commissioners will hold a public workshop Thursday, Nov. 1, with members of the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission to review a 5-year-old policy that significantly changed salmon fisheries on the Columbia River.

Commissioners from both states will also receive an update on seal and sea lion predation of salmon and other fish in the Columbia River, as well as efforts to recover southern resident killer whales.

On Friday, the Washington commission will discuss and take public input on the North of Falcon salmon-setting policy for January 2019 through December 2020 and on the salmon management policy for Willapa Bay.

-WDFW-

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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PostThu Nov 01, 2018 5:18 pm 
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Thursday November 01, 2018 15:39 PDT

WDFW NEWS RELEASE

WDFW invites the public to a 'digital open house' with the Director


OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has scheduled a webinar for Nov. 28 to give its new director an opportunity to discuss the agency's long-term plans to conserve fish and wildlife and promote outdoor recreation throughout the state.

To take part in the online event, the public should visit wdfw.wa.gov starting at 6:15 p.m. on Nov. 28.  The webinar will begin at 6:30 p.m.

"The department's work is fundamental to people's quality of life and livelihoods in Washington," said Kelly Susewind, who assumed the position of WDFW director Aug. 1. "The webinar will allow me to introduce you to my values and approach and also hear what's important to you."

The digital open house is designed to meet public interest in a convenient virtual forum that will supplement live and in-person open houses throughout Washington.

The in-person forums, all scheduled for 6:30-8:30 p.m., will take place at the following dates and locations:

Nov. 5 – CenterPlace Regional Event Center, 2426 N. Discovery Place, Spokane Valley
Nov. 6 – Grant County Public Works, 124 Enterprise St. SE, Ephrata
Nov. 7 – Selah Civic Center, 216 1st St., Selah
Nov. 13 – Montesano City Hall, 112 North Main Street, Montesano
Nov. 14 – WDFW Ridgefield Office, 5525 South 11th Street, Ridgefield
Dec. 12 – Issaquah Salmon Hatchery Watershed Science Center, 125 W Sunset Way, Issaquah

Susewind, who grew up in Aberdeen, describes himself as a lifelong fishing, hunting and outdoors enthusiast. The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission, a nine-member panel appointed by the governor to set policy for WDFW, voted unanimously to select him as WDFW's director in June.

"I am committed to the mission of this agency, and that means hearing from people who care about Washington's fish and wildlife," said Susewind. "I want to share what I have learned, but the main goal for inviting people to these events is to hear what they have to say."

The webinar will be recorded and available at the department's website starting Nov. 29 for those who miss the digital open house and in-person open houses.

Reporters/editors: A photo of Susewind is available at https://wdfw.wa.gov/about/director/graphics/k_susewind.jpg.

-WDFW-

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Thursday November 01, 2018 16:37 PDT

WDFW NEWS RELEASE

State seeks new advisory committee members for Teanaway Community Forest


OLYMPIA – The Washington state departments of Natural Resources (DNR) and Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) are seeking applicants for three vacant positions on their citizen-based Teanaway Community Forest Advisory Committee.

The 20-member advisory committee provides input to the agencies on the ongoing management of the community forest. The committee represents the interests of governments, communities and stakeholder groups and reflects the priorities of the broad cross-section of Washingtonians who cherish the forest.

The departments will accept applications from interested citizens and nominations from organizations. Preference will be given to individuals who can speak for a broader group of stakeholders (formally or informally) and are committed to balancing the five goals of the community forest. Individuals with working forest lands or range lands background are encouraged to apply, however, all interests and backgrounds will be considered.

The new committee members will be expected to attend quarterly meetings, typically held in Cle Elum, over the next two years.

The deadline to apply is Nov. 16. Applications and submission details are available on DNR's website at dnr.wa.gov/Teanaway. Send completed applications with a resume to teanaway@dnr.wa.gov or by mail to 713 Bowers Road, Ellensburg, WA 98926, Attn: Larry Leach. For more information, contact Larry Leach, DNR Assistant Region Manager for State Lands, at 509-925-0924 or Mike Livingston, WDFW Regional Director, at 509-457-9325.

The next steps for the advisory committee will be to advise the agencies on habitat restoration and grazing management, foster strong engagement with the public, and begin implementing the recreation plan. Also, the agencies expect to begin developing a forest management strategy in the new year and will be seeking input from the advisory committee during the process.

Located in the Yakima River Basin headwaters, the Teanaway Community Forest is managed through a partnership between DNR and WDFW. The 50,241-acre community forest is an important source of water and wildlife habitat, as well as a statewide recreation destination in the heart of the Cascade Mountains.

Acquisition of the Teanaway was a key step in implementing the Yakima Basin Integrated Plan—an initiative developed by a coalition of public and private organizations to safeguard the basin's water supply, restore fisheries, conserve habitat, preserve working lands and enhance recreational opportunities.

Contact: Mike Livingston, WDFW, 509-457-9325;
Sarah Dettmer, DNR, 360-902-1066

-WDFW-
-Washington State DNR-

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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PostWed Nov 28, 2018 7:33 pm 
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Wednesday November 28, 2018 19:15 PST

WDFW NEWS RELEASE

Captures for predator-prey study resume in northeast Washington


OLYMPIA – Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) staff will start capturing deer in northeast Washington in early December and fit them with radio-collars as part of an ongoing predator-prey study that began two years ago.

The study, scheduled to run at least five years, will help to assess the impact of wolves, cougars, and other predators on deer and elk by monitoring the interactions of all species.

This winter, researchers hope to capture at least 30 white-tailed deer in Stevens and Pend Oreille counties – primarily on public land, but also on private land where WDFW has secured landowner permission. Capture techniques include trapping animals using bait, entangling them in drop nets, and darting them with immobilization drugs from the ground.

The study plan also calls for radio-collaring wolves, cougars, bobcats, and coyotes in Stevens, Pend Oreille, and Okanogan counties. Some wolves are already radio-collared in those areas, but researchers want to maintain collars on at least two wolves in each of the packs within the study area. Cougar capture work with the use of dogs will get underway in late November, followed by bobcat and coyote captures using box traps and foothold traps after Jan. 1.

Collaborating researchers from the University of Washington (UW) will join WDFW research scientists and field biologists to monitor radio-collared ungulates and track their movements, distribution, habitat use, diet, productivity and survival. Cougars will be monitored to learn about changes in social behavior, population dynamics, prey selection and movements in areas where wolves also occur.

State wildlife managers ask that hunters who harvest a radio-collared deer or elk – and residents who encounter a dead radio-collared animal – contact WDFW's Eastern Region office in Spokane Valley (509-892-1001), so researchers can recover the collar and collect biological samples from the carcasses.

Funding for the five-year study comes from a 2015 state legislative appropriation, federal Pittman-Robertson funds, and state wildlife funds.The UW also secured National Science Foundation grant funds for part of the project.

-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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PostTue Dec 04, 2018 9:15 pm 
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Tuesday December 04, 2018 15:17 PST

WDFW NEWS RELEASE

Researchers will use drone to collect data on Columbia Basin pygmy rabbits


OLYMPIA – Researchers working with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will fly a drone over pygmy rabbit reintroduction sites located in Beezley Hills, Grant County and portions of the Sagebrush Flat Wildlife Area in Douglas County.

Flights will occur from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and are anticipated to take place before the end of February 2019. Flight timing will depend on the presence of adequate snow on the ground and suitable flight conditions.

The purpose of the flights is to test drone capabilities and effectiveness for tracking pygmy rabbit distribution and numbers in snowy conditions. Researchers will also use the drone to help determine the survival rate of reintroduced animals.

Collection of imagery by drone holds the potential to gather species distribution data in a safer and more efficient way than current methods.

For more on pygmy rabbit recovery efforts, please visit https://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/pygmy_rabbit/.

-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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