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PostFri Jun 17, 2022 6:05 pm 
Friday June 17, 2022 16:52 PDT WDFW NEWS RELEASE Emergency measures deployed to control invasive European green crabs in Washington waters WDFW implements Incident Command System for coordination with tribes, state and federal agencies, and non-governmental partners including shellfish growers. OLYMPIA – Deployment of emergency measures to control invasive European green crabs on the Washington Coast and at sites within the Salish Sea is well underway, including the implementation of an Incident Command System (ICS) to facilitate statewide coordination between various agencies, tribes, and partners. The Washington State Emergency Management Division assigned European green crab response as a formal mission on April 18, 2022. After meeting with other state and federal agencies, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Director Kelly Susewind formally implemented the ICS strategy on May 5 in delegating authority to Allen Pleus, WDFW’s Aquatic Invasive Species Policy Coordinator, to serve as Incident Commander. The ICS also identifies Coastal and Salish Sea management branches. The European Green Crab (Carcinus maenas) is a globally damaging invasive species that poses a threat to native shellfish, eelgrass, and estuary habitat critical for salmon and many other species. On Jan. 19, 2022, Governor Jay Inslee issued emergency proclamation 22-02 to address the exponential increase in European green crab populations detected within the Lummi Nation’s Sea Pond and outer coast areas. The order directed WDFW to begin implementation of emergency measures to prevent the crab’s permanent establishment and expansion. At the request of Governor Inslee, WDFW, Washington Invasive Species Council, several Native American tribes, and other state and non-governmental partners, the Washington State Legislature appropriated $8.568 million in funding for European green crab emergency measures in the 2022 Supplemental Operating Budget, which was signed on March 31. This amount includes pass-through funding for the Lummi Nation, Makah Tribe, and partners. The Legislature and Governor had previously provided WDFW $783,000 in a one-time proviso in 2020 and $2.3 million in ongoing funding in 2021 to control European green crabs, but the amounts were not sufficient to control growing infestations. With the emergency order and funding, WDFW has been working with tribes, other state and federal agencies, as well as shellfish growers and private tidelands owners to establish a coordinated response, hire and deploy personnel, and purchase and distribute equipment to areas with known green crab infestations. Three boats, nearly a dozen new employees, and more than 700 specialized traps have been deployed this spring, with more on the way. Through the efforts of WDFW Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) staff, the Lummi Nation, Makah Tribe, Shoalwater Bay Tribe, Willapa-Grays Harbor Oyster Growers Association, and other tribes, agencies, and partners, more than 64,000 European green crabs have been removed from Washington waters in 2022 as of June 11. Under the emergency order, regular updates are posted on this webpage. A European Green Crab Management Updates email list sign-up is also now available at wdfw.wa.gov/about/lists “Washington’s European green crab management efforts continue to ramp up this year with Governor Inslee issuing a statewide emergency proclamation and the Legislature authorizing new emergency funding resources,” said Pleus, the Incident Commander. “We’re now working to improve strategic coordination so that by working together, Washingtonians can control European green crabs with the goal that this invasive species does not harm our state’s environmental, economic or cultural resources.” Washington Sea Grant continues conducting early-detection monitoring throughout the Salish Sea and coastal bays, as well as research to better understand European green crabs and their range in Washington state. The Northwest Straits Commission is conducting monitoring and removal efforts in Whatcom and Skagit counties. WDFW provides support for both entities. Several Native American tribes, the Washington Department of Natural Resources and State Parks, federal entities including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, commercial shellfish growers, and private tidelands owners are also involved in European green crab monitoring and removal efforts on their lands. WDFW is working closely with the Washington Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) to establish a Multi-Agency Coordination (MAC) Group under the ICS structure, as well as to implement a new European green crab Emergency Measures Fund Program with $1,100,000 in funding available for interagency contracts to state, tribal, federal, and local governments. In addition, WDFW is implementing a European Green Crab Coastal Management Grant Program to be disbursed by the Pacific and Grays Harbor County conservation districts, with $675,000 in funding available for local, non-profit, or private entities that seek to conduct green crab removal. Permits, traps, and other support are also available for tidelands owners as supplies allow. A new sign with European green crab identification and reporting information for Washington marinas, boat ramps or beaches is available on WDFW’s website or by request. Native to western Europe, these shore crabs are typically found in shallow areas, estuaries, and mud flats, and may be present on both public and private tidelands. They arrived on the U.S. West Coast in San Francisco Bay by 1989 and were first detected on the Washington Coast in low numbers in 1998. Detection within the Salish Sea occurred at Sooke Basin, British Columbia in 2012, and then in the San Juan Islands and Padilla Bay in 2016. Beginning around 2018, state and federal agencies, tribes, and partners began to detect significant increases in European green crabs—potentially linked to warmer water conditions, especially in 2021—in areas including Willapa Bay, Grays Harbor, Makah Bay, and Lummi Bay. European crabs were recently detected in Hood Canal by Washington Sea Grant, and 13 additional crabs were removed from the Seabeck area through rapid response trapping led by WDFW. European green crabs have not been detected in Puget Sound south of Admiralty Inlet. If a member of the public finds a suspected European green crab or its shell in Washington, they are asked to take a picture and report it as soon as possible. Crab identification guides and an online reporting form are available at wdfw.wa.gov/greencrab. Reports can also be submitted using the WA Invasives app, or by contacting ais@dfw.wa.gov. At this time, WDFW is not asking the public to keep or kill suspected green crabs because they can be mistaken identification of native crabs. European green crab are classified as a Prohibited Level 1 Invasive Species in Washington, meaning they may not be possessed, introduced on or into a water body or property, or trafficked, without department authorization, a permit, or as otherwise provided by rule. Beachgoers, anglers, recreational crabbers, and others are asked not to tamper with European green crab traps, which are often deployed in shallow areas exposed at low tide and are typically identified with a bright orange buoy and an official tag or permit. More information is available at: https://wdfw.wa.gov/species-habitats/invasive/carcinus-maenas The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife works to preserve, protect and perpetuate fish, wildlife and ecosystems while providing sustainable fish and wildlife recreational and commercial opportunities. --WDFW-

"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 Oct 07, 2022 9:18 am 
Thursday October 6, 2022 14:56 PDT WDFW NEWS RELEASE Fishing on most coastal rivers and tributaries for salmon and all game fish to close beginning Oct. 8 OLYMPIA – Fishing for salmon and all game fish is closing in most coastal rivers and tributaries beginning Saturday, Oct. 8 until further notice, fishery managers with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today. "Historic low flows this summer are creating conditions that limit fish movements and result in higher-than-expected harvest rates," said James Losee, WDFW Region 6 fish program manager. "These areas are closing to fishing until river conditions improve and salmon are able to reach the spawning grounds in adequate numbers." Around 50 coastal streams from the northern Olympic Peninsula coast to Willapa Bay are closing to salmon fishing and all game fish beginning Saturday, Oct. 8 until further notice. Anglers can find the list of specific rivers by checking the emergency regulations on the WDFW webpage. https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/emergency-rules Fishery managers plan to reopen when flows increase, or stock assessment information suggests that salmon are successfully migrating upstream. This conservation measure follows regulation changes in tribal comanagers fisheries. Additionally, the Olympic National Park Service has closed respective fisheries in associated waterbodies. https://www.nps.gov/olym/planyourvisit/fishing.htm Fishing is open in Grays Harbor's East Bay (Marine Area 2-2), Willapa Bay (Marine Area 2-1), and the Chehalis River downstream of Fuller Bridge. The Lower Willapa and Naselle rivers also remain open but for hatchery Chinook and hatchery coho only beginning Saturday, Oct. 8. Look under rules listed in the 2022-23 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet for additional information. https://www.eregulations.com/washington/fishing/ Anglers should continue to check emergency regulations for new and changing seasons or sign up for email notifications at wdfw.wa.gov/about/lists. - WDFW -

"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 Oct 11, 2022 4:25 pm 
Tuesday October 11, 2022 15:24 PDT WDFW NEWS RELEASE WDFW seeks public comment on proposed rule for domestic sheep and goats on Department-managed lands Public invited to Dec. 1 virtual public hearing OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is inviting public comment on a proposed rule that would prohibit visitors bringing domestic sheep or goats onto wildlife area units of 12 WDFW-managed wildlife areas. The proposed rule is intended to reduce the risk the transmission of Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae (Movi), a type of bacteria that causes pneumonia and can be deadly to bighorn sheep. Past pneumonia outbreaks among bighorn sheep in Washington and other parts of the western United States have been linked to contact between wild sheep and domestic sheep or goats, which carry Movi but are unaffected by the bacteria. Pneumonia, caused by the Movi bacteria, can also reduce the survival rate of lambs for many years after an initial outbreak. There is no treatment for bighorn sheep, and no preventative vaccine. The proposed rule would apply to select wildlife area units of Asotin Creek, Chelan, Chief Joseph, Colockum, Columbia Basin, L.T. Murray, Oak Creek, Scotch Creek, Sinlahekin, Wells, Wenas, and W.T. Wooten wildlife areas. "We want to protect wild sheep while preserving opportunities for people who enjoy hiking and hunting with pack goats," said Joel Sisolak, WDFW lands planning, recreation and outreach section manager. "We are proposing a targeted approach to ensure those opportunities remain available in other parts of the state." The public is invited to comment on the proposed rule by submitting written comments at publicinput.com/SheepAndGoats102 ( https://publicinput.com/SheepAndGoats102 ), via email ( SheepAndGoats102@PublicInput.com ), or by mail to WDFW's Wildlife Program: PO Box 43200, Olympia, WA 98504. WDFW will accept comments until 11:59 p.m. Nov. 30. The public is also invited to attend a virtual hearing, scheduled for 3 to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1 ( https://us06web.zoom.us/w/88201267221 ) in which WDFW Director Kelly Susewind will hear feedback and decide on the proposed rule. Respondents who wish to have their comments incorporated into the Dec. 1 meeting presentation should submit their comments by 8 a.m. Nov. 23. All members of the public are invited to share their diverse perspectives and participate in WDFW public feedback opportunities regardless of race, color, sex, age, national origin, language proficiency, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, status as a veteran, or basis of disability. More information about the proposed rule is available at wdfw.wa.gov/about/regulations/development. -WDFW-

"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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