MOUNT VERNON – Washington waterfowl hunters will enjoy seasons similar to last year’s under a package adopted by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission at a meeting here Saturday.
The commission, which sets policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), approved the waterfowl hunting seasons based on stable duck and goose populations.
The statewide duck hunting season will run Oct. 14-18 and Oct. 21-Jan. 28, and a special youth hunting weekend is scheduled for Sept. 23-24. Special limits for hen mallard, pintail, scaup, canvasback, redhead, harlequin, scoter and long-tailed duck are included in the 107-day hunting season.
Goose hunting seasons vary by management areas across the state, but most open Oct. 14 and run into January 2007.
The commission also addressed public safety concerns on Fir Island by prohibiting waterfowl hunting within 100 feet of paved public roads for the entire hunting season and increasing penalties for noncompliance.
"There’s been a lot of public concern the past couple of years regarding snow goose hunting activity on Fir Island,” said Ron Ozment, commission chair. “We’ve aimed to strike a balance by addressing the concerns of the residents while continuing to provide hunters recreational opportunity on the island.”
In addition, the commission shifted Grays Harbor County from Goose Management Area (GMA) 2B in southwest Washington to GMA 3. Transferring the county from GMA 2B eliminates a requirement that hunters check all geese harvested in the county. That requirement is intended to document the harvest of dusky Canada geese, which are rarely found in Grays Harbor County, said Don Kraege, WDFW waterfowl section manager.
The commission also added two extra hunting days in Skagit and Pacific counties for brant, increasing the season to a total of seven days in both counties.
In other action, the commission:
- Approved WDFW’s final legislative and budget proposals for the 2007-09 biennium.
- Amended regulations to allow for the import of meat from game-farm raised deer and elk in other states or countries. The meat must arrive from a licensed game farm, boned and packaged for sale. The amendment also eliminates the need for a special permit to sell cougar hides.
- Approved several land transactions, including the addition of 2,206 acres to the Quilomene Wildlife Area in Kittitas County.
- Amended regulations requiring trappers to pay late reporting penalties and report their trapping activity to WDFW before purchasing another annual trapping license.
- Received briefings on canary and yelloweye rockfish, coastal spot shrimp seasons, the Puget Sound Recreational Fishery Enhancement Program, and spotted owl management.