OLYMPIA– The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is accepting public comments through Feb. 5 on a draft report which could guide future decisions whether to expand non-toxic shot requirements for hunters.
The draft report, prepared by WDFW biologists, will be summarized for the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission as an informational item in its meeting Feb. 9 and 10 in Tukwila. The commission is not expected to make a decision on the matter at that time.
In recent years, non-toxic shot use requirements have been expanded here and elsewhere in the nation, due to concerns over lead poisoning of wildlife that ingest spent shot from lake and pond bottoms. Lead shot has been illegal for waterfowl hunting in western Washington since 1988 and nationally since 1991. In addition, the use of lead shot has been banned for all hunting in the Skagit Wildlife Area since 1988 and the prohibition was extended last year to 10 other pheasant release sites and wildlife areas statewide.
The non-toxic shot report summarizes other states' approaches to its use and examines availability, ballistic performance and regulatory approaches.
The non-toxic shot report is posted on the WDFW website and is available in print by contacting the WDFW Wildlife Program at (360) 902-2515. Written comments may be addressed to Don Kraege, Wildlife Program, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, 600 Capitol Way N., Olympia WA 98501, or e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org on the Internet.