CONWAY – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has scheduled a public meeting here May 30 to discuss a draft management plan for Wrangel Island snow geese and Fir Island hunts for the birds.
The meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at the Conway Elementary School cafeteria, 19710 State Route 534, in Conway. The discussion will focus on a draft snow goose management plan and issues such as hunter safety, hunter access to private lands, and crop damage.
Each year, the Fir Island area is a winter destination of snow geese migrating from Wrangel Island, off the coast of Siberia in Russia. The combined Fraser River Delta and Skagit River Delta winter population is estimated at about 80,000 geese, and the entire Wrangel Island population totals about 120,000 birds.
“We’ve had several good nesting years, and the Wrangel Island snow geese population continues to increase,” said Don Kraege, WDFW waterfowl section manager. “If the population keeps growing we will look at expanding hunting seasons.”
The draft Wrangel Island snow goose management plan is being developed by the Pacific Flyway Council, which is comprised of representatives from wildlife agencies in the western United States, Canada and Mexico. The management plan is available for review at the Pacific Flyway Council’s website at http://pacificflyway.gov/Documents/Wilsg_plan.pdf. Printed copies of the plan can be requested by calling Kraege at 360-902-2522.
Comments on the draft management plan should be mailed by June 30 to Don Kraege, 600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501.