OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is seeking nominations through June 9 for membership on its new advisory group that will review the impacts of lead fishing tackle on common loons.
Up to 10 individuals will be chosen to serve on the ad hoc advisory group, which will meet at least three times this summer. The group is responsible for providing guidance on the development of management alternatives, including possible lead tackle restrictions, for recreational fisheries on 13 lakes in Washington where common loons nest, said John Whalen, eastern region fish program manager for WDFW.
"As we work with the advisory group to develop management alternatives, we will be reviewing studies that look at the effects of small lead fishing tackle on common loons, which could be harmed by ingesting lead gear lost by anglers," said Whalen.
The 13 lakes where loons breed in Washington include Ferry, Long and Swan lakes in Ferry County; Calligan and Hancock in King County; Bonaparte, Blue and Lost lakes in Okanogan County; Big Meadow, South Skookum and Yocum lakes in Pend Oreille County, Pierre Lake in Stevens County; and Hozomeen Lake in Whatcom County.
In July, the department is scheduled to seek public comment on the proposed recommendations developed in conjunction with the advisory group, said Whalen. WDFW staff also is scheduled to brief the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission - a nine-member citizen panel that sets policy for department - on the proposed alternatives in October.
Earlier this year, the commission requested that the department seek additional public input on the impacts of small lead fishing tackle, including small weights and jigs, on common loons.
Nominees to the advisory group do not have to be affiliated with a specific organization. Nominations must be submitted in writing with the following information:
- Nominee's name, address, telephone number and email address.
- Relevant experience and reasons for wanting to serve as a member of the advisory group.
- Nominee's effectiveness in communication.
- Name and contact information for any individual or organization submitting a nomination.
Nominations must be received by 5 p.m. June 9. Nominations may be submitted to John Whalen by mail: Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, 2315 North Discovery Place, Spokane Valley, WA, 99216; or email at John.Whalen@dfw.wa.gov. For more information, contact Whalen at (509) 892-7861.