OLYMPIA — Emergency rule changes enacted by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) have lengthened September Canada goose hunting hours in southwest Washington and added goose hunting days in Port Susan Bay near Stanwood.
The changes, both effective yesterday, are designed to increase harvest of resident Canada geese in western Washington by correcting two regulations adopted earlier this year.
In Western Washington Goose Management Area 2 (southwest Washington), hunting hours for the Sept. 8-14 goose season have been changed to one-half hour before sunrise until sunset. Hunting hours had been inadvertently shortened to 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. when regulations were previously amended. This hunt is important to reduce agricultural crop damage in southwest Washington, and extended hunting hours were needed to increase harvest of resident Canada geese causing damage in this area.
In the northeastern portion of Port Susan Bay near Stanwood (Snohomish County) another emergency rule change was made to allow hunting during the Sept. 8-14 Canada goose season as well as Oct. 10 and 11 and Oct. 13-31.
A Canada goose hunting closure in the area had been adopted to protect the only flock of Vancouver Canada geese in Puget Sound. Further evaluation found that hunting for resident Canada geese could continue in September and October, before the Vancouver Canada geese arrive in November. Additional harvest of resident Canada geese using the area in September and October is needed to control increasing numbers of geese and to help reduce agricultural damage and urban nuisance problems. See page 15 of the WDFW 1998-99 "Migratory Waterfowl and Upland Game Seasons" pamphlet for a boundary description of the area.