V, MATTHEW June 3, 2016
LAWS HAVE A SPIRIT: Has anyone else noticed that rivers and waterfowl lands tend to open RIGHT after highschooler's go back to school, and the WDFW keeps asking why that generation isn't getting out as much? The spirit of the law is conservation. Why does the letter of the law often not make this an equal opportunity? Lands are already being closed everywhere to hunting. Designated hunt zones are being turned into dog walking parks because residents move right against the boundary line then state that their daycare center is in danger. (See what's happening to the Dungeness Rec Area)
If you close seasons to highschooler's then shut down locations for weekend hunts you're going to lose anglers and hunters from that generation. Who would WANT to conquer level 30 of black ops when you could go duck hunting... but wait, there isn't anywhere to go duck hunting. Oh well, back to Black Ops.
After watching a documentary on the national parks and how the service is trying to reduce annual traffic to preserve the wildernesses, I am beginning to sense that the same is being done by those who make political decisions for our huntable/fishable lands.
V, MATTHEW June 3, 2016
I read all discussion as reported on the WDFW website from public discussions, though not the online discussions.
I find it odd that while I live in Selah I was not aware that WDFW held a forum here. How is WDFW getting the word out to the outdoor enthusiasts? The new generation of sportsmen do not read the newspaper or have time to peruse the WDFW website for such things. These forums shouldn't be a novelty but a common thing. How did you only have 80 attendees in a city of approximately 120,000?
DEER: In regards to deer hunting, I find it very frustrating to have one area marked as any buck, then the next to be three point or better. With all the pressure our areas received from the city hunters, there is never a chance to bag a trophy buck...if you have a full-time demanding job that is. Keep them all three point or better and there will be trophies for all. In regards to poachers... if you know they're poaching your trophy deer then report them. the individuals are held accountable here, not the enforcement officers.
SALMON: The state should be aware that it's ability to manage the species has been completely hampered by a minority group of tribes. If the tribes want to affect the harvests of those living around them who weren't born into tribal rights, then those tribes should have to also initiate a sustainable harvest like the tribe in Neah Bay. They had a beautifully run hatchery operation when I visited as a kid. Don't just allow the few to oppress the many because they were conquered and our foolish politicians at the time made laws out of regretful rather than fair and respectful hearts. If the tribes want their rights, then they should have to sustain the species they prey on like their ancestors... which should be pointed out, lived as subsistence survivalists, not as profiteering abusers. Tribes that lived like that were hated by the other tribes and raided by war parties. Some of you claim to be the original caretakers of this land. Please join the 21st century and respect our resources with the rest of us. You have the budget to do this, please have the motivation.
PARKING PASSES: As stated by many others, the government needs to step back from the parking passes. I don't mind paying for the gravel that was laid for my vehcile to park on, but ticketing me because I didn't have every pass known to man when I went on an adventure into the wilderness I already pay taxes for is just asinine. The younger generations that we NEED to reach are the ones from poor families who need an outlet for their frustrations. They can't afford parking passes, much less the vehicles to drive them there. We're lucky if they're paying for a fishing license, but now you're going to make them pay for countless parking passes too?
CARE FOR THE POOR: If I want to take my poorer friends out fishing I practically have to buy them an annual license because the day passes are so overpriced. Also, why are the day passes all combo priced? Be practical and offer cheaper fresh water/saltwater options, not just the combo options. I had to opt to take my buddy gold panning instead of fishing because he couldn't afford a license much less help me with gas. Needless to say, we didn't purchase a parking pass for that days activity either.
DREDGING: To those saying the WDFW needs to regulate dredging more, you don't know what you're talking about. the WDFW already has to come out and inspect your site before you can start to assure no fish species as impacted. You got your way in California and may in Oregon also, now please move back to where you came from and leave our state the way you found it.
TO THE WDFW OFFICERS: I saw a recent article (from the conservation leaders) calling you the WDFW police. You are not police and most of us level-headed anglers/hunters know it. you are the stewards that facilitate our freedoms. I've only been ticketed once, and deserved it (and paid it). We respect you and the daunting jobs you have. you are out-numbered, out-voiced, and often out-gunned. You have lost members to those who intend evil. All of this because your job is rewarding and you believe in its cause. We appreciate you who are loyal to the spirit of the law. Thank you for serving our state and the land we were ALL lucky to be born to... no matter what our genetic makeup is.
MITCHEM, KALEB June 1, 2016
I have a sad feeling this "process" is just going end up just like everything else--a lot of talk, some reports and NO ACTION. A year in, and what on the ground has changed? How has access improved? What is being proposed in the legislature (where anything bold takes several cycles to just get a hearing). Everyone agrees we need better access--so get started!! Easements to public lands, modify timberland tax to award free access, review all public lands to ensure maximum recreation is permitted, NO damage permits for land that charges a fee for access, including bear damage. Do SOMETHING on the ground please.
HAGEN, MICHAEL May 31, 2016
My desire is for WDFW to make fishing and hunting easier and more accessible to Washington resident. Make hunting seasons longer like Oregon, Idaho and Montana. Make hunting with multiple weapons the norm. There is no reason to restrict us to archery, modern or black powder only unless it is to restrict access to hunting. One deer and one elk per year per hunter. It's hard enough as it is but WDFW goes out of it's way to make restrictions harder on hunters and fishermen. Over my 54 years of life I have seen the rules get tighter and harder restricting sportsmen. It should be easier and more fun. Start making changes please in favor of sportsmen rather than against us. I'm already going outside of WA to hunt and fishing is next. Make it easier here in WA!
MARRA, P. GERALD May 28, 2016
Once again, it is clear that the Master Hunter Advisory Council is out of step with the Master Hunters in the state. What business is it for the Master Hunter Advisory Council to sponsor a kids drawing contest. What has that anything to do with the issue of the Master Hunters. I will repeat my many previous messages: The Master Hunter Advisory Council does NOT represent me. The Master Hunter Program is broken and needs a complete overhaul to bring it back to it's original intent and that was to be hunter ambassadors to bring hunters and landowners together, especially in the matter of animal damage, elk or deer and any possible hunts to assist in that issue.
As a Master Hunter who qualified in the very early stages of the program, I have to differ with your premise below that is out lined in yellow. The initial Master hunter Program was established to provide safe, ethical, responsible and legal HUNTERS to assist as ambassadors of the hunting community to help resolve hunter and landowner issues, and in particular with damage hunts. When we were around 5000 hunters statewide in the program and we were asked to complete background checks, our numbers were reduced to around 2200 statewide, making an interesting statement.
I will say it again, the Master Hunter Advisory group does not represent me at all. Their ideas are mostly in the periphery of hunting and specially, with a master hunter program. I go back to the stupidity of the damage hunt program that requires a second transport tag for deer and elk, even if we did not hunt or take an animal in the regular season. If I have a valid, unused tag in my pocket, explain to me, other than for additional fees for the Department, what good a second tag does. The Master Hunter Advisory group approved this recommendation. All the Master Hunters I know do not agree.
I do understand that there are many Department employees who are working hard and are sincere in their work ethic, but to me the Master Hunter Program is broken and needs fixing.
Thank you for your attention.
P. Gerald (Gerry) Marra
From: Dazey, Steven (DFW)
Sent: Thursday, May 26, 2016 9:49 AM
To: Dazey, Steven (DFW)
Cc: Redmond, Christine M (DFW) ; Thorson, Kristopher R (DFW)
Subject: FW: Something like this?
Master hunters and applicants
Please see the email below and share this information within your contact sphere. The master hunter permit program strategic plan in part states:
The Master Hunter Permit Program was developed to:
1) Promote safe, ethical, responsible, and legal hunting;
2) Promote support in the general public for hunting;
The bookmark contest is a great way to help meet those two objectives. There will be prizes for the students. This also will help give public exposure to our program as well as the Master Hunter Advisory Group. The contest also highlights the important safety message that we teach. It would be really exciting if one of your students, neighbors, or other youth that you directed to the contest was selected. Please help us to get this information out and thereby help us to support safety and our hunting heritage.
Hunter Education & Volunteer coordinator
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
Hunter Education Instructors
The Hunter Education Division and the Master Hunter Advisory Group are sponsoring a firearm safety bookmark contest for youth in conjunction with our National Hunting and Fishing Day celebration in September. Entries will be accepted now through July 8. We
WILKINS, DYLAN May 26, 2016
I am a long time hunter, fisherman, and resident of Washington State. Over the years I have witnessed the quality of fishing in Puget Sound diminish as well as access to quality local outdoor opportunities year round. My personal values relating to outdoor recreational activities are in order of importance as follows with paragraphs addressing each concern following.
1) Conservation - we can not recreate where there is no nature. RESTORE NATIVE WILD FISH RUNS - HATCHERIES ARE NOT A REPLACEMENT FOR WILD FISH!!!!!
2) Access - Every year it seems the access to Washington's wilds is getting harder and more expensive (already paid Rayonier $170.00 for me and my wife for 2016 access permits and access expires in JUNE of 2016!
3) Enforcement - As an ethical hunter and fisherman, following seasons and harvest regulations are imperative to effective game management.
4) Licensing Costs - I spent over $500.00 as a resident of Washington on my personal fishing and hunting licenses in 2015. I understand game management and enforcement have large costs, but outdoor recreation is becoming a luxury of the rich.
Restoration of wild salmon and steelhead populations in Washington State should be the #1 goal of WDFW. Restoration of wild fish populations would benefit our state in many ways including tourism, commercial fishing, and the many areas of revenue that would be effected with healthy wild fish stocks. The current hatchery system of pumping out put-and-take fish is obviously failing us. I understand that there is much revenue created by the harvest of these hatchery fish, however I believe the long term benefits of restoring native fish runs far outweighs the effects of a reduced fishery for a period of time that would result from a decrease of hatchery production while the waters can produce an increase of wild fish production to levels that are healthy enough to sustain commercial fishing. Subsidizing the commercial fishing industry and allowing minimal tribal harvest along with habitat restoration and a true push to restore wild fish runs does not seem too far fetched to me. As a sportsman I would be more than happy to relinquish fishing opportunities for a period of time if it meant restoration of wild fish stocks.
I support WDFW stocking put-and-take fish in non-anadromous waters. This increases local access to quality fishing and recreation.
Oh yeah, also REMOVE DAMS ON OUR RIVERS!!!!
As an avid and ethical hunter, I see development destroying and separating animal habitat everywhere I go. Greenbelts to allow animals access between habitats, stricter development regulations, and acquisition of lands for conservation efforts should all be important issues to WDFW. The loss of revenue from taxes resulting from the State of Washington purchasing public lands in a conservation effort seems like a stupid argument against the protection of our dwindling wilds. Conservation will prove to be a larger economic benefit over time and for our children and the future.
Every year it seems harder to find quality hunting and fishing on public lands. Recently timber companies like Rayonier have instituted permit access only. I support landowner rights in Washington State and I recognize these companies have the right to charge for access to their land. This does not change the fact that these access permits have made hunting and fishing these areas expensive and confusing. I regularly hunt land that is very broken up between State lands, private forest, and Federal lands, often crossing all these different lands in the same day in a very small area. I fear now I may unknowingly be on a piece of land that I have hunted for many years that may now require a permit that I don't know of or have, and these lands seem to be very poorly marked. As an ethical hunter I may not be able to hunt these areas any more based on cost of permit and fear of trespassing unknowingly.
I support WDFW purchasing lands for lake and river access, saltwater access, and inland access for hunting ,recreation and conservation.
I do not support Washington State, WDFW, or the Federal Government charging any fee to access public lands.
I support and want to thank the officers and scientists of WDFW for their hard work in the field and in offices behind the scenes. As an ethical hunter and fisherman, it is important to game management to have everyone abide by the seasons and regulations. I fully support expanded enforcement by WDFW and look forward to future encounters with WDFW enforcement personnel in the field. Expanded enforcement will ensure we have quality outdoor recreation in Washington State for generations to come.
As a resident of Washington State, the expense of outdoor recreation has become an economic issue for myself and my family. In 2015 alone I spent more than $500.00 on hunting and fishing licenses and tags. With the increasing popularity of timberlands requiring access permits, outdoor recreation is becoming more of a luxury for the rich, instead of a priviledge for all. I recognize the high costs of running WDFW effectively and do not wish to strip the department of its revenue, I would rather increase the revenue to WDFW somehow, but charging high prices to residents just to go recreate outdoors seems to be isolating some from enjoying what Washington's outdoors has to offer. Nominal fees for fishing and hunting for residents of Washington State are all that should be charged for licensing.
I also support the simplification of the fishing and hunting regulations. They are too confusing for the casual outdoorsman to easily and accurately get information and follow regulations.
HAWORTH, LORAN May 24, 2016
Dear Director, I live on Whidbey Island and recently placed a lot of money into my boat so I could go salmon fishing in my recent retirement. I returned after being go for a few months, purchased a 2016 fishing license When I returned and then learned today that there is no salmon season. Where can I find the latest information as to what is going on? I don't mean on the wdfw web site but rather the actual details that includ minutes of neogoations and so forth. I still don't understand how the tribes applied to NOAA in time to enable them to fish but the state did not apply in time for this season. I would like to know where the barriers are at. Also who at NOAA should I write to and the same within the Washington State government.
I have learned today that most of my relatives and friends are heading to Canada to fish. I guess our lost will be Canada's gain. I was actually hoping to say close to home due to the expense of traveling North.
In some you can tell that much of my planing is now out the window and I am very disappointed. Tell me what I and others can do to get involved to hopefully salvage some of this.
KELLEY, WILLIAM May 20, 2016
What a micro-managed mess. Pick one, fishing license,hunting license,etc.What pass do you need? Discovery Pass, Northwest Pass,Interagency America the Beautiful Pass? Everytime I read a new piece of info I see a new name for a Pass.Add in the exemptions and caveats its a mess.As to licensing, your kidding me, "endorsements" to fish because the Legislature cut your budget.Really, double licensing requirements,double taxation for the same thing.And then..... Where to fish? By the fifth rock below the B.S. bridge,today,but.... look for "emergency regulations" because somebody caught the only fish last night. Don't fish anymore,don't hunt anymore, ignore your passes too confusing, and I noticed about 10,000 other people felt the same way. And what on earth is a "WILD" PASS,CARD,LICENSE,SUBJECT,PARKING AREA? No idea.
ROBERTS, STEVE May 16, 2016
Hello I saw you guys go through soneone stuff and his girlfrieds stuff and you officers did not fibd anything and the people were just having fun and not hurting anyone .then when your officers got back to there truck they called in there names and found a no contact order but the man and woman had been togeather 31years. And they had went to court to have it modified ..But they had not had it finalized yet ..So yoyr officers took the gut to jail anyway .I just wanted to say I thought it was digusting on our officers part ..Cone on of all the things to bug soneone for .Dam the first tjing in being an offucer should be that they are hunan being first . Iam very diappointed in your dept and there actions.
HONAKER, CHUCK May 13, 2016
I found out last weekend that the gate to the south fork of Asoton Cr was locked and I could not proceed. The sign on our gate says it will be open March 31. Through checking with the people at the office here I was told the forest service in Pomery has the key "what". Why would the wildlife dept. be giving a key to anyone?!?! I feel if the roads can't be opened as stated need to be unlocked and stop giving our keys to any one else. This is a bad policy and must be corrected soon. Chuck Honaker
BERTRAM, CARY May 3, 2016
I believe that everyone, and I repeat everyone, in your department should be required to read the book "Operation Cody " to be able to go forward and make changes in the future that are definatly needed to manage fish and wild life in our state.
MCDOUGALL, DICKIE April 22, 2016
Dear Director... I think you should think about having 15 turkey permit allowance per hunter.....(pay fee for each of course)...in Eastern WA..... its outta control.... wayyyyyyyyy too many wild turkeys. Just poll the public even in the cities... they'll let you know... the wild turkey is not a positive thought for much of the public.
FARRAN, ANDY April 21, 2016
BENTON WA, WA
I want our hunting dollars to stay in wdfw budget then we could do all kinds of things. We need more areas to hunt, For example kids want action if you go to overcrowded areas the action is poor this is true with all species. Kids want to see and participate in hunting not a lot of hiking and watching all the other hunters. That was me now that I am older I have secured private area or use vacation to target low hunter days.The answer is not only to keep limiting hunters to an area and say use a draw for dates system or parking area vehicle limitations but acuire more property to hunt. and tie that property up forever no building just open space sure there is a loss in taxes but the gain to future outdoorsman of that open space is more valuable. How much will it cost us if the next generation does not invest in outdoor activities in lost license sales alone. I hunt several areas where houses are getting closer and then they will complain and the area will be shut down, Kinda wish when they went to get the building permit they would have been told no building close to this area because the hunters will be effected just a reality I guess. Buy and lease the farming, hundereds of landowners are doing it and making money. Plant pheasants for gosh sakes, if I see a pheasant I almost stop and take pictures because its a rare event. Look at North and South Dakota for ideas on pheasant populations, Leave the outside edge of a crop up for cover and feed and not just on refuges, Mcnary refuge hold great numbers of pheasants but crops are left up later in the season for habitat. Cycle some protected areas into hunting for a short time keeping birds from holding only in these areas. Of course game always goes to areas of low conflict and feed IE Refuges. Anybody who drives by a refuge knows all the birds are all on one side of the road. I think the average hunter wants to take his kid go hunting or fishing and be successful in that endeavor. A Kid who never gets anything will not continue in the Sportsman tradition and you loose dollars as the end effect and our way of life becomes just a story to tell future generations.
JONES, IRY & KAAREN April 21, 2016
Considered very seriously,the "salmon predicament",we as recreational fisherman of 66 yrs.& 75 yrs.old, are willing to forego a season, IF it saves the generations of future salmon species!!! ALL areas of fishing should be closed. Native American fisherman need to be willing to compromise as well. We all have to give a little. More to the concern, we hope that salmon destined for our waters are not being taken by other countries outside our controlled jurisdiction (200 mile coastline). Is Canada instituting its own restrictions in the same process? Has their COHO fishery been similarly affected to warrant reduction of upcoming quota limitations?
We would truly appreciate being informed and to know your response to our comments and questions. We want to be an active voice and participant in this issue.
MARTIN, JUSTIN April 19, 2016
So many traditions have been demolished due to lack of fish plants. Traditions with fathers/sons/grandfathers etc. I beg you to remember the 90% of sportsman in this state for once and forget the elitist wild fish fanatics that want to terminate our pride and joy that is hatchery steelhead for the sake of gene pools that have failed to work in the past (Nisqually). Flood rivers with dams (Cowlitz, Puyallup, Green, Skookumchuck, etc.) with hatchery steelhead that we can consume and fish for year-round. Trout fishing pales in comparison. Please!!!
ANDRIESEN, MARK April 17, 2016
Where is the in comman with the treaty tribes commercial and sport fisherman if the tribes can fish and the commercial and sportsman cannot in comman to me would mean no fishing would be no fishing
ESTES, MICHAEL April 1, 2016
As WDFW prepares to increase license fees for hunting and fishing to cover the never ending budget/funding shortfall, perhaps it is time to consider a licensing process and fee for hunting guides. Currently, anyone can call himself/herself a hunting guide in Washington irrespective of any qualifications or training. Perhaps there should be an examination to test the individual's knowledge of hunting regulations, gun safety, ethics, etc. Perhaps, as a minimum, they should be required to successfully complete the WDFW Master Hunter Program. If licensed, guides could be held accountable to uniform standards. The deer and elk baiting issue that the Commission is currently pondering appears to have been caused largely by unlicensed guides in north central Washington who are using much larger amounts of bait than would be used by an individual hunter and thereby creating negative impacts for other hunters and adjacent landowners. Perhaps it is time to establish a set of standards for guides before they further impact the public
PHILLIPS, JUDY March 16, 2016
SEDRO WOOLLEY, WA
The following is an email I sent to your poaching line: Sunday, Feb 14
My husband and I were exploring roads off Baker Lake Road (Baker Lake Road off Hwy 20 in Skagit County).
We found a road right after milepost 20, first dirt road off to R after milepost 20 (we marked it with pink survey ribbon).
At the end of this narrow dirt road we came upon three cat (I think Lynx)[note: 3/16/16 Officers identified as Bob Cat] carcasses and what we believe to be at least two sets of
beaver feet. There was also a section of quite large intestines/stomach belonging to a grazer. When we got out of the car
there was no overpowering odor. The flesh still on the carcasses we no discolored. They obviously skinned the cats and took their hides/heads.
There were no beaver carcasses except for the feet that they cut off.
Since the carcasses had no claws showing I had a pair of nitrile gloves so I checked to see and
there were retractable claws, thus my thinking cats.
My worry is twofold: 1) poaching cats/beaver and such a large number THREE cats!!! 2) there are trails leading off of this main
clearing and I worry that foot traps or snares are present.
I would like a follow-up on this situation please. I must be honest and say I have not had the best of response from WSFW in
And this time it has not proved any better I'm afraid. I asked the following questions and have yet to receive an answer.
1. How do you know the population of bobcats in a certain area such as Baker Lake Road area. I looked on your "harvest reports" and bobcats are not listed.
2. Why are beaver being trapped in that area, it is a wild, natural area. I would think that unless they are causing road erosion that they would be left alone.
3. I would like the Washington State Laws pertaining to humane euthanasia of trapped animals also if you could provide me with a number or link. Then I visited your website and
found this quote "While drowning and freezing have long been considered a humane way to deal with problem wildlife, animal experts no longer generally accept these techniques, and they are not considered humane by the AVMA standards."
NOMURA, DAN March 13, 2016
Dear Mr. Unsworth,
I have lived and fished in Washington my whole life and as I begin my 59 year I felt I must write to you about the most extreme racism I have ever felt in 59 years. Last summer I was pulled over 3 times in 3 weeks by Game Wardens. I've been checked maybe three other times in my whole life. I believe without a doubt it was because I am of Asian descent. In fact I was told so by an friend who is an employee of your Department.He told me honestly to just expect this because most of the poachers they catch are Asian, mostly Laotion. well I am Japaneese and am being targeted because I am being lumped in with all Asian by your all white staff. I was pulled over in Area 9, Baker Lake, and Lake wenatchee all by white officers. In lake Wenatchee I did make a mistake and leave one hook barbed out of 8 leaders I had left over from fishing Baker lake. I tried to show the Warden all my other leaders to prove it was a mistake and show him I had just fished at Baker lake where barbed hooks were legal and I had simply missed pinching one of 16 down but her didn't care. So of course I got a ticket. After he left I watched him simply drive by dozens of boats with white people and just wave at them. I am a teacher and try to tell my students to treat all people fairly but this was racial profiling at it's worse. Please speak to your staff about how to be more fair to all citizens of Washington.
JOHNSON, MARK February 26, 2016
MAPLE VALLEY, WA
We need local places where future hunters can learn to shoot shotguns safely and confidently in a family environment. Eastern Washington or Everett are not local. A place to take my boys to learn to use shotguns to shoot clay pigeons that I can throw slowly and closer with my own launcher , and in a family environment- which is important to pass on our heritage and love of the sport- as a family heritage - this is key to sustaining the rapidly dwindling the future of hunting. This is one of the very first steps in learning hunting and firearms safety, and to be able to practice it regularly. Without this simple opportunity the future of hunting is being systematically nipped in the bud. There are no public options in King County like this, only Adult skeet and trap ranges which are way too much for entry level kids. Even the WDFW Wildlife areas , .whose public conduct rules clearly say not to leave target shooting garbage behind, which we all know is a big problem, but that it is ok to use clay pigeons - do not allow clay pigeon or any target shooting ever, and are posted 'No target shooting' at each parking area. You need to post this on your websites, not lead people to believe its ok until they arrive and see the sign. Can you imagine the disappointment to a kid? Not a good welcome to hunting and your WDFW Wildlife Area. Your local areas like Snoqualmie Units would be better applied as places for local kids to learn locally than men to hunt. Men can go hunt a lot of places and will. Kids can't and will not even get a chance to try in many cases due to distance. Start with a shotgun only spot with only skeet loads allowed and for young kids only supervised by adults only. For shotgun only this does not require a lot of space. I'd be willing to Champion this effort, feel free to contact me directly any afternoon past 3 pm. Thank you, Mark Johnson.
STARK, MYRNA February 25, 2016
Fix all washout roads in Naches ranger district .
MARSHALL, STEPHEN February 24, 2016
LA CENTER, WA
Dear Director Unsworth,
This e-mail is in regards to Chief Cenci and the WSP investigations. I believe it is time to clean house and start fresh with some new leadership. The investigations, although limited reveal a corrupt agency. You are losing another enforcement officer because of this situation. The public is reading the investigations by the WSP and are now questioning your leadership. Please correct this situation. This department needs a fresh start with consistent and fair leadership that everyone can trust.
SHANKS, RICHARD February 24, 2016
ABERDEEN , WA
Please open waterfowl season one week earlier. This would be about 10-7 vs 10-15. End the season one week earlier in January if necessary. In Grays Harbor we have a lot of ducks early in October and almost no ducks in January. This would improve the opportunity for more successful hunting days. It might encourage folks to get back into the sport increasing license sales. Thanks.
RASMUSSEN, NICOLE February 19, 2016
We need enforcement on the West End (surround areas of Forks, WA). I have seen fishing boats with illegal catch (wild steelhead) and numerous salmon (over the daily limit of coho per day) because no one is around to catch them. People believe they are "grandfathered in" around here and penalties would show they are not. I have seen people shoot deer and have their friend tag it. It is not fair for those who follow all the rules, like our family does.
MURPHY, KORY February 13, 2016
Please do not prioritize ANY of the state's fisheries. They are all important and deserve attention. Making sport fishing a priority will help nobody except maybe the sport fishermen who illegally sell their fish to support their fun and make some dollars. I have talked with enforcement officers who admit that this happens a lot. Yes I am a commercial salmon troller and it hurts when sport groups and individuals make attacks on our livelihood. I have been witness to the mass of floating red bottom fish on days open to sport halibut fishing in the ocean. God forbid a troller should catch a single yellow eye all season. Lots of these dead floating fish could be kept legally but lots of sport fishermen don't even know what they are catching. I do enjoy sport fishing also and don't want to see it hurt either. Prioritizing the sport fisheries will damage the economy and many livelihoods. Thanks for your time and hard work. Kory Murphy, f/v Pamala Jean, commercial salmon troller, longliner, tuna and crab fisherman.
ALEXANDER, PAUL February 8, 2016
February 7, 2016
Dear Director Dr. Unsworth and Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife,
Thank you for taking the time to hold an information-gathering meeting in South Bend and inviting commercial fishermen. My name is Paul Alexander and commercial fishing is my livelihood, not just a leisure time activity. I have met you twice now, Dr. Unsworth, both at the Marine Expo and in South Bend, and both times I've really appreciated your desire to get to know the commercial fishermen and better understand our industry. Personally, I am a commercial salmon troller, and we fishermen have been blessed to have had access to the great fishery resources of our rivers and oceans, and in return, we have been able to provide for our families and communities in a myriad of ways. It is my hope that you have been helped by our input and testimonies, and that you will help all stakeholders enjoy the security of knowing they will have equal representation and fishing opportunity.
THE ATTACK AND RESOURCE GRAB BY SPORTFISHERMEN AND CCA
We don't treat our livelihoods as a sport or leisure fishery. It feeds our families. When I was young, it was just a given that the salmon belonged to all people. How things have changed. About seven or eight years ago, I was told the CCA (Coastal Conservation Association), founded by big oil out of Texas was busily killing off fishing industries all over the East and Southeast Coasts of America, and they were coming our way next. They're here! They tried to kill off salmon gillnetters in the Columbia River by spearheading Measure 81 in Oregon. When they saw that would fail, they used Governor Kitzhaber, ODFW, and WDFW in a plan to again rid the river of gillnetters. So far, it's working. It is a long story, but I did attend both states' commission meetings, where the Kitzhaber plan was voted in; this of course after the people of Oregon had resoundingly defeated Measure 81. The people knew what they were voting on. While at these meetings, I was personally taunted, jeered, surrounded and threatened by sport fishermen and CCA chapter officials. These people truly believe all the fish are theirs, and commercial fishermen are a scourge. Also I heard public testimony from some of the men and women who have been in the commercial industry all their lives. Their fact-filled testimonies fell on deaf ears. I was appalled at what I witnessed and couldn't believe how disrespectfully and selfishly sport fishermen could act. I couldn't believe how biased the governor-elected commissioners from both states acted. This is an all-out attack on the livelihoods of commercial fishermen and the general publics access to the mighty Pacific Northwest Salmon, and it has nothing to do with conservation or restoration. It is more aptly defined, "A resource grab." There are a couple very good articles showing just a few facts supporting what I am sharing that can be found in the February, 2016 issue of Fishermens News magazine, Pages 4-5, and 29.
THE SOUTH BEND MEETING
I thought the meeting was an excellent opportunity for we commercial fishermen to share some thoughts. Thank you. I was a bit concerned about a couple graphs, especially one showing how many sport licenses are purchased in Washington. It was mentioned that one in six Washingtonians or 16 2/3% purchase sport licenses, which included everything from shellfish to fishing licenses; yet, what was failed to be mentioned was the percent of sport salmon anglers' licenses. I have heard that that percentage is much closer to one in twenty Washingtonians or 5%. This type of information is very misleading to the general public and actually serves to strengthen a sport-priority position. It leads the unsuspecting to believe a lot more of the general public is served by sport fishermen than actually are when it comes to salmon. The same type of misinformation or lack of facts was given in a graph showing vessel income in percentages by fisheries. The exclusion of any pink shrimp facts, when I know there had to be close to one hundred million dollars worth of product delivered is yet another misleading graphing of facts.
THE SALMON AND SURVIVAL, A CHALLENGE
Common sense says if you cut a fin off a fish, its chance of survival is dramatically weakened. Common sense says that if you catch a fish, fight it to the boat, then release it, its chance of survival is dramatically weakened, especially if it has been hook in the gills. Hence the fin-clipping and catch and release fishery has done grave damage to both hatchery and natural stocks of salmon. The fin-clipping operation at Shaw Island, "Northwest Marine Technologies" is a monopoly, that has wasted enough state and federal government monies. The people of this country and state deserve better accountability for their hard-earned tax dollars. When I was a deckboss on a 200' factory trawler, I ran into a situation one time where my deck crew was not getting the job done, and I needed someone who could run the hydraulics when I was off watch. My question was simple: Can you do it? If a crewman hesitated, I asked the next person. I did find one man who was confident enough in his abilities to say, "I can do it". When I was off deck, no one was allowed to operate the hydraulics, but this man. It had to be that way, because our lives depended on it. He succeeded, we all succeeded, and the job got done. I ask you, Dr. Unsworth, to seek this same type of accountability from your staff of 500 plus. Our livelihoods depend on their jobs getting done and getting done correctly. I believe the fin-clipping operation has run its course of ineffectiveness long enough. There absolutely is a better way and this current administration is here for such a time as this.
OUT OF STATE COMMERCIAL LICENSE FEES
The state of Washington is the only state that has not complied with the Supreme Court ruling in the Carlson v. State of Alaska case, where it was found that states cannot make it an undo hardship for out-of-state workers to make a living. I have brought this to WDFW's attention for the past five years, yet my out of state commercial fishing license fees continue to be exorbitant in comparison to resident commercial fishermen. I am asking that the Washington legislature change this in order to comply with the Supreme court ruling.
I really want to say thank you again, Director Unsworth and the Washington State Department of Fisheries. It is good to know that you are working hard to see that the salmon resources of our states are available to all the people. I suggested at the meeting that the ideas gathered at these brainstorming meetings be shared with Oregon Department of Fisheries, and we work together to overcome the challenges of the today and the future. I'm not sure if the ESA can be rewritten to meet the needs of a dammed river-system, and that may be the biggest challenge.
Paul Alexander, Washington Troller
CAMMACK, JOE February 8, 2016
PORT ANGELES, WA
Dear Director Unsworth,
My name is Joe Cammack, and I'm writing in regards to the balance between Washington State's balance between commercial and recreational fisheries. There has been a big push from the sport fishing community to increase the percentage of fish allocated to the sport fishing community. I am a sport fisherman, and a commercial fisherman, and I am opposed to this push.
Washington's fish resource is a complex one to manage. We not only need to manage it so that the Fed's are happy, but also split it with the tribes. So non tribal groups are in essence dealing with 50% and then need to split it between trollers, gill netters, seiners, and the sports fisherman. I sport fished for decades before becoming a commercial troll fisherman. But during that time, I never tried to "take" fish from the commercial side to get more for the sport's side. (I was actually a CCA member representative to the North of Falcon Process for 2 years). Today CCA and other sport oriented groups are pushing to get sports fishing made a priority in determining how to split our fish resource. They cite all of the dollars generated for the state through sport fishing as their reason.
What they fail to mention is all of the dollars generated for the state from commercial fishing. A fish does not generate any more dollars for the state once it hits the deck of a sport boat. It can't. In contrast, a commercially caught fish starts to generate dollars for the state once it hits the deck of a boat. B&O taxes from the various businesses selling fish, and sales tax dollars from all of the fish sold in restaurants. The commercial industry is gathering data to put a number on those dollars. In addition the "Washington fish" are a resource for our entire state, not just those who can afford, and choose to pursue sport fishing. Pushing a greater percentage of those fish to the sport fisherman, in essence makes them unavailable to anyone who can't afford to go sport fishing. It limits a Washington state resident's opportunity to enjoy premium quality, locally caught fish.
The answer is to get more fish available via hatchery programs. And to better manage our fisheries using up to date data, rather than data from the 70's and 80's. Washington Trollers Association has been working with NOAA on gathering such data via the GSI program. I hope that the State will choose to use this data in the near future to better manage our fisheries, both sport and commercial.
Joe Cammack, Port Angeles
CARON, JAMES February 7, 2016
My name is James Caron, I am a Rec. fisherman and I am writing in regard to the 2015 Willapa Bay fishing Policy.
I attended most of the meetings last year and was impressed with the process and learned a great deal about the issues surrounding Willapa Bay. I have been fishing the Bay for approx. 30 years, my father and grandfather for a lot longer. I also used to fish out of Sekiu for Halibut and bottom fish. The season for Halibut has been so reduced I cannot afford to drive to the coast, we have seen what the effects of limited or no Rec fishing has had on the communities (stores and restaurants closed). From Port Angles to Neah Bay and down the coast to the Columbia River business have been closing.
Last year was a fantastic year for salmon fishing in the bay. I believe this was because of the WDFW policy, thank you. Without a commercial harvest in July and August we were able to invite family and friends down. They were able to catch fish and returned several times staying at hotels and eating at restaurants. I would encourage a repeat of the same season setting policy. I know that the commercials had a very bad year and would like to reverse the policy but I believe that if we are to have a sustainable fishery we must continue with the policy.
The Rec. crabbing season started out good but went south as soon as the commercials put in. As a rec crabber I could not even get out of the marina with running into commercial pots. A rec. crabber has no place to put their pots. We had a lot of fishermen putting out pots/ rings until the commercial put theirs out. These were people living outside the area who were buying food and gas. I wonder if it possible to designate a area for rec. that is free of commercial gear.
The Willapa Bay salmon, crab and oyster commercial interest are destroying the bay with over harvest and the use of pesticides. The commercial salmon fleet in the bay believes all the salmon are theirs, even though they do not pay for the hatcheries or even enough to cover the cost of running their program. The commercial crabbers are putting out so many pots that every year there are fewer and fewer crab. The oyster industry would to like to continue using pesticides even though there is evidence that it is harming the salmon, sturgeon and possibly the waterfowl. The commercial salmon and crab fleet keep saying they are needed to harvest the fish and crab to feed Washington residents, however over 90% of the seafood caught in Willapa goes overseas. Two years ago the local stores and restaurants could not compete with the foreign markets and there was no crab available.
As it stands now the residents of Washington are subsidizing these industries with licenses and taxes. I have heard Alaska makes the commercials pay 20% back to the state for the hatcheries. Is it possible to have the seafood industries pay 20% of all seafood exported out of the state? A commercial crabber was saying they get away without paying tariffs by shipping their product to Canada, is that true? Unfortunately there are so many rumors about who is paying what. Who is paying for the hatcheries, habitat rebuilding, program management and enforcement?
Last year we asked the WDFW to get involved with derelict gear. The commercial crabber who had left his gear in was overheard stating he did not care and he was going to leave his gear in because it was in the way of the Rec. fisherman. I understand the WDFW finally had the gear removed, thank you again, however this could have been avoided with a better enforcement program. If it had been a Rec. pot the enforcement agents would have finned and confiscated the gear immediately. One of the enforcement agents said that since there was no bait in the pot, it was not fishing so they could not do anything, I wonder what would happen if I tried that with my gear, The point is a lot of Rec. feel the WDFW is supporting the Commercials by looking the other way. Every year WDFW boards my boat or meets us at the dock (I have never been fined) looking at anything and everything without a reason other than I am a Rec. Do they do the same to the commercials? This is one area of mistrust that can be addressed by demonstrating equal treatment. Will the state do anything about the commercial gear that is in the way of navigation, floating crab lines, derelict gear?
I believe the WDFW should focus more on conservation and enforcement then harvest. If there is a good conservation program there should always be good harvest. I think that the Willapa policy is a good start. Harvest is more important to the commercials, but in the long run we cannot support the overharvest of our states resources by allowing them to continue. I remember what Westport, Port Angeles, Sekiu and many others were before the resources became limited due to overharvest and habitat loss, simply put there is more money for the state in Rec fishing than commercial and that is what the state should be focusing on.
Thanks for letting me voice my opinion.
LOVETTE, JACQUELINE February 3, 2016
Is it possible to put up signage at Scatter Creek stating: NO TARGET PRACTICE
HART, JIM February 1, 2016
Get rid of all guides, nets and catch and release.
We can't use bait, but indians use nets during the same time? Really?
MILLER, KEN January 30, 2016
I have become increasingly disenchanted with the direction the WDFW has taken on many issues. The mess described in the book "Operation Cody" is a good example of sticking your head in the sand; what is going to be done to correct the situation? Another problem is the fishing regulation pamphlet; a joke among those who come from other states and try to decipher the confusing collection of rules that are scattered on unrelated pages. The Nooksack River is a nightmare to fish with regulations for many sections and emergency closing and openings hit and miss. Steelhead fishing is becoming more and more a lost cause with native and non-native river problems. The hunting pamphlet is now more of an ebay auction program with fees to hope for a tag. As I grow older I see less and less public huntable land available so I really feel sorry for the younger generation for what lays ahead for them.
I am so disenchanted with the WDFW that I have resigned my Hunter Education Instructor position and doubt that I will ever purchase another hunting or fishing license in this state. I'll spend my time in the outdoors hiking and volunteering for trail maintenance.
I do appreciate the fact that you made contact with and joined the Washington Trail Association as a member when you first took your position as director and they still make a point of alerting hikers to each upcoming hunting season with guidelines for staying safe.
SHABER, CRAIG January 28, 2016
SPOKANE VALLEY, WA
In general, I see some positive improvement to public access areas for both hunting and fishing but like many, would like this to continue especially for hunting grounds that hold animals.
On the fishing side, I continue to be greatly concerned about the changing policies towards bass in this state. From the data I have seen bass and salmon populations have coexisted in our river systems for many many years and now there seems to be an attack on bass populations that thrive in Washington's water systems. The Snake and Columbia river systems have been forever changed by the creating of dams which is about the most clean and efficient form of power available. Bass have survived well in this modified river system without requiring expensive stocking programs and such. Now, there is an attempt to increase the removal of bass from our major river systems to support fish/salmon that require more maintenance. This decision does not seem logical and I have not seen good data to support these decisions. Like many, I support the salmon populations but the past 50 years show that it doesn't have to be one way or the other. Both species can peacefully coexist in the same water system. I have included my e-mail for any information you can provide.
ROBERTS, CELIA January 26, 2016
1. Hunting Tags: Allow hunters to exchange tags even if they put in for a special hunt. Charge for it. Or, charge more for the special hunt applications, but don't stipulate a hunter has to have a tag to put in for a special hunt -- allow hunters more options this way.
2. Develop apps so fishers can report their catch on the river. Use GPS so they can upload the correct river/lake data when reporting. Dungeness crab, too.
3. Revisit this weird concept that our most expensive field staff have to do clerical work. One or 2 clerks could support several bios and save big bucks for the agency since the bios could do their work - not wash vehicles, not enter data, not type up their written notes, not take their rigs in for an oil change...
ROB, CELIA January 26, 2016
ARMIN, DARREN January 26, 2016
We should attempt to add greater diversity at the management level within DFW.
I have also noticed that among the specific programs Wildlife and Fish have a tendency to promote from within which helps build loyalty and vested interest in the agency. My program appears to want to hire from outside although the talent is present internally (I can provide examples if you require). This has lead to a higher turnover in my program than others. High turnover leads to its own sets of problems. Often times too when people leave the agency this is not communicated to staff effectively.
ARMIN, DARREN January 26, 2016
LANNOYE, MICHAEL January 25, 2016
What you are doing right:
Razor Clams - You allow maximum opportunity when they are safe to eat while still maintaining digging as good as 50 years ago.
Enforcement - While you could use more officers, you make good use out of the limited resource you have. I am out a lot and get checked at least 12 - 15 times per year and the officers are always very professional.
Rockfish - I am concerned that rockfish limits are too high in the ocean. While I don't have any scientific data, I have watched as the rockfish got overfished in area 5 & 6 and concerned that eventually the same thing will happen. even though the rockfish have rebounded in those areas there isn't much opportunity anymore. I don't want to see the limit go from 10 to 1. besides, rockfish don't freeze as well as some other fish.
Halibut - cut out the halibut derbies. The big fish are our spawners which are what is targeted with a halibut derby. The derby concentrates a lot of fishers in an area. Canada has a maximum size limit and that makes sense if it is important to protect large halibut so they can spawn.
Improved opportunity - WDFW has been promoting combat fishing with these very short windows of opportunity. Halibut is a good example. The season used to be open most of the summer. Very few people targeted halibut. Now I see people go and fish for them each day it is open because that is the only time it will be allowed and most of them don't even like to fish for halibut and some don't even care to eat it. Oddly enough, it has been made into a trophy fish. Maybe a punch card system (season limit)like BC has would work to keep harvest within reason.
I would ask that before you make limits with extremely short seasons like halibut and shrimp, that you look for other alternatives first.
Thank you for your consideration.
BEIREIS, EUGENE January 24, 2016
As a retired Fish and Wildlife Officer, I am distressed to read the results of the State Patrol investigation of the Enforcement Administration as well as the civil rights settlement just announced with the Tarabochia family. The current Enforcement leaders have made many mistakes, caused a lot of grief, and been very detrimental to the morale of the field workforce. Please hold them accountable and make the necessary moves to restore the dignity of the program.
SMITH, OLIVER January 23, 2016
TROUT LAKE, WA
I would like to see several streams above Bonneville Dam managed for wild steelhead. I would suggest the White Salmon river, Klickitat river and Rock Creek.
REISEN, CRAIG January 20, 2016
I would like to see improved fishing and expanded seasons for lake fishing in the puget sound area. We need more year round lakes and more quality fishing opportunities. Please keep Hatchery Steelhead fishing open and increased in our rivers.
And increase Brown trout plants in North Sound area lakes.
AIRHART, ANTHONY January 19, 2016
A razor clam punchcard for a license, like a steelhead card. It would limit how many limits an individual would get, make it easier to keep folks from digging more than one a day and spread the season out so it isn't so crowded, Enforcement is easier...you must punch the card BEFORE you dig, so you can randomly check people coming up to their cars or while on the beach so folks won't just punch them if they see an officer. You'd have better control of how many clams are dug. Discount a new license $2 if you turn in your old card so you could get a count. Beach communities would benefit from beaches being open more days. More licenses would sell if you'd get more opportunities and better weather.
O'DELL, BRIAN January 19, 2016
Director Unsworth and WDFW staff,
I attended the WDFW informational meeting in Mill Creek several months ago. I really appreciated the opportunity to speak with not only the WDFW staff but also other Washingtonians. I have a few specific areas I'd like to follow up on but I'm not sure who to contact.
The first is how technology is used to purchase licenses and disseminate hunting and fishing information.
Second the ability to purchase special permits and raffles online.
I'd just like to make sure I'm directing my questions in the right direction.
SHANTEAU, PHIL January 17, 2016
CASTLE ROCK, WA
I currently live upstream of your fish weir project on the Olequa creek. I float the creek from Vader to the cowlize river many times a year. Sense the fish weir project I have seen a drastic reduction of salmon above the weir. There was a family of Eagles the nested and fished less than 1/2 mile upstream from your weir. Every year they produced 2 offsprings. Sense your fish weir project they have failed to produce even one per year and we only see them occasionally fly through.
Your dam fish weir project has destroyed the natural salmon fish run on Olequa creek and blocked all fish bigger then a fingerling from the creek. The WDFW dam fish weir project DESTROYED the natural salmon run from thousands a day to just a few you let dribble past your Dam weir project.
Please stop the insanity.
The fact that WDFW has hatched the absurd project of catch all salmon and release only non hatchery fish above fish weirs, is an admission that there is something gravely wrong with hatchery salmon and they are damaging wild salmon runs.(1)
These multi-million dollar fish weir projects will fail because it does not adress the real problems with what the fisheries dept has done for decades and their continued denial of indisputable facts.(2)
The fish weirs are a hugely expensive boondoggle to fix a problem created by government policies that can be fixed with a change that could be written on a post it.
Post it could read:
No use of returning hatchery salmon for propagation of hatchery fish. (3)
All salmon used for hatchery propagation must be above average in size and weight.(4)
All salmon used for hatchery propagation must be taken from middle of spawning runs. (5)
If implemented the problems caused by decades of improper government policies that run directly against all farming, fish and animal breeding practices will be eliminated. Millions of years of evolution that current fisheries breeding practices disregard will be undone in a few generations. Essential behavioral characteristics breed out of hatchery fish will not overcome wild salmon by shear volume of hatchery smolts not having to survive in the wild from egg to fingerling.
There is a real problem that needs to be addressed. The problem that effectively caused this mess to begin with. How to handle bigger stronger returning salmon? Implement the changes and the average will be bigger and stronger every generation.
(1)Fact: Hatchery salmon are smaller than average, return earlier than is optimum for best breeding results and have lost necessary survival behavior characteristics.
The wild salmon and hatchery salmon are the same species.
We cannot prevent hatchery salmon from interbreeding with wild salmon. Because of this anything done to hatchery salmon effects wild salmon. The past decades of improper breeding of hatchery salmon have created smaller fish with reduced survival abilities.
(3) Decades of improper breeding can be removed from the species by not using bad seed stock (hatchery salmon).
(4) End the decades long practice of using under average size fish because big ones are to hard to handle and can cause injury to fisheries staff.
(5) End the practice of taking early run fish so if there is a failed breeding attempt more fish can be caught to save the season. This practice has pushed forward dates of returns to dangerous breeding condition.
What is with the practice of releasing non hatchery salmon back into the wild down stream of weirs so they can breed somewhere else? Do you think for a minute the fisheries personal are going to risk injury handling large wild salmon to put them above the weirs? The weir policy has proven to be more destructive than the currant decades long mishandling of hatchery salmon.
AVERY, DARIK January 15, 2016
I noticed that there was going to be some saveing of the habitat for salmon and steelhead on germany creek and abernathy and i used to live up germany creek and ive fished them for plenty years and i know u guys will be planting trees and log jams but the mouth of the creek is probably the shallowest part of the whole creek when theres not alot of rain the water is very shallow comeing into the columbia high tide and low tide i think it would be a good idea to pull some of the gravel out of the creek
BANNER, CRAIG January 14, 2016
Please see attached.
BLESSING EARLE, BONNIE January 13, 2016
funding for staff should be available to engage or participate with landowners who wish to enhance or monitor wildlife, both game and nongame species, or their habitat on their lands.
DAVIS, JOEL January 12, 2016
I suggest that WDFW look closer at the habitat and production of bait fish.
We can produce millions of hatchery salmon and steelhead, but if there is no baitfish in the food chain, all "conservation" and "endangered species" classifications may be futile.
Especially with Ocean Acidification changing the biology of our Puget Sound and Coastal waters, feed stock will be even more susceptible to mortality.
COCKING, DUANE January 12, 2016
NEWMAN LAKE, WA
I am a snowbird from Newman Lake and am now in Tucson where I will until April. Unfortunately I have to report my hunting results by Jan 31 and my wild ID number is in WA. Can you email that number to me?
Thanks Duane Cocking
TALMADGE, GORDON January 12, 2016
Dear Sir: I am a sports fisherman. My question to you is why should I keep fishing? With all due respect, I have fishing for salmon and steelhead for
55 years. With every year it has declined, what I mean by that is has gotten to a point where it is so expensive to fish, for such a small reward. Let's take
spring Chinook in the Columbia River for a example. I have to rent a Hotel for
three days to catch 1 fish a day. Just when the fishing gets hot it closes down.
to allow for upper river escapement. Low and behold the escapement is over what is predicted. The sports fishermen is left holding the bag once again. Commercial fisherman should not be netting this river. Nets should
not be allowed in the river like it is in Oregon. Commercial fisherman decimate the run and once again here we are holding the "bag". Then low and behold People who make the laws make it even more difficult. Now I have to crimp the barbs on my hooks. Well I am no longer holding the bag I am holding a empty net.
My hope is that someday someone will make a difference. Thank You.
Gordon M Talmadge
DAVIS, JOEL January 11, 2016
I suggest that WDFW look closer at the habitat and production of bait fish.
We can produce millions of hatchery salmon and steelhead, but if there is no baitfish in the food chain, all "conservation" and "endangered species" classifications may be futile.
Especially with Ocean Acidification changing the biology of our Puget Sound and Coastal waters, feed stock will be even more susceptible to mortality.
KYLE , RANDI January 11, 2016
We have elk dying everyday from hoof rot from what I believe could be human caused. This needs to be one of the top priorities of not just WDFW.WA.GOV but everyone.
HUTCHINS, WEB January 11, 2016
To the WDFW,
My greatest concern is that we are not doing all we can do to protect our salmon and steelhead runs in Washington. Although great improvements in habitat conservation have been made in riparian zones, much more can and should be done to improve fisheries habitat in and abutting state DNR trust lands. I encourage the WDFW and fellow citizens to lobby for the end of the DNR mandate, the archaic policy that compels the DNR to aggressively and detrimentally log state forests to maximize revenue for K-12 school construction money. The result? A pittance for schools and over sedimented streams and rivers baking in the summer sum because the DNR harvests toothpick trees on 30-60 rotations instead of allowing stands to reach maturity before harvest. See www.enddnrmandate.org and contact your reps to end these practices. Sincerely, Web Hutchins fisherman and director of End the DNR Mandate
GILLESPIE, CHAD January 11, 2016
I appreciate the opportunity for you to receive input from community members spread throughout Washington State. I believe much valuable information can be received from a process like this.
I live in the small town of Poulsbo, Washington - originally founded as a Norwegian village and still sporting that culture today.
Beginning 2016, I am starting a small fly fishing guide service for sea-run cutthroat on Hood Canal and Puget Sound. The beautiful waters surrounding our Kitsap Peninsula is where my business will be focused.
Sea-run cutthroat is a growing sport primarily due to the conservative catch and release regulations that are in effect throughout all of Puget Sound and Hood Canal. Similar to the Yakima River catch and release section where fish numbers continue to increase and the fish are healthier, the numbers of sea-run cutthroat are also growing and the fish healthier.
Conservative catch and release regulations all help to continue a sustainable fishery even with increasing pressure. Regulations such as these are the wave of the future, I believe.
I encourage you to please continue with catch and release regulations for sea-run cutthroat throughout Puget Sound and Hood Canal - the fish deserve it.
Thank You for your time.
PETERSON, FRANK January 11, 2016
I sure would like to see a catch and keep for sturgeon on the lower Columbia river, even one fish a year. It would make catch and release fishing a lot more fun and to stop any abuse, just come up with a tag or something like alligator fishing.
HISS, JOSEPH January 11, 2016
Dear Director: As a former fish and wildlife biologist with FWS in western Washington, and a current volunteer in environmental education, I have come to believe that climate change is the main issue that must be addressed at all levels of government. I suggest your agency summarize research on the effect of climate change on species and habitats of state concern, list the types of climate-related actions under the agency's authority, and review all related policies and practices in order to reduce ongoing damage and adapt to those changes that are no longer preventable. If the DFW has already addressed these needs, I'd appreciate a referral to a source of information! Thanks very much--Joe Hiss
LADLEY, RUSS January 11, 2016
DFW currently has no licensing requirements for the harvest of smelt or albacore/tuna. This is absolutely ludicrous! For an agency perpetually underfunded and understaffed it needs to exploit every worthwhile and legitimate source available. You have staff working on management aspects for both species but no revenue stream to support it. Start requiring a license to dip smelt and catch tuna! You might also get some meaningful biological information in the process!
ROBERTS, CELIA January 5, 2016
I work for WDFW at the Region 6 office. Prior to this position, I worked for a company creating online "how to" solutions to facilitate learning and usage of new technologies. One recommendation I have is to hire someone to create usable how to's so employees can walk themselves through how to do "something". It could be setting up a conference call, using the new travel reporting tool, using GIS. Any of the tools and processes that WDFW needs its employees to learn and use. And, I'd be more than willing to work for the agency to create these (-: Celia
ANDERSEN, JON December 31, 2015
BATTLE GROUND, WA
I would like to see expanded hunting seasons for the future of hunting. It's hard to get time hunting with kids when they are in school. And you look at dollar for time spent hunting it is comparable in cost to other states but the time allowed to hunt is extremely limited. Because of these limitations I will be hunting other states. It seems that WA gets the most amount of revenue for the least amount of time in the woods. I am very saddened by the WDFW allowing the private timber company's to limit access to a few hunters willing to pay excessive fees when the whole reason you raised and increased tags was for Hunter access. Thanks for the opportunity to express concerns. Jon A
SHERWOOD, ALAN December 29, 2015
BONNEY LAKE, WA
Hello, and thanks for taking the time to listen to us fellow sportsmen. For me, my sport of choice is fly-fishing for trout so both of my requests pertain to this.
1. I know that back in the day WDWF used to stock many rivers and streams in Western WA with trout but from what I can tell, that hardly happens at all anymore. I would love to see that happen again and I think that would help the advancement of the sport around the area.
2. It would be really nice to have a database we can go to where virtually every river, stream and lake in the state is categorized. Then, we you find the body of water you are searching for, all you have to do is click on it and that opens up a page dedicated to it. For example, if I were interested in fishing the Skokomish River but had never done it before and really had no idea where to begin, I could go to this website, find the Skokomish, click on it and then all of the info I would need would be right in front of me. I could find out what the regulations are, what types of fish are in there and most importantly, where all the access points are and how to get to them.
Thanks again for your time, I really appreciate it! I'd love to hear some feedback on what you think of my ideas if possible.
ROBINSON, LAURA December 23, 2015
I live where I do because of the natural beauty, the public lands and mostly the wildlife. I find it rather sad to discover the number of people who are only interested in killing wildlife for profit and/or fun. It seems that nature and wildlife are not respected for what they truly have to offer.
I also resent spending time upon public lands dominated by cattle and viewing the obvious destruction of our shared lands. In some areas I know the numbers of units placed in Federal lands are not monitored as the land I am mostly familiar with becomes dust, cow manure on all trails, no grasses in August, no berries for the bear and birds and an abundance of invading noxious weeds. Even brush which the deer and elk utilize in the winter is eaten as too many cattle are competing for vegetation. Water sources and vegetation is compromised. Wildlife in search of sustenance is forced to venture into areas outside the area which should be home for them where they are then killed because their territory is given to cattle. It is time to honor nature rather than exploit it. We need to move beyond the 19th century.
OBORNE, FRANK December 22, 2015
WE FEEL AS OUTDOOR RECREATIONIST, I FEEL NOTHING SHOULD CHANGE UNLESS ANY CHANGE WOULD BE FOR THE POSITIVE..
A PRIMARY CONCERN IS WITH ATV'S..THERE ARE SOME WHO SIMPLY DO NOT ABIDE BY THE LAWS SET FORTH FOR STATE AND FEDERAL LANDS SOME OF THEM DO NOT STAY TO ROADS (TRAILS) WHICH HAS BEEN DESIGNATED FOR THEM TO USE.
WE USE THE LANDS FOR HUNTING, HORSEBACK RIDING,SNOWMOBILING AND SNOWSHOEING AND CAMPING. WE ARE MEMBERS OF THE BACK COUNTRY HORSEMEN.
EVERYTHING YOU ARE DOING IS FINE. AN EXCEPTION MIGHT BE TO HIRE MORE EMPLOYEES TO BETTER HELP WITH POLICING THE AREAS OF CONCERN. THIS MAY HELP. WE DON'T NEED MORE PASSES TO ACCESS WHAT WE ALREADY PAY TAXES FOR..
GRIMM, NATHAN December 22, 2015
Through the use of Public Meetings, similar to those held for Salmon Fishing seasons during the North of Falcon process, increase stakeholder input for hunting seasons setting process. Provide stakeholders access to decision making biologists & managers prior to hunting season decisions being made. Biologists/managers should provide a harvest summary for previous season, a population summary for previous & upcoming season, disseminate any special messages for local GMU's and solicit season setting input from stakeholders present & via online comments. Preferably these public meetings would take place prior to Special Permit entry deadline.
MILLER, DAN December 22, 2015
1. Bow season is way to long and affords a very select group a much higher recreational opportunity. Hence their are now more bow "hunters" than ever before, however owning a farm that adjoins public lands, i can assure you most of them are not skilled enough and dont have the discipline to properly take an animal. Most anymore sit out a big pile of corn (cuz they see it on tv)
And sit in a stand and ambush them, I have never seen so many wounded deer as i have in the last 10 years. Bow hunters in unit 101 have over two months in which to do this!
2. Take a month away from the bow hunters, and give the muzzle loaders and rifle hunters each an additional week, and you can spread the pressure on the deer population out, and provide a quality hunt to more people other than the elite. And you may attract some of the more unqualified and unskilled bow hunters back to a weapon where they may be more successful.
RICHARDS, SHEILA December 22, 2015
NEWMAN LAKE , WA
My life consist being in the mountains from March thru November, camping and horse back riding. Its something I do 20 days in a month. I join about 8 chapters of the BCH in Washington State, 3 in Idaho and 2 in Montana. I love the Forest, State Parks, BLM Land, Wilderness Land. Nat. Forest. Please keep them open to us horse people. Thank You
FRALIC, MAUREEN December 22, 2015
It is so hard for many families to hunt together traditionally. Some jobs require putting in for vacation the first of the year. If you put in for one particular hunt and don't get drawn then you are committed to hunt that weapon/East or West. I think you should be able to change your choice of this if not drawn. I wouldn't mind paying extra for this and it would certainly help those that had to make a commitment so early in the year.
SUNDE, DAVE December 21, 2015
1. I know the WDFW will be involved in the proposed Grizzly Bear controversy. Attachment #1 contains my comments on that matter.
2. While I'm in favor of more conservation easements and other methods of protecting land from development I find it hard to support when the public is essentially locked out of land paid for by tax dollars. An example is Greg James property in Okanogan County.
3. WDFW and WDNR need to sit down together and get rid isolated parcels within each others boundaries. Direct land swap should not be a problem and it should simplify management.
PECK, BRYAN December 21, 2015
MAPLE VALLEY, WA
Lake Washington sockeye deserve to be included in the efforts to refocus priorities for Washington's Wild Future. Few if any single fishing or hunting opportunity generates more interest and economic impact than a recreational Lake Washington sockeye fishery. The hatchery program at Landsburg and the current study on in-lake mortality are good first steps in improving angler opportunity in this fishery, and additional steps need to be taken. Re-evaluating the long-standing harvest guideline is LONG overdue. The Baker River/Lake fishery sustains on somewhere near 10,000 fish yet the guideline for the Lake Washington system is 300,000. Even with lower in-lake survival in the Lake Washington system this disparity seems an order-of-magnitude out of alignment. Furthermore, counting practices for Lake Washington Sockeye appear to be partially effective, at best. All returning Baker sockeye are trapped allowing highly accurate counts as well as specific and run-timed hatchery and spawning beach management. Lake Washington counts are estimates based on part-time counts that often start too late and/or end too early depending upon seasonal run timing variation. The hatchery has failed to maximize its production potential due, in part, to problems with brood stock collection due to flooding and minimally effective in-river collection techniques. Additionally, harvest practices need to be evaluated. Recreational harvest of these fish is constantly sacrificed in favor of tribal and commercial harvest in Puget Sound. Given the urban location this recreational opportunity generates interest in literally tens of thousands of anglers all of whom purchase extra gasoline, food, and tackle to participate in the fishery. More importantly, however, it is among the best opportunities for the next generation of anglers to get a taste of salmon fishing close to home. It is a travesty that a generation of young anglers has no idea that such a fishery even exists! Please do not let this socially and economically important recreational opportunity get lost in the shuffle of other issues or drowned-out by the e-mail engines of various advocacy groups. Thank you kindly for your consideration!
TODD, SCOTT December 12, 2015
BAINBRIDGE ISLAND, WA
I'm a new resident to Washington from California and a hunter and angler. I am impressed with the amount of information I've been able to find online and pleasantly surprised with the helpfulness of the fish and game staff over the phone.
I think that the only thing I would like to see is small game hunting workshops. It would be a good opportunity to teach hunters ethical hunting while introducing them to different types of game. The same could also be done for fishing. I believe this is done in Oregon and is supported with volunteers. It may also encourage people to learn to hunt and fish who have never done so before. I remember that after I passed my hunter safety class I didn't know what to do and ended up hiring an expensive guide to show me the ropes which isn't an option for everyone.
THOMPSON, JACK December 10, 2015
How much money has your agency lost from license sales since Weyerhauser shut down access?
Surely your agency can't afford to patrol those lands for Weyco. They want the cash for those ridiculously expensive and limited permits they need to hire their own private security.
If you continue to patrol their land, then you are obligated to patrol trespassers on my little 40 acre plot and all the other little privately held timber plots as well.
So, when am I getting free security? People have dumped garbage on my land too. I don't charge an access fee, and hunters/trappers/fishermen/campers/hikers etc are welcome, but I think I am entitled, for providing a recreational area for people who buy WDFW licenses, to a full time Wildlife Enforcement officer to patrol my land for the dumpers, bonfire kids, and 4x4 mudders that I don't want on my land. I expect an officer to be assigned soon. They can call me at 360-xxx-xxxx when they are ready.
SIMPSON, MICHAEL December 9, 2015
I was wondering what your position is on the NOAA review fiw puget sound steelhead being completed in time for this year's smolt to be allowed to be released? Thank you for your time.
WHITNEY, WES December 9, 2015
GRANITE FALLS, WA
I feel that the department should provide more available road use of gated and closed roads for the disabled hunter. in the past there was a road in GMU 175 that was available for this use but is has went away for what ever reason. There is now no road programs that I see in the south east corner of the state. There are plenty of area that could be used for this in the national forest and wild life management units, such as George creek, Asotin and smoothing iron ranch property. Even if it was only to go in to retrieve game.
Also it is getting more and more difficult to get permission to hunt on private land marked as written permission only, such is the case in GMU 178 with the senior and disabled hunter permits. Even one of your own directors in Anatone is a prime example. Excuses like I am saving it for my stock broker do not wash. We need to get this area more disable hunter and senior hunter friendly for the future. Thank you for this opportunity to give my views
GALLAGHER , JOHN December 5, 2015
MONTESANO , WA
I heard you wanted some feedback on the department patrolling for Weyerhaeuser last year and this year I didn't buy a hunting license and I won't until they stop working for Weyerhaeuser an start working for the sportsmen of Washington state ,and a lot of others are doing the same
POOR, JOAN December 3, 2015
Dear Director Unsworth,
Thank you for taking comments regarding Washington's Wild Future.
I am a fourth generation Seattle native, with a life-long interest in our wildlife. I am most dismayed and concerned about diminishing wildlife populations, such as the seabirds that are fewer in number each year, and, especially, the Southern Resident Orcas that share our Salish Sea.
Please take bold action to prevent the extinction of the orcas, to recover the wild Chinook salmon they depend on, and to support forage fish that ensure thriving salmon and seabird populations.
Joan Poor, Edmonds
RHODES, JOHN November 29, 2015
Stop having WSDFW officers or equipment being used to patrol Big Timber companies land. Stop destroying existing roads and or their access use by non motorized users. John Rhodes
MARINE, DANIEL November 28, 2015
Why don't we go back to just a regaular elk season were you can hunt both east and west? and why should we have to choose we have a tag why cant it just be like deer it is still the state of of washington. I belive if you have a elk tag it should be good for both sides and not one. in my opion for some it would be nice to be able to hunt both sides and better are chance on haveresting meat for our familys and still satain a good and heathly population.
BYRD, KELSEY November 26, 2015
We need to focus on gaining more public access to land for outdoor activities. The forest service keeps destroying miles of roads that eliminate the chance for a person to reach a particular drainage for hunting or reach a trail to a lake to fish and camp.
The Big timber companies are now shutting down their land and requiring a fee that is many times to costly for the average hunter to afford. This is effecting families that used to hunt a area for generations to now look to other areas to hunt and those new areas are now being flooded with more people, so now the quality of the hunting area is deminished.
Most people I talk with have the same opinion with the price of Tags in this state as high as they are, the lack of free land to hunt and fish. The average outdoorsman will have to spend more money on gas to find a new area to hunt or pay these outrageous fees to gain access to their traditional hunting areas. By the time you add up the hassle and price most people agree their money would be better spent on hunting in another state. This is not what WDFW needs you need to gain more revenue by appealing to the sportsman who purchase their tags here in this state. Our goal should be to make washington state a premier destination in the west to recreate and attract more out of state people to come here and spend their money. Instead of the other way around.
BUSZ, SCOTT November 25, 2015
1st year in 37 years that I did not go deer hunting or even buy a tag. So disgusted with timber companies closing their tax privileged timber roads to the public. Game wardens should not be be used to police these lands until they get opened back up to the public.
CASEY, TOM November 25, 2015
Focus on fish and wildlife, and stop your wardens from hunting for people with non- wildlife related warrants, or other general police work just so they can "get" bad guys.
You are losing the credibility with local denizens you once had.
RIKSTAD, BRIAN November 25, 2015
Letter sent to our 35th district Represenative,
We have a serious dilemma upon us and am hoping you or Senator Braun may be of some assistance.
Currently the Chehalis River is closed to salmon fishing. This has created a great hardship for many fishing guides and Sports Fisherman that live or operate their business in Senator Braun's district. These are small business owners and Sportsmen and Women that depend on this fall salmon fishery in the Centralia/Rochester area. Other businesses such as motels, gas stations, etc. are also feeling the pinch because no recreational anglers are coming to the area to spend their dollars. Typically this fishery supports hundreds of anglers a day.
The closures placed on the Chehalis River and other Grays Harbor fisheries October 26, 2015 were done to protect wild Coho Salmon. Based on early indications of run size and the occurring drought this was needed decision. However, it is now nearing the first of December, the rains have come and our understanding is that tribal fisheries have been occurring by the Chehalis Tribe near Rochester and the Quinault are scheduled to begin this coming Sunday, November 29, 2015 continue through the month of December. We have been down to watch the Chehalis Tribe harvesting fish and it seems as if they are doing quite well. The Chehalis Tribal catch is considered to be part of the non-tribal catch allocation unlike other tribes that have a 50% share of their own.
WDFW has indicated the recreational non-tribal fishery will remain closed. We (several of us) have called the WDFW directors office and other staff numerous times in the last few days to request an emergency meeting to discuss the current management of Grays Harbor Fisheries. We have not received on call back as of this morning. Our issue is if the Tribes are able to have a sustained fishery then we should be able to fish as well. Many of us need to work. We need help.
We need to be able to get fishing on December 1 in order to salvage our fishing season because the run is basically over by December 20. Many of the area guides have not worked in a month or they have had to travel away from home and their families to find work.
If you want, you can contact me at( # omitted),
Would really appreciate some help.
HOLEMAN, JERRY November 25, 2015
I am 69 years old awend have been hunting and fishing since I was 7 years old. I am now disabled and can't walk and climb over rough ground. I have seen many changes over the yeas some good but mostly bad. reintroduction of wolves and now grizzly bears. We don't have the game numbers to afford this kind of management. we don't need all the lottery drawings for the elite to kill off any chance for the populations to increase. The cost of licenses is way out of line. I can almost hunt out of state as cheap. I can say that in all my years I have never been drawn not even for disabled hunts. But I know those who get drawn every year. This dose not even scratch the surface of my complaints I as many others feel our game department is totally out of control. It needs to work for the people as a whole not the special interest groups and the rich. If I don't see some changes I am not buying any more licenses
LIND, JASON November 25, 2015
The weyco access fee needs to be dropped. This land is public land leased by them on the one factor that they would keep it open in order to get tax breaks. The public has been locked out and charges exorbitant fees to access for hunting, hiking, fishing, etc. This has to stop the public is fed up with it. I didn't even bother hunting this year and probably will never hunt in Washington again until the fees stop. Washington has lost my business as well as many others. Then to see them advertising trophy hunting for fees? Hmm are they paying for this? No we the people are. We the people are finally fed up and getting organized via Facebook, snap chat, instagram etc.
DEIBERT, DONALD November 24, 2015
the closing of thousands of acres of forest land and charging a fee to hunt and fish is crazy. the animals they are charging people to pursue belong to the state and the people that reside here. taking that resource away after all the support the communities have given timber companies over the years, is a serious slap in the face. by claiming vandalism as the key reason. if having our fish and wildlife officers doing routine patrols on said lands would hopefully reduce the number of foolish parties doing said crimes. the partnership between land owners a FW have opened up alot of land owner relations over the years. why cant this be a partnership to expand the land owner sportsman relations back on good ground. they charge a feet to hunt and fish animals our tags and license pay for to manage. so lets help them manage their lands and police them. in exchange for access.
MILLER, JEFFREY November 24, 2015
Dear Mr. Unsworth
Thanks for taking the time to read this. I grew up hunting western Washington and started rifle hunting deer when I was 12. My father and I bonded the most during hunting season. We made many great memories chasing the "gray ghost" together. Although, we never could get the big one, we still saw them and had a great time trying. Now I am 27. My father is 54 and he is done hunting in Washington. I am married and my wife and I our planning when we want our first child. I am archery hunting now and hunting is a way of life for my wife and I. She will be rifle hunting next year and it means the world to me to pass on the tradition to my children. I am worried that I wont be able to. My father and I have made it our new annual tradition hunting in montana. With the Weyerhaeuser permit system, increase of price in tags and fuel, it's not much more to leave the state for a week to chase better quality animals. The problem is I'm not okay turning my back on this state. I love western Washington. I was born and raised here and there's nothing like chasing blacktail in these thick wet woods. Weyerhaeuser has stripped us of access to our childhood stomping grounds and our children's future memories of learning to hunt. The lack of access, the lack of animals and the lack of people who care terrify me of what will come. I really hope you and everyone else in the game department can see what all this is doing and what bad things this will bring. Please help this state become a great place to be an outdoorsman once again. Everyone will benefit from it from the hunters, hikers, community members, small businesses, larger businesses, all of their employees, wdfw and the state. Im sure you have noticed the drop in license sales since Weyerhaeuser introduced the permit system. Thank you for your time.
JENKINS, R LANCE November 24, 2015
This is the 1st year in 64 yrs I did not purchase a Hunting or fishing lic. due to Weyco's access fees.
I live on the upper North River snd surrounded by Weyco All my usual and accustom hunting and fishing area's are inside Weyco's ownership.
I am partially disabled and depend on help when hunting [packing game etc] and cannot afford to pay an/their access fee just for that help, nor do I have enough money to buy my own permit.
I'm also concerned in the trend to trophy hunting.
MACARAS, JOHN November 24, 2015
Its such a shame that these private timber companies have been charging a fee to access their land for which we use for recreation purposes, ie, hiking, fishing, hunting mushroom picking. From generations to generations we have been traversing these lands. I am disable and on a limited income. Its essentially important for me to hunt for deer/elk, which is much cheaper than buying meat. I can't afford to buy their permits and those who do have found some roads block by debris piled up with wood waste and rocks
LEVERING, DON November 24, 2015
The main prob. is you are enforcing the timber comp, pay to play, The area I hunt, my family has been hunting for over 90+ years! Now, I can't take my kids and grandkids in there to learn the area, and hear the stories about it. If they are going to be allowed to do this, then, there should be NO Damage control permits in that area. And if they are caught doing harm to any wild life(which I have heard rumors, of them killing any bear they see) They need to be Very heavily fined. Thank you, from a life long hunter(42 years and counting)
MERKEL, JACOB November 24, 2015
Something has got to give. Big Timber is pricing us out of hunting. Hunting isn't supposed to be a rich mans sport.
Why does wdfw support this? Why do public employees patrol the private lands for the private land owners. I'm a land owner. I report trespassers repeatedly. No one patrols my land for me. I bet I pay more in taxes than Weyerhaeuser.
I used to hunt Weyerhaeuser and rayonier but now I choose not to pay the hundreds of dollars for access. Now it's cheaper for me to go to Idaho. My small children are showing interest in hunting. I can't justify buying them tags here in WA. I'm left with no choice but to hunt out of state and take my kids with me.
PETERSON, KURT November 24, 2015
Please Stop private timberland owners from not allowing access or charging access fees to their property. They claim it's to battle vandalism, and dumping. Look at their website and you will soon see that its another avenue for them to profit from the fish and game that we the taxpayers already pay for. Thank you Kurt Peterson.
GUTKA, JAY November 24, 2015
Dear Director Unsworth,
Having fished in Washington state for the last 30 years or so I have few suggestions.
#1. The fishing regulations are too complicated. Especially in a state where English is the second language for a lot of fisherman. English is my first language and I often have difficulty understanding the regulations. One of the biggest issues I see is the descriptions for river openings and closings. Many of the land marks used are not known to everyone. But just the complexity of the regulations can be difficult. For a good example of a clear regulation please read the Florida salt water regulations.
#2. The passes for various parks and boat launches. This is difficult to understand. When researching a new boat launch for example online you can not easily find what kind of pass you need. Once you arrive you will see a sign but then it's too late. Can't we make one pass for everything?
FITTING, BRIAN November 24, 2015
Stop the Big Timber from charging Access Fees. Stop the WDFW Enforcement from doing the patrols for the timber companies for people without permits. Let them patrol their own land if they will not let all the public on it to recreate.
Plus find out the real reason why the elk in southwest Washington have roof rot.
BEESLEY, MARVIN November 24, 2015
You need to put a stop to all timber companies charging us to hunt on their lands so we have a chance to help with the wildlife management. It's getting outrageous with them raising the prices year after year. Furthermore when your agency goes out to do mass killings of elk affected with hoof rot you should hold a emergency drawing for master hunter's and the disabled hunter's to go out and have a chance to harvest them to fill their own freezers. Thank you for your time.
SMITH, JOHN November 24, 2015
I just turned 61 yesterday and this is the first time in 48 years that I have not purchased a hunting license and tags. I am disabled and on SSDI so money is hard to come by, there just isn't enough to buy access to places I've hunted all my life. I thought when I retired I would be able to spend all the time in the woods that I wanted picking berries or mushrooms and enjoying the scenery and wildlife. I have 20 elk points that are going to die on the vine because I can't afford to buy access. Please address this issue, I miss the woods. Wild ID #2536-001-7502.
MILLER, DAVID November 24, 2015
Help partner with the public to re-establish public access to recreational opportunities that the locked gates in our state are denying. Timber companies should not be allowed to deny easement to reach county, state, and federally owned properties. Likewise government entities should not be allowed to deny access of the public to publicly owned properties.
ELROD, ELBERT November 24, 2015
Force timber companies to drop fees for entrance and open up the gates!
Or charge them RIDICULOUS taxes until they figure it out.
TODD, STEPHEN November 23, 2015
Quite often it appears the Indian Reservaetions in Washington and in some cases, neighboring states are far superior to Washington in resource management. It would be nice to see more of an empasis out on management instead of the priority being revenue generation.
I have attended many WDFW meetings on fisheries in my area and the sad part was, the WDFW was there saying the entire time that they wanted the publics opinion but at the same time, the public knew that these meetings that they were having for the publics input did not matter at all as the WDFW had their decisions made prior to asking for the publics input.
Be honest with us and start having some positive results that the public can see.
POOLE, JAMES November 20, 2015
First I want you know I am 83 years OLD, and benn fishing Herrera in the state of Washington, and. The state bordering wa plus BC. My problem is why the state does not plant Chinook and Coho like in the years past. The only fish available are Chum. As I understand the reason is the tribes are dictating what and where fish will be planted. The Tribes want Cum only for their eggs I witnessed this prosses in Hoodsport they take the eggs put them Ina bucket then sell the for caviar? The either thou the carcus away or sell it to us at an exorbent cost. why can't the sate hatch and plant Coho and Chinook and plant every stream in western Washington with fry. Then in a few years we could have fish again like the olden days and like Oregon,Idaho and British Columbia . As it is now if you want to case is now if you want to catch fish you have to go out of state. I have not caught one salmon in the last two years here in wa. Something is really wrong. I've been told that the Tribes dictate policy on salmon??? why. Don't give me the Judge Bolt reason please. The other states have Fish. James Poole
HART, CODY November 17, 2015
SEDRO WOOLLEY, WA
I and a number of hunters I know have been confused and frustrated about the lack of permitted elk hunting in units 418 and 437. These units consist of a significant amount of publicly accessible property and are known to have such large populations of elk the heards have become problematic. I and many others wish to be provided the opportunity to harvest elk in these units but little to no opportunity is identified by WDFW. In the case of unit 437, there does not appear to be any public season permitted. Your organization should reevaluate the rules in place in this region and clearly convey your justification for the regulations you establish.
ELDER, JAY November 13, 2015
Letter attached for consideration on your Washington Wild Future project. Please let me know if you have any questions.
GRIMM, NATHAN November 13, 2015
The hunt by reservation system needs improvement. The current first come first served system seems to reward those with the fastest internet connection. This week I have been trying to secure hunt reservations for my late muzzleloader deer hunt in GMU 381. The 2 available reservations for the property I have been trying to get have been being booked within 2-3 seconds. I think that instead of opening up the reservation system at 8am 2 weeks prior to the hunt date WDFW could do something different. One idea would be to have lottery drawing for each hunt reservation at 8am 2 weeks prior to the hunt date. The lottery would draw the same number of winners as there are available reservations. The winners would have until 8 am the next day to confirm their reservation if they don't confirm or choose to release the reservation. That reservation would be made available at 8 am the next to the next winner in the lottery drawing until all of the all of the available reservations are confirmed or there are no more lottery winners at which point any available reservations would be open to all on the website. Each user would only be allowed to have 3 active lottery entries at anytime once a user confirmed a lottery reservation or released it that lottery entry would no longer be active. Each user would still only be allowed 3 active reservations. The lottery system should not include any points, multipliers or other chances to increase a users odds.
KVINSLAND, JON November 12, 2015
GIG HARBOR, WA
Area 13 has become a wasteland for salmon fishing. The South Sound $10 enhancement fee seemed to coincide with the decline instead of improving the fishing. Please consider reinstating the highly successful and popular chinook and coho delayed release programs.
Also please look at the public access programs that North and South Dakota have,especially ND's PLOTS program. They are much more successful and user friendly then the complicated, intricate mess Washington has developed.
MILLER, REID November 12, 2015
Don't neglect non-game wildlife in your plans for the future. I and my wife are avid birders, visiting many locations in WA each year. Preservation of habitat and access to prime birding locations are important for a growing number of people with similar interests in the Pacific Northwest. Like many in my generation, my interests have turned from hunting to watching as I am moving through my retirement years. I wish you all the best with your forward-looking effort. Many would have us "go back to the future", but you and I know this is the wrong approach and can only lead to future problems.
CROSIER, RAQUEL November 10, 2015
Dear Director Unsworth,
Thank you for the opportunity to provide comment via the Washington Wild Future process. Please find comments attached.
Washington Invasive Species Council
MEIXNER, CHARLES November 9, 2015
Hello, hope you can help me I live in a wheel chair. I am looking for a wheelchair that can go thru brush, trees and down steep banks to get to the river and catch a fish. any idea where I can get one. The rule on a harvest card
for shell fish is great, you need to be within a 1/4 mile. you gave us a harvest card for someone to catch fish for us. Then you rule that I have to be down on the river helping him to catch fish for me. all these I was born and lived in my state and all the times I have helped our fish department, and this is the way you treat us. I like to be involved in fishing, like taken home a fish cleaning it, ant eating it. last 5 years I have gotten my fish tag and never gotten a fish. that's why I love fishing.
KRUPNICK, JESSICA November 9, 2015
You asked, "Where do we need to improve?" I respond with "How about here?" Please see Attachment 1. WDFW's publication standards appear to have hit rock bottom.
CAMPOLO, JAMES November 6, 2015
FEDERAL WAY, WA
The game commission should be appointed by the sportsman not the govenor. Biologist should determine decisions on wildlife not the general public.GMU's that have low numbers of wildlife should be closed to hunting till the numbers increase. Most of all you need to act on what the people are telling you.
KLOBUCNIK, JOSEPH November 6, 2015
Please continue to personally meet with sportsmen/women and ask for our input. WDFW has only given us lip service for many years and continued on its own predetermined ----- business as usual. You are our last best hope for renewing a real interest in outdoor recreational activities.
KANGISER, DAVID November 5, 2015
1. There needs to be less modern fire arm hunters in the field. There should be a process to reduce this number through lotteries or increases in hunting tag fees.
2. There should be more of an emphasis in stewardship from hunters/fishermen. Often times when I go to my local river or public access forest, I see garbage and vandalism. WDFW should use some dollars to see how to combat this behavior most effectively.
FULTON, MARTHA November 5, 2015
Unfortunately I have missed all the meetings. I wpuld still like to be a part of the land management and conservation efforts. I live in Bothell which has uncontrolled development. There isa developer that wants to develop the property behind canyon ridge comdos. The City wants to develop the DNR properties. Pileated Woodpeckers, Tree Frogs, and 26 other species of birds and 100s of animals live in these woods. They are all that's left in the North West part of Bothell. Theseare used at the present for hiking. Can you meet with me and talk about ideas to protect at least the majority of the land?
FOSSUM, MARK November 4, 2015
I believe that the new policy of closing sections of rivers during the peak of the salmon runs is not only hurtful to the salmon populations, but is creating a lot of resentment amongst the recreational fishers. Two examples are the Puyallup River having 24 days of closures on most of the bank accessible sections of the river and the Skokomish River having 12 days of closures. Writing from experience, these rivers have become unproductive after the lengthy closures for massive netting during those periods during the peak of the runs. With the four day a week closures, the Skokomish river has been barren of kings for the last two years due to the indiscriminate gillnetting - which does not differentiate between wild and hatchery fish
PECK, ROBERT November 3, 2015
PRIEST RIVER, ID
Worked for WDFG from 69 to 01 as a Tech Aid, Agent, and area Fish Biologist in region 1. I still
hunt pheasants, fish ares lakes and spend time on Puget Sound fishing, crabbing and digging
clams in Wa. I won't be critical with back in the day stories because there has been a lot of changes
with population dynamics and environmental feelings. More feel free to hunt areas with fees going
back to the landowners like they have in other states would provide more areas to hunt. Another
program which provided 2 million viable trout fry and 200,000 catchable trout in the Spokane area
was the lake rehabilitation program. It was a lot of hard thankless work,but worth it in satisfaction to
see the results of thousands of happy anglers. I'm not sure what lakes they are currently managing
with the rehab program but feel it maximized recreation and revenue. Thank you for the opportunity
to express my input. Bob Peck
PALMER, PAUL November 3, 2015
I support preservation of wild fish runs by habitat enhancement, limiting hatchery production, and limiting commercial harvest.
ESTES, MICHAEL November 2, 2015
The American White Pelican was placed on the Washington State endangered species list in 1981; apparently the first avian species placed on the list. A recovery plan has never been written. WDFW needs to do something. Either admit that white pelicans are not an endangered species (they are not federally listed, there are known nesting colonies in Washington and surrounding states, and the population is stable) and delist them, or reduce the rating from endangered to a species of concern. The species has been federally protected under the Migratory Bird Act for nearly 100 years. What benefit is there to listing them in Washington if WDFW has neither the money or desire to create a recovery plan or manage the resource? How much time and money does WDFW budget annually specifically for monitoring and managing white pelicans? It can't be much, even though they are supposedly "endangered".
BEVIS, KEN November 2, 2015
I would emphasize access to public lands, by way of finding the key locations needed to get onto WDFW properties, create more access portals with good kiosks of info that have a map and allowed activities. This would be a way to bring in more non-traditional (hunt/fish) users and serve the public better. WDFW lands are often poorly marked, yet provide some fantastic recreational opportunities. I live in the Methow, and the wildlife area is a key part of the recreational opportunity on public lands here.
Provide improved access via portals, kiosks, easements and strategic acquisitions with an eye to public use. This is how WDFW can gain some public and therefore political support.
SMETZLER, WILLIAM November 1, 2015
We need to plant more salmon and steelhead in the head waters of our major rivers, with all the netting, seals, fish ducks, the adults are slowly getting caught out before they can get there, when they our gone how will they be replaced without replanting. As long as there is nets in the water, the wild fish will slowly be caught out off these small streams. A good brood stocking program would be one way to replace fish.
OUELLETTE, JASON November 1, 2015
I would like to see elk archery special permits opened up to allow for applying for east and west side permits before buying a license. This would allow hunters to chose east/west based on drawing results instead of forcing the commitment up front. What is the intended benefit to wildlife of the current system? Thanks!
O'KEEFE, THOMAS October 31, 2015
Please find attached comments from American Whitewater.
HOSTETTER, SUZANNE October 31, 2015
-Thank you for the opportunity for the public to share their thoughts.
-I live in Washington State because of its beauty
COGAN, JANE October 31, 2015
Please find attached the following documents in PDF form: (1) Letter (2) Attachment 1 (2) Attachment 2
WADDELL, JAMES October 31, 2015
PORT ANGELES, WA
I am a civil engineer who recently retired from the US Army Corps of Engineers. One of my assignments was the Deputy District Engineer for Programs at Walla Walla District from 1990 to 2002. At this time the District was finalizing the Lower Snake River Feasibility Study/Environmental Impact Statement. Part of of my job was to recommend a decision whether the dams should be breached based on the evidence presented in the report. Based on my concerns over questionable economic assumptions about the viability of the dams and a clear case that the biological conditions needed to recover salmon runs, I recommended that dam breaching must be pursued. Of course politics prevailed and that did not happen. Not long after my return to this state and involvement in salmon recovery efforts I revisited the 2002 Report and found that my concerns were well founded. In a retirement mode I have had the time to bore deeply into the facts and have found massive cost and economic errors. Indeed what the public and politicians were provided showed that keeping the dams would have a $4 million a year benefit and breaching would have a $247 million per year cost. This led all, even those who were very pro salmon, to admit that the economic cost were to egregious to bear. I, with the help of economists, have found that dam breaching actually provides a benefit in excess of $1 BILLION per year.
Our small team of volunteers, some of which are Corps employees or retirees, are also trying to point out that in spite of a $700 million investment and 15 years of passage improvements, nothing has been accomplished in terms of improving wild salmon populations. Attached is a report that details these findings. It concludes that if we do not begin breaching these dams in within the next year or two we will loose these wild runs completely and hatchery stocks will not be far behind. We do not have time for further studies, we must exercise the dam breaching alternative detailed in this EIS immediately.
It would of course be a supreme tragedy for the State of Washington to allow this to take place when in fact these four dams only produce surplus power while other dams could benefit from the money it takes to Operate, Maintain and repair them; President Obama has the means to undertake the breach using executive authority (see attached); and this state is easily forgoing hundreds if not several thousand jobs that would occur with the return of a free flowing river.
This of course is not the story you are getting from the regional offices of the Corps, BPA and NOAA Fisheries, but I assure you that the current and retired government employees working to get the truth out do indeed know what they are talking about.
I would be glad to bring some of these folks to brief you on the truth of these four dams.
James Waddell, PE
Port Angeles WA
HALUPKA, KARL October 31, 2015
Allow elk populations north of State Highway 2 on the east side of the Cascades to expand. Current regulations allow hunters to take any elk during the entire elk season throughout most GMUs in this area. These regulations have limited elk populations to very few, scattered, small remnants. Elk are an important component of the native fauna that has been artificially removed from the ecosystem of the northeast Cascades, eliminating all the ecological functions and interactions they naturally fulfilled. In addition to ecological restoration, allowing elk populations to expand in this area would also provide recreational benefits for hunters and wildlife watchers. Concerns about the potential for elk to damage orchards, vineyards, and other crops could be addressed with special hunting regulations or seasons adjacent to agricultural areas. Outdated notions about competition between elk and mule deer do not provide a sound scientific basis for holding elk abundance at very low levels in this geographic area.
HALUPKA, KARL October 31, 2015
Roads have numerous negative effects on both fish and wildlife. Develop and implement a program to identify roads on lands managed by WDFW that are the "worst offenders" in terms of negative effects on fish and wildlife. Set ambitious objectives for repairing, relocating, closing, or decommissioning the roads prioritized for treatment (e.g., 10% treated per region per year). Fund this program generously to demonstrate serious intent and promote partnerships with other entities that pursue road treatments as an effective means for conserving and recovering fish and wildlife populations. Coordinate with neighboring landowners to achieve the most effective road treatments. Educate stakeholders about the negative effects of roads to counter advocates for ever-increasing road access to State lands.
HALUPKA, KARL October 31, 2015
WIDNER, ZACH October 31, 2015
Per the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife's recent request for input from the public and outdoor organizations on the Department's outdoor recreation and conservation priorities, please see attached a letter from the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation, American Sportfishing Association, B.A.S.S. Inc., and the National Marine Manufacturers Association. This letter provides a number of suggestions as to how the Department can improve opportunities for recreational anglers, who, annually, generate $1.2 billion in economic activity in the state, in addition to providing over 16,000 Washington jobs and $159 million in state and local tax revenue.
We, the aforementioned angling and boating advocacy organizations, look forward to working with the Department on issues affecting the state's sportsmen and women. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or if we can be of further assistance.
Western States Coordinator - Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation
KOONTZ, FRED October 31, 2015
SEATTLE , WA
At Woodland Park Zoo (WPZ), we believe that protecting Washington wildlife is essential in order to build a resilient and sustainable Washington for our children and future generations.
Here are a few points, we suggest to Dr. Unsworth and Washington
RAINEY, PETE October 31, 2015
LALE FOREST PARK, WA
Dear Mr. Unsworth,
I would like to encourage the WDFW to commit to upgrading the Trap and Haul facility at Sunset Falls on the South Fork of the Skykomish River. I would also ask that you recommit to supporting the operation of the facility in coming years. Salmon from this river contribute up to 1/5th of the salmon in Puget Sound, but the long term health of the population is uncertain. This year was particularly hard on these fish, with warm low waters, as well as an ongoing landslide just downriver of the Falls that has silted in all of the spawning gravel in the large pool below the Falls.
The Snohomish Public Utilities District has been proposing to upgrade the facility as a potential mitigation for a hydropower facility that they wish to place in the area. If WDFW were to upgrade the facility, this would defuse this as a proposed project benefit and help to avoid subjecting the fishery to the harms that could result from the hydropower plant.
Thanks for looking out for the fish.
RAINEY, PETE October 31, 2015
LALE FOREST PARK, WA
HARBAUGH, BROOK October 31, 2015
LAKE STEVENS, WA
To: Jim Unsworth,
The returning steelhead and salmon to the Puget sound region are in decline so much so that there are species that are listed on ESA. Unique projects like the SUNSET FALLS TRAP and HAUL Facility on the SOUTH FORK of the Skykomish river provide one of a kind opportunity at a price less than a man made and operated hatchery. It provides nearly 70 miles of natural spawning beds for all of the pacific northwest species. ALL FUNDING SHOULD BE CONTINUED!!! ALL APPROPIATE UPGRADES STRONGLY CONSIDERED!!! IT IS A PRECIOUS RESOURCE!!!!!
WARREN, STORY October 30, 2015
Hello Dr. Unsworth,
Thank you for taking the time and energy to hear from the public of Washington, we really appreciate it.
I think that maintaining and actively restoring a diversity of native species across the state is vital. Whether it is grizzlies, wolves, or wolverines, if their is good habitat, restoring them should be a priority. It would be tragic to become a state of just deer, elk, and turkeys (not that those species aren't vital as well).
Also, non-lethal ways of dealing with predators should be prioritized. Lethal control should be used only when absolutely necessary.
In regard to wolves in particular, I think the department should talk more about the recovery and stories of individual wolf packs (the same way you all do such a good job telling the stories of individual wolverines). I think the department should be doing a lot more to educate the general public about wolf recovery in Washington state. Citizens should be educated and involved.
I think that generally the department can afford to take a lot more pride in its work, especially with endangered species. You all do amazing things!
DORN , PAUL October 30, 2015
Director Jim Unsworth:
Habitat is critical for healthy fish and wildlife populations. The Regional Fisheries Enhancement Groups (RFEG's) require greater Department staffing and financial support. RFEG's are an excellent Department non-profit partner in salmon habitat restoration and recovery. RFEG community connections, project efficiency, and passion for salmon recovery are unparalleled. I have been an RFEG board member since the RFEG's were founded (see attached letter) and attest to their track record excellence.
Thank you for supporting RFEG's,
PETERSEN, ART October 30, 2015
Secure funding from legislature to upgrade Trap and Haul at Sunset Falls on South Fork Skykomish to expand effort to access habitat above Eagle Falls for Salmon. Coordinate design with Tulalip. Do not support SnoPUDs
proposed reckless fish-killing hydro project on South Fork Skykomish.
LAMBERT, STEPHANIE October 30, 2015
I would like you to focus on the following:
1. Manage the re-population of wolves in Washington state holding firm against pressures from ranchers who are using public land for cattle grazing. The word "public" is important here.
2. Manage the grizzly, wolverine, lynx and fisher population as they work their way into our state.
3. Be careful not to manage one predator to the detriment of another. Changing how many cougars can be "Harvested" was a good thing.
4. I encourage funds for creating corridors over and under freeways. See Banff as an example.
5. Off-road vehicles are certainly not necessary so limit their use.
MCKIBBIN, ROB October 30, 2015
please use necessary resources to keep trap and haul up to standards at sunset falls. this seems to be very important. thank you.
THOMPSON, COLLEEN October 30, 2015
Please see the attached public comment from the RFEG Coalition. Thank you again for the opportunity to engage in this process!
GARRITY, MICHAEL October 30, 2015
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
LUNDGREN, JASON October 30, 2015
My organization, Cascade Columbia Fisheries Enhancement Group (CCFEG), regularly collaborates with WDFW on fish habitat restoration projects on Department owned lands throughout North Central WA. Some of these projects were brought to us by WDFW employees. While the projects are consistent with WDFW goals and Wildlife Area Management Plans, WDFW seeks reimbursement for their involvement and requires us to go through a strenuous review exercise, known as the restoration pathway. This process, and the costs associated with collaborating with WDFW can be seen as a deterrent to these important projects and partnerships. When I hear the phrase "pay to play" used to describe partners like CCFEG partnering with WDFW to restore their lands, it's discouraging. I would like to encourage WDFW to find ways to make these partnerships more attractive by minimizing or eliminating fees for collaboration and streamlining the approval process. Thank you! Jason
NEUMANN, GARY October 30, 2015
I see wilderness as an essential part of conserving. Keeping a portion of Washington and the northwest wild enough to function as a nursery will help to preserve the species that are native here, and allow them to help support populations in the non wild majority of historical ranges.
Also, wouldn't it be nice if the Columbia basin could today support 30% of the precontact population of salmon, rather than 10% ??? It is too bad that we humans begin to "manage" when populations reach disaster levels. Habitat distruction occurs incrementally and will take a long time to bring back, but spending money to do so is necessary.
Thank you for this opportunity !
SCHAEFER, SUSIE October 30, 2015
I was unable to attend the meeting in Lynnwood but do want to say thank you for the DFWS backyard habitat program and for the ALEA grants. I have had direct involvement with both programs and want to se them continued as they are very important at the local community level. I appreciate the help our local community has received from DFW staff Chris Anderson and Josh Nicholas in the development of our Edmonds Wildlife Habitat Native Plant Demonstration Garden since our groups started in 2008. Community programs like ours are important particularly in suburban areas like south Snohomish County
ADKINS, COLLETTE October 30, 2015
Please see the attached
ELLER, MARCIA October 30, 2015
Dear Mr. Unsworth,
I ask and fully support the Department of Fish and Wildlife to devote necessary resources to the Trap and Haul at Sunset Falls to meet the EPA and Tulalip's needs and standards. It is known the salmon from the South Fork of the Skykomish river, headed to Puget Sound, is declining rapidly.
We need to protect and act now and devote these resources, so needed, to restore the salmon numers.
Thank you for considering my opinion.
BERTA, SUSAN October 30, 2015
Thank you for all you do for our wonderful state's wildlife! I am with Orca Network and our main focus is on the endangered Southern Resident orcas. What they need most is plentiful Chinook salmon, so I ask that you do all you can to restore Chinook runs in all rivers and for all seasons. Recognize that the Southern Residents are a STAKEHOLDER and should be provided an allotment of salmon when considering who gets to take what portion of each species. THEY have no other choice, and they NEED the salmon to survive. I also am curious what the funds from the Orca EW license plate program have been funded. We were initially told they would support orca research and education, then told they went to a general EW budget, but would like to know if any, or what percent, of these funds has actually gone to help Southern Resident orcas.
Another main concern of ours is the North Puget Sound Gray whale population that comes to feed in Possession Sound and Saratoga Passage each spring. This population of about 12 Grays is very unique, and feeds on the ghost or sand shrimp in the shallow sandy beach areas of N Puget Sound. Last year, along with the City of Langley, we were successful in putting a hold on ghost shrimp harvesting (except for Tribal) in N. Puget Sound, while DNR and Cascadia Research look into the sustainability of that fishery, and the relationship between the prey needed for Gray whales and the amount that has been harvested annually to be used as bait. We would like the Dept. of Fish & Wildlife to join in and support us, DNR, and Cascadia Research in this project, and make any needed adjustments to ghost/sand shrimp harvesting licenses in coming years.
Lastly, the Dept. of Fish and Wildlife staff spend a lot of time helping with marine species such as seals and sea lions as well as our whales, and Dyanna Lambourn of WDFW has helped our Marine Mammal Stranding Network and others around the region in many ways over many years. We know her funding is limited, and depends on NOAA grants which are not always available. I would ask that WDFW look at making sure their marine mammal and stranding network staff are fully funded to do the good work they do - they are much needed and much appreciated. Thank you,
Susan Berta, Orca Network
BERGER, JILL October 30, 2015
FRIDAY HARBOR, WA
The Snake River damns are impeding the recovery of the Endangered Chinook salmon fall run, other salmon and fish runs and the Endangered Southern Resident orcas. Chinook salmon makes up 80% of the Endangered Southern Resident orcas diet and each orca needs up to 100 to 300 pounds a day. Or approximately 1.75 million Chinook a year for the population of 82 orcas. The Southern Resident orcas depend on the Fraser river in British Columbia, the Columbia/Snake rivers, Sacramento river, and the Klamath river in order to survive. Whale watching is one of the most popular activities in coastal areas around the world. More than 13 million people took whale watching tours in 119 countries worldwide in 2008, generating a whopping $2.1 billion, according to the latest data from the International Fund for Animal Welfare. There are more than 3,000 whale watching businesses around the world, employing more than 13,000 people. If we remove the Snake river damns not only will we be investing in the future of food, and the environment but also our economic livelihood. Thank you for taking comments. Sincerely,
Communications Manager of The Whale Museum
WICK, DAVID October 30, 2015
Dear Director Unsworth,
Please consider studying the cost and benefit of upgrading the Sunset Falls trap and haul facility on the South Fork Skykomish River as part of your strategic plan. Snohomish County PUD has proposed upgrades for the T&H as mitigation for a proposed co-located hydro facility on the site - so the trap and haul preliminary planning, drawings and budget have already been completed. SnoPUD estimates that approximately $1 - 3 million is required to bring the facility up to modern standards - and the T&H upgrades, (if not the hydro project), are also strongly desired by the Tulalip Tribes. However - the hydro project is proving to be financially, environmentally and politically unfeasible. SnoPUD has rightly concluded that trap and haul upgrades are needed to improve utilization of the nearly 100 miles of cold water habitat above Sunset Falls. All of SnoPUD's research is immediately available for your review and consideration - at no cost to WDFW. SnoPUD will not fund the T&H enhancements if it abandons the hydro project, but WDFW can leverage the current studies and interest from the Tribes and the public to make contingency plans to complete the needed upgrades if and when SnoPUD withdraws. Thank you for your consideration of my request to take a close look at this critically important project.
LOOMIS, BOB October 30, 2015
I would really like to see some type of modification to our "Point" system for drawing special hunts! When a hunter who has twice as many points as the ave. draw there is a problem! I would suggest that when a hunter gets to a certain # of points they go into another category that would be drawn against others with the same amount of points vs. drawing against the whole pot. It is bad when you have 2.5 times that ave. draw points.........gets very frustrating!
GRACE, SHARON October 30, 2015
FRIDAY HARBOR, WA
While WDFW does many things right, nearly everything is wrong in the Columbia/Snake River Basin. The four Snake River dams are a major cause. Wild salmon are being driven to extinction, while unsustainable and expensive hatchery fish replace them, and government agencies tout record runs of returning adults below Bonneville Dam. This is a farce that needs to be rectified. Wild salmon in the Snake River watershed are not meeting survival goals, much less recovery goals. Climate change demands that Washington State support President Obama in taking executive action to breach the four lower Snake River dams. This is something he said he would consider, but he needs political support from the Washington delegation. So far that is absent. This needs to change. Time is of the essence to get dam breaching done before President Obama leaves office.
The lethally hot Columbia and Snake Rivers this year wiped out most of the returning adult sockeye run. This portends the future with climate change. The dams add 6 to 12 degrees of heat to the rivers. Dworshak Dam water releases do little to cool water below Little Goose Dam. It is becoming increasingly evident that if the threatened and endangered Snake River wild salmon and steelhead runs are to survive climate change, cooler free flowing rivers are needed now.
This matter is urgent if the Pacific Northwest is to retain its iconic salmon and the species that depend on them, including the critically endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales. While we rejoice in the news that six new calves have been born to these whales in the last ten months, it means there are six new mouths to feed. The Columbia/Snake Basin is a crucial source of food for the Southern Resident Killer Whales
KUMASAWA, KEN October 30, 2015
Washington Department Fish and Wildlife
My name is Ken Kumasawa and I moved to the state of Washington eleven years ago to be with my grand children and to fish. It has been great with my grand children but fishing not as good.
I have been working on fishing issues for nine years having served five years on the Sports Fishing Advisory committee. All these years I have analyzed and observed the Department, people, the tribes, and studied the Boldt decision. I offer you a few observations and suggestions. I have many more.
1- Read the
COX, LORA October 30, 2015
LAKE FOREST PARK, WA
Dear Mr. Unsworth,
Please devote the resources necessary to fully support the Trap and Haul at Sunset Falls, including upgrades necessary to meet the EPA and Tulalips' standards. Salmon from this river system contribute approximately 20% of the total salmon in Puget Sound, but their numbers are declining. Now is the time to devote resources/time/energy/brain power to supporting the fish and helping their numbers recover. This is a far-reaching problem, and it is important to sincerely attempt to fix it. The health of Puget Sound, including the resident Orcas, is at stake. Thank you for the opportunity to provide my input.
GARRETT, HOWARD October 30, 2015
Thank you for accepting comments.
Back in the 1960s and 1970s Fish and Wildlife agreed that dams on the lower Snake River would inevitably block transit by salmon and steelhead and other fish. Now forty years of real life experience inform us that despite hundreds of millions of dollars spent on every manner of mitigation and restoration, the fact of blocking river flow on those 140 miles of the lower Snake River still decimates wild salmon runs.
As founder/directors of Orca Network our main concern is the health and welfare of the endangered Southern Resident orca community. This unique, traditional extended family of orcas depends almost entirely on chinook salmon, and those salmon are in short supply for months of every year due largely to high smolt mortalities in the reservoirs of the four lower Snake River dams.
It appears that the only hope for survival of the Southern Resident orcas is removal of the four lower Snake River dams in the shortest time frame possible. We look forward to hearing your views on lower Snake River dam removal, and we hope you'll agree that salmon and orcas rely on a free-flowing river to the Columbia.
Thank you again and best wishes,
BICKERTON, CONNIE October 29, 2015
BAINBRIDGE ISLAND, WA
Please support removal of the lower snake river dams to restore habitat for animals and birds, most importantly Snake River Salmon and Steelhead. I just watched a video and was surprised to see the WDFW did not support the construction of the dams in the early 70's. It's time to fix the damage done, and give wild endangered salmon a chance, along with the endangered southern resident killer whales that depend on Snake and Columbia River Salmon for winter food. http://dnews.com/opinion/his-view-lower-snake-dam-removal-makes-sense/article_75a003ea-690e-5666-a01c-79903d11dbf4.html?mode=image&photo=0
I would also like to see continued and expanded enforcement of the regulations around approaching orca by boaters both in the San Juan Islands and in the central and south sound.
JAMES, ART October 29, 2015
PORT TOWNSEND, WA
This commentary addresses new ownership of areas that used to be accessible to public hunting and fishing activities. Needless to say that as the public's access is limited to same, the leverage conferred by the state's license is thus diminished.
I have already bumped into Raonier's signage around the Sol Duc River and am not inclined to pay their 'shake-down' fee for access to a public asset which my taxes help to support.
Provisions that ensure public access should be written into any large land sales that could block natural resource public assets. DFW should recognize its own self interest and take a leadership role in protecting their hunt/fish constituents.
SMITH, MARK October 29, 2015
I'd like to have protection for wolves - as much as possible. I realize this is a hot subject, and I understand the plight of ranchers but there has to be ways to protect such valuable creatures from slaughter.
The manner in which these animals have been hunted is atrocious and vindictive. No animal deserves to be treated in such horrendous ways. Wolves are not only beautiful and majestic but a needed ingredient in a properly functioning ecosystem.
ARCHIBALD, PHIL October 29, 2015
Thank you for the opportunity to express some concerns that have been on my mind for many years. I have spent some time reviewing WDFW commercial license fees. In most cases I strongly believe these fees are too low considering that commercial guides and fishers are harvesting a publicly-owned resource for private gain. For example, resident commercial guide licenses ($220/year for food fish and $250/year for game fish) do not fairly compensate the public for the value received by the guides and may possibly contribute to over-harvest of many of our dwindling fishery resources.
Accordingly, I suggest that WDFW review the cost of these licenses with respect to the value of the resources harvested to determine a license fee schedule that is more commensurate with the value of these resources. Increased fees should be directed to fund habitat acquisition and restoration and programs such as the Regional Fisheries Enhancement Groups. Lastly, it seems like a system of accounting for harvest by individual guides is needed to inform and support a new fee structure. I am looking forward to receiving the compiled results of the responses to this initiative. Thanks again.
MALLETTE, JOSH October 29, 2015
Is there any chance that the out of state fishing licenses dropping the cost?
Was there more or less revenue generated with the out of state licenses increased in cost?
-Believe there is a lot of families like me who live on the boarder that lost fishing opportunities.
I am an out of state fisherman living in Scappoose Oregon. I used to fish the Kalama, Lewis and Lake Merwin regularly. But since the cost of the out of state license doubled I can not afford or justify to go fishing in Washington and believe many other have stopped going to Washington to fish.
REYNOLDS, OWEN October 28, 2015
Recreational fishing should be the top priority of the Department. If this means more hatchery fish - then so be it. Restoration of fish runs for recreational fishing is economically beneficial to the population of the state. Sacrificing hatchery fish for the sake of a few restorable wild fish runs is risky policy, suspect science and poor management for recreational anglers. The department should should also take the lead on fisheries management as the co-managing tribal nations seem to have a difficult time conserving and restraining harvest for future sustainable levels. Thank you.
TAYLOR, MARTHA October 28, 2015
Director Unsworth: I urge you to prioritize protection of habitat for non-game species on state land. For example, preserving and rehabilitating habitat for sage-grouse and other shrub steppe-dependent wildlife species in our state.
I would also like to see restrictions on off-road-vehicle use in wildlife habitat areas. I am concerned about adverse impacts on land, such as impacts on riparian zones and watersheds, and disturbance of nesting wildlife.
Your department has many responsibilities with inadequate funding. Thank you for your hard work. Please manage state resources for hiker/birdwatcher/nature observers like me as well as hunters and anglers and ORV uses.
I travel around the state visiting many natural areas every year. I spend money in rural communities. A lot of tax money is generated by nature lovers like me in our state.
BRUSHWOOD, CHUCK October 28, 2015
Thank you for the taking the time to listen to comments and suggestions from the public regarding the direction of the Department's efforts and funding priorities for the years to come. I write to you with two hats: one as the volunteer President of the Board of Directors of the Cascade Columbia Fisheries Enhancement Group (CCFEG) and the other as a Washington resident who deeply cherishes our State's fish and wildlife resources and the habitats that sustain them.
Starting with my CCFEG hat on: CCFEG is WDFW's non-profit partner in salmon and steelhead recovery, habitat restoration, and education and outreach in north-central Washington. We are one of fourteen such partners statewide and are community-based, leverage volunteers and substantial grant funding, and have very low overhead and administrative costs. The habitat quality improvement projects we implement are increasingly complex and expensive while our base funding is decreasing and the federal portion of that funding is likely to go away in the future. We need secure base funding for capacity to ensure our continued success. WDFW should prioritize investments in salmon and steelhead habitat improvement, education and outreach, and capacity for the RFEG program.
Switching hats, I am an avid angler and hunter and greatly value not only game species but also Washington's non-game species, biodiversity, and diverse ecosystems. I believe that Washington's fish and wildlife resources and their habitats are among our greatest assets and we must protect them for future generations and for their own right. I have a three year-old son and I want to make sure that he and subsequent generations have the same fishing, hunting, and wildlife-viewing opportunities that you and I enjoy today. To that end WDFW should prioritize land acquisitions and easements to protect and restore quality habitat and habitat corridors and connectivity. This is particularly important with ever-increasing human development and the effects of anthropogenic climate disruption.
WDFW should also manage and enforce motorized access to its lands, especially ORV and ATV use, in a way that minimizes impacts to fish and wildlife.
Finally, even though a vocal minority of citizens in our State oppose it, WDFW should prioritize recovery and conservation of apex predators including wolves and grizzly bears and smaller carnivores such as wolverines, lynx, and fisher. Specifically, WDFW should support efforts to restore a healthy grizzly bear population in the North Cascades Ecosystem.
Thanks again, and know that despite the controversy around some of WDFW's programs and priorities there are many, many residents like me who support your efforts to protect, restore, and enhance a wild future for Washington State.
LIPILINA, ELINA October 28, 2015
SANTA ROSA, CA
Dear Director, thanks for all you and your office does. I live in California, am a clinical dietitian and a racecar driver. My comment centers on the concern for wildlife that is constantly threatened by the cattle industry interests on public lands. Please consider that beef consumption is known to cause heart disease in humans and also now known as a cancer causing agent in humans, and that heart disease remains the number one killer of Americans (over 670,000 American people die each year). Knowing this and seeing it first hand in my over 15 years in clinical nutrition, it is of the utmost importance that we STOP funneling federal money and natural resources into cattle grazing, especially when at the immediate expense of predatory wild animals critically pushed out of their homes due to predation concerns of ranchers. Thank you. Elina Lipilina MA, RD
NOWOWIEJSKI, ROBERT October 28, 2015
I am a career full time fishing guide in Washington state. I am worried about the way our fishing resource is managed, and am worried that I will not have a career in fishing for much longer in this state. I am especially worried about the lack of opportunity to take my clients out fishing on our rivers. My clientele is made up of ordinary citizens from every state in the union, who bring tourist dollars through license sales, hotel stays, restaurant visits, etc. I also take lots of people who live in this state who enjoy fishing and the outdoors. I would like to see programs in place to increase opportunity to fish for Salmon and Steelhead in our rivers through river of origin brood stock hatchery plant increases on a much larger scale. I would like to see the state work with the tribes on these types of programs, and I think that funding has been going into too many couses that don't provide fishing opportunity for river fishing. The tribes harvest large numbers of both Salmon and Steelhead in our rivers, our harvest as sportsmen has not been proportional for a long time. I believe that through good management both the sportsmen and tribes can reap the benefits. Please consider the people who fish in this state when making your decisions. Especially the last five years we have been left out, through hatchery closures, over netting, under funding, poor management by the state and tribes of fish runs that allow over harvest on weak runs and no harvest on strong runs. Please call me I would love to meet with you in person and give you examples of many problems I see in our fisheries management. I spend a lot of time on the water and can't think of anyone more qualified to discuss what state our fish populations are in as well as what I believe can be done to fix many of these issues. My name is Rob Nowowiejski, my cell number is 253-732-0623.
BROOKS, C. October 28, 2015
Save our wolves. No trophy hunting wolves, no trapping our wolves, no wolf hunts. The wolves are essential to our ecosystem. This is a proven fact. Ranchers can use non-lethal methods to protect their herds. They just need to be willing to do this and not take the easy and disgusting way out by killing. Killing is not the answer.
BOWTON, LARRY October 28, 2015
WALLA WALLA, WA
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
Healthy, robust habitats maximize the potential for all fish and wildlife populations during normal conditions, and provide buffers against population declines during disaster conditions. Impacts from fires and drought of this past summer is a clear illustration of the need for investment in habitat.
The title of your initiative emphasizes the role of partnerships. I would like to highlight the existing
partnership with WDFW that exists in the 14 RFEGs. These groups have been your non-profit partners
since the RFEG program was established in 1990. The RFEGs are effective and cost efficient, leveraging
$7 in grants, volunteerism, and donations for every $1 of state support. Some of these leveraged grants
are from federal and private sources, bringing outside money to local economies by providing jobs for
services and materials.
I value the investment in aquatic and riparian habitats that support healthy fisheries. I also believe that
the RFEG program continues to be a cost-effective investment in habitat. Further, we encourage the
increase in state revenue to the RFEG program to provide greater benefits to habitat and the citizens of
BLY, SAM October 27, 2015
I have fished the snake river above Clarkston wash.asotin county.mainly at hellar bar mouth of grande ronde you are proposing to build a boat ramp in the middle of the best steelhead access on the river. these funds could much be better spent improving couse creek accesess or other facilities on the river. a better area for a boat ramp would be at or by snake river rendavoue.most accesses have become private property. hellar bar is the only place where older people can sit in their chairs and have a very good chance of catching a steelhead I've fished here over ten years. a boat ramp here would ruin this area for the benefit of a few boaters who could run the river ten miles from location down river
TOMAS, SHEILA October 27, 2015
Hats off the the RFEG's. I have been a volunteer with SFEG since 2009 and now I am on the Board. I really like this organization and feel they do a fantastic job on outreach to the public. SFEG has engaged the public through activities such as booths at events, hosting fun events such as art show, salmon safe wine tasting and just recently a film festival, Wild and Scenic.
SFEG also has a presence in the local schools in Skagit County educating students about salmon and the ecosystem through programs such as Salmon in the Class Room and Stream Stewards. I have noticed lately that we are lacking in educational materials to pass on the students and to the general public at our functions. Would it be possible for you could ask for some funding from the legislature so we can purchase educational materials to reinforce our message about salmon enhancement?
Again, thank you for helping to keep Washington a beautiful place to live, work and play!
JOINES, DENISE October 27, 2015
WDFW needs to 1) acknowledge the enormous financial contributions to wildlife conservation in Washington by taxpayers funding and supporting wildlife habitat protection on our federal and state public lands. 2) adjust the agencies priorities for wildlife management to accurately represent the citizens of Washington state. Non-hunters outnumber hunters by an order of magnitude, yet the department and the commission have both said publicly that they consider hunters to be their primary constituency. This is borne out clearly in your budgetary priorities, your communications vehicles, and your activities on the ground, and must change for the department to survive as the demographics of our state and our country change; 3) in collaboration with Washington's citizens, devise a way for non-hunting wildlife watchers and recreationalists to support the department's activities, ignoring the fear-based voices that want to prevent this from occurring as it means there will necessarily be non-hunting voices involved - as they should be - in wildlife management; 4) continue and expand your coexistence efforts with Washington's recolonizing wolf population. Washington State is not Idaho, and the vast majority of the state's population - and voters and donors - are in support of their return. Do not allow a vocal minority to hold sway over sound, science-based recovery of this species that is critical to the health of our state's ecosystems.
STUMPF, JONATHAN October 27, 2015
The Wild Steelhead Coalition would like to submit the attached letter, which encourages the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife to prioritize the health of wild steelhead populations as part of Washington
CORTEZ, SANDY October 27, 2015
PORT ANGELES, WA
While this is not the first time I have voiced a complaint about residential hunting, you ask our opinions and so here it is again.
We live in the county of Clallam, in the outskirts of the city of Port Angeles. Most of our neighbors post no hunting signs, but it appears to be too easy for those who want a quick and lazy hunt of a deer by poaching. We have a neighbor hood watch, and communicate with our neighbors via a central email address. For the last 6-7 years hunting in our community is out of control. We have people poaching, driving up and down our roads peering into our properties which is very uncomfortable, I feel I'm being stalked! Every year there are "rants" in the Pacific Daily news about these so called hunters. My husband and I have personally called the sherif to investigate violations as we report them. One of your employees did get back to me and suggest getting a " designated" no hunting area for our community, but this involves " being the bad guy" and advocating no hunting with the hope that all will agree with your objective, and that generally does not happen. I am not into fighting for the cause, however, I do want to let you know what goes on here, and to re-evaluate policy once in a while. Our world is ever changing, and sometimes what seemed to be an okay idea maybe is not so any longer. I am not apposed to hunting in anyway! I respect and value the fact that we have such activities. If culling the deer population in our residential areas is needed, I would rather see that a Fish and Wild life employee handle this. At least I know that I could go for walks in my neighbor and not be fearful of being shot by one of these poachrers.
Thanks for asking!
MAUST, JEAN October 27, 2015
Dear Director Unsworth,
Thanks for inviting comments. The F&W agency has an essential role in conserving and protecting wildlife and their habitat. These activities affect every WA citizen and I believe that we all need to financially support this work. Here are a few points to consider:
-Begin to shift away from revenue from hunting and fishing and toward inclusive revenue from all residents. Consider revenue tied to activities that undermine wildlife health, such as transportation, which damages air and water quality, disturbs and fragments habitat and corridors, and kills many animals.
-Expand education programs for landowners and urban residents to raise awareness and appreciation for wildlife living close by.
-Focus on how citizens can co-exist peaceably. As human populations increase, this becomes more and more important for the health and well-being of all species.
-Base decisions on sound science, not tradition, habit, fear, and wishful thinking. Our environment should not suffer from our policies and laws.
Thanks again for your interest in Washingtonians views and recommendations.
STURZA, SAMUEL October 27, 2015
BLACK DIAMOND, WA
I believe, plain and simple, that sport fishermen should be considered above commercial fishermen when it comes to priority and quota allocation. Our methods give the fish a stronger chance of survival, via selective gear rules and catch and release seasons. As long as gill nets are allowed, anything besides jacks and very small adults gets caught (and people wonder why the average size of a chinook or coho gets smaller and smaller). I say ban gill nets once and for all in Washington until the size of salmon and steelhead runs, as well as the average size of fish, sees a steady and consistent improvement.
I do understand there are other factors, such as varying ocean conditions that can play a major role in salmon and steelhead survival, but removing gill nets would be a step in the right direction for conservation.
How much are WA commercial fisheries contributing to our local economy? More often then not when I am at a grocery store or restaurant, all of the salmon I see for sale or on the menu say they're from the Copper River or fresh caught from Alaska.
There also needs to be amendments to the Boldt decision, as it is clear that WA tribes care nothing for conservation (only pretending to by making WDFW cancel our seasons so they can fish and explicitly kill ESA listed fish).
And if a fishery gets canceled for sport fishermen (i.e. what is happen with our coho fisheries), then commercial AND tribal harvesters should be off the water too.
They should take a page from the only tribe I have respect for, the Nez Pierce Tribe, as they seem to care about having fish available for harvest, not just for themselves but for sport fishermen (case and point the return of coho salmon to the Clearwater River in Idaho).
Aren't our license fees high enough to allow wdfw to put high priced lawyers on retainer just as the the tribes do? I'd be curious to know if anything is being done to address the problem (yes it is a problem) that is the western WA tribes (Muckleshoots especially).
On a separate note, why is wild steelhead retention still allowed period? The O.P. should be a catch and release fishery exclusively. I am even in favor of making it selective gear rules, or barbless at the very least. Seeing as the state is also getting bullied by the WFC, there are not any hatchery steelhead coming back to Puget Sound Rivers (except the Skykomish), and the wild runs are pretty dismal, so anglers will continue to flock to the O.P., and with that comes more pressure and more fish taken for that one spot for a wild fish on your punch card. Making it exclusively catch and release gives everything caught a chance to spawn and will help keep steelhead in those rivers.
Finally will the state send out any updates on when the Puget Sound hatcheries will be able to start producing hatchery winter runs again?
Thanks, best of luck!
MILLAM, PHIL October 27, 2015
While I love hiking, hunting, and skiing on WDFW land, I believe that funds need to be re-directed from purchase to management. The Methow Wildlife Area, for example, needs fencing, signage, and maps so people can actually use the land in a responsible manner. Perhaps most important, we must find a way to manage the forests in WDFW lands using a combination of logging, thinning, and fire as appropriate. The WDFW forests near my house are a hazard to me and my neighbors!
LEFLER, CAMERON October 27, 2015
This year was my 11 year old son's first hunt. Thankfully WDFW now has a great youth hunt opportunity and he took his first whitetail. This was in GMU 105 on my sister's property. I went home empty handed as there were no bucks around for me, but the reward of being with my son as he was able to harvest a doe is immeasurable! Having the youth hunt seasons is a critical component for the future of hunting in our state. It made the difference between just a great weekend hunting and an epic memory with a young man's first harvest. Thank you!
LANDWEHR, MATTHEW October 27, 2015
WALLA WALLA, WA
I would encourage more habitat restoration. Enhancing spawning areas for salmon and steelhead.
WALLIN, CHRISTINE October 27, 2015
WALLA WALLA, WA
Please continue wildlife habitat restoration, and set aside refuges for wildlife. I grew up in Wisconsin, where we had large reserves set aside for wildlife protection. We also saved streams by not allowing access for over 100 feet on each side. Here in WA cows splash in and out and destroy banks, and farmers plow too close to the water. I think the work being done by Northwest Conservation is splendid, and the work on the Tucannon River. Thank you, Christine
YOUNGBLOOD, MARK October 27, 2015
TACOMA , WA
Mr Director I would like to see the food fish chater license moratorium put in place in 1977 looked at again. I sincerely believe there is room for many for license to be allocated either by lifting the moratorium or some sort of a lottery type scenario. The current holders of these license are mostly "leasing: these license for upwards of $5k per year plus renewal fees and I believe the state should be able to capture more of these funds in order to help build WDFW enforcement positions. I understand keeping the balance of charters in balance so maybe lift the moratorium and make the renewal fees much higher that they are now such as $2500 per year? Possibly auctioning off a limited number of license to bidders for a short time? ^ pack charter license have went form 18 k or so to over $30k in the last 3 years. I would be happy to pay $15k for a license from the state and have the state put that money to goo use for our resource. I simply believe that after 40 years its time to look at this again and I understand the current license holders will not be happy since they see this license as an guaranteed source of "income" but there are those of us who are trying to honestly operate a small business and make a living. With the cost of boats, tackle, insurance, bonds, etc...its hard to justify an additional $5-$6k per year for a license that could simply be taken away or have the price raised by the owner the following year and at that point you do not have much of a choice except to pay the fee or fold your business that you have so much invested in. I recently had to pay a lease fee of $16k for a 3 year lease plus all renewal fees for a 6 pack charter so in 3 years (or if I want to add another boat to my fleet) I will be at the mercy of another license holder once again in order to keep my business going.
ANDRZEJEWSKI, JULIE October 26, 2015
ANDERSON ISLAND, WA
I would like to ask that the Dept of Fish and Wildlife to protect ALL species, especially those that are endangered - not just the species that can be hunted or fished. I want predators like wolves, bears, and cougars to be protected NOT HUNTED!
You are a government agency that should be accountable to ALL the citizens of Washington state - not just hunters and fishers. We just moved to Washington from MN and were so upset that 80% of the public did NOT want wolves to be hunted but the DNR there opened them up for hunting nonetheless. I have recently supported Gov. Inslee's position to stop a cougar hunt that was authorized.
There is no scientific reason to hunt these important predators. Also, are you protecting birds? frogs? What are you doing to protect non-game species and how much of your time and money is spent on this? This is what I want as a new citizen of Washington state. Thank you.
CRESSWELL, SCOTT October 26, 2015
ENUMCLAW , WA
I would like to see muzzleloaders to be allowed the use of optics (scopes). Also, my hunting area was hit hard by blue tongue for the first time ever (Palouse) area pretty close to Pullman. Has the state looked into adding live bateria to the waterways to kill the larvae?
I have hunted this area for 20 years. I hate to see the deer population decrease.
Btw welcome to Washingtoton Mr. Director
SCHORMANN, KATHLEEN October 26, 2015
You treatment of WA wolves is disgusting. You are pandering to cattlemen and hunters. Cattle and sheep need to be kept of public lands. Wolves are integral to the ecosystem. Hunters are not. Stop the slaughter!
BRADSHAW, LAEL October 26, 2015
CAMANO ISLAND, WA
There should be a mandate on more education for people living with animals. The killing of any wild animal should be the last resort sort of thing. We kill all far to easily and don't give more to education. I think your job is to protect our wild animals and educate the public on living with them. We must save the wild from people and protect the wild lands.
MOTTRAM, ROBERT October 26, 2015
I'm a member of the board of the Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group, one of the 14 nonprofit regional fisheries enhancement groups created by the Washington Legislature in the 1990s. I would ask that you remember us and the valuable work that we do in enhancing habitat for salmonids and other Washington wildlife when you develop your legislative budget request. Because of the great number of volunteer workers we utilize, and the thousands of hours of volunteer labor we realize from them, no one is more capable than we are at stretching a dime into a dollar. Our "business" plan allows us to leverage relatively modest grant money into high-impact projects that benefit salmon, steelhead and other wildlife at a fraction of the cost they would require by most other methods. Such projects include tree planting in riparian corridors, removal of obstructions to migrating fish, placement of woody debris where beneficial, elimination of exotic deleterious plants, the conduct of spawning ground surveys, public outreach and education, and other similar activities. We greatly appreciate whatever funding you can direct our way, and promise to use it in the most judicious and productive manner possible, as we consistently have in the past.
STEWART, NANCY October 26, 2015
Your agency is responsible for conserving all species, not just those that are hunted and fished. Animals like spotted owls, pygmy rabbits, sea otters, orcas, and a wealth of amphibians and other species bring immense value to Washington state, and also need your support.
MEYER, DENNY October 26, 2015
CINCINNATI , OH
MEYER, DENNY October 26, 2015
CINCINNATI , OH
MEYER, DENNY October 26, 2015
CINCINNATI , OH
SULLIVAN, DIANE October 26, 2015
I would like to see more protection and support for our wildlife and wild lands. We need to encourage the return of various wild animals to our state and not shoot them and threaten their existence. There is more to the state than ranchers. Encourage eco-tourism and the return of wolves, grizzly bears and the like. Protect the endangered species and not pay someone to track and shoot them from helicopters. Protect the large predators and encourage their return. Help ranchers and wildlife co-exist. Encourage dialogues. Help species to survive. Protect our lands and resources.
WOOD, REBECCA October 25, 2015
PORT ORCHARD, WA
Please focus your efforts and funding on the conservation of wolves. Wild wolves are an important part of the heritage of this country. We must maintain a healthy and viable wolf population. In my opinion protecting wolves from poachers and reducing conflicts with ranchers is the single most important function for your agency to perform.
BLANKENSHIP, JAMES October 23, 2015
I would like to draw your attention to another year of letting the commercial and tribal gilnet fishery get over 7,000 chinook and coho in Grays Harbor and then you shut it down for fishing. Those nets are in the rivers almost every day and we (sports fishermen) are up in the rivers trying to catch a salmon. I have watched this happen year after year with the returns getting smaller and nobody in your organization seems to be able to admit how much damage the gilnets are doing to our salmon runs. The Bolt ruling gave the tribes 50% of the salmon and I have yet to find anyone that can give my an amount for that. Am I angry....YES!!!! I believe the only way the sports fishermen can be heard is if we just quit buying our licenses and pouring money into your coffers for little or no consideration. You want to make a difference....TAKE THE NETS OUT OF THE RIVERS.
WITHROW, BOB October 23, 2015
PORT ANGELES, WA
I have a concern that the current marine regulations do not allow residents to fully utilize the abundance of available fish in their diets, and seasons are compact into "derby style" fisheries that lower the overall experience of the angler.
First off, I would like to see catch/possession limits expanded on a couple species that certainly are in abundance. In Marine area 6, currently you are not allowed to keep, or fish for any kind of rockfish. There are a lot of black rockfish in the kelp beds and the area could certainly support a 3 fish daily limit, or even something like a 10 fish seasonal limit. Kelp Greenling are another example of a very abundant, tasty fish with a ridiculously small limit of 2 fish. In fact, the regulations are so confusing on Greenling that people will argue if the limit is 2 or 5. Realistically, there are millions of them, they are great eating, and fun to catch. If the limit was 8-10 fish, that is sustainable.
I would like to see the state move away from short seasons that put a lot of anglers on the water at the same time, often making them push the envelope with safety, because the seasons are so short. The main one is Halibut. Halibut needs to move to a seasonal limit of 5 fish. It should be open for a couple months, rather than a couple days during a month with very unstable weather. People have died as a result of May halibut seasons and unpredictable weather changes. Figure out what would be an acceptable annual limit and make the season May through June.
I hope that the WDFW considers making changes that allow anglers a better quality of experience and more opportunity to harvest species that are already over abundant and sustainable.
DOW, CHARLES October 23, 2015
Why can't the rule for silver/coho catch be simply "two fish" per day? The catch and release of wild is destructive as it is not unusual to catch 10-12 fish to keep a single hatchery. My guess based upon observation is that 40-50% of those released do no survive.l
FREDERICK, PAULA October 23, 2015
I work at Mission Ridge Ski Resort and have been employed there for over 20 seasons. Our ski resort offers an amazing outdoor recreation opportunity for people all over the state as well as those who come yearly to visit just for the skiing as well as hiking and biking! As you make your decisions for the use of the wild lands and forests I hope you will continue to support all that Mission Ridge Ski Resort brings to the area and allow the lands to continue in the established manner in which they have been used. We hold high respect for the forests and wild land and have worked very hard to blend the public with nature in a respectful manner. Thank you!
LUNDGREN, JASON October 23, 2015
Regional Fisheries Enhancement Groups (RFEG's) play a key role in salmon habitat restoration and are key partners with WDFW in salmon recovery. RFEG's need sustainable funding for capacity, and we encourage WDFW to prioritize investments in habitat and capacity needs for the RFEG program. RFEG's also serve as a critical link to the citizens and volunteers that make salmon recovery possible.
HALE, TOM October 23, 2015
Director Unsworth,First off, I want to congratulate you on your new position as Director of WDFW. I also want to thank you for taking the position as outdoorsmen and women have waited for some time for a change to take place.Right now you have a report in front of you from the WSP regarding your enforcement division that is partially already public. The report details the level of abuse of power that is occurring regularly within the WDFW enforcement upper ranks. As a lifelong Washington resident and sportsman, I find that this misuse of power is reprehensible at the very least, and puts a negative mark on the WDFW that is not easily removed. As a military combat veteran, I can tell you that many of the actions that have now been made public would have resulted in a member of the military being given a bad conduct discharge, but have resulted in promotions for Deputy Director Cenci in particular, but others as well. There are a few key points that bother me that I think may bother you as well: 1) Why are our game wardens working in a hostile work environment? These officers are local legends where they live and for good reason - they are required to do a much more dangerous job while retaining and understand more legal issues than most law enforcement. These officers should not return from this environment to a boss that threatens to "put his boot up their asses" over trivial issues.2) Why are we allowing officers, especially senior officers to break the law and not receive any form of punishment? Again, in my military days just a few short years ago, even a lowly speeding ticket resulted in a written counseling session. While this may seem excessive, the fact of the matter is that law enforcement and military should be held to a higher standard. How can you possibly enforce a law with any integrity if you're constantly breaking that law yourself?3) What is most troublesome to read about is putting officers lives in danger. I can personally dodge a hostile work environment, possibly let go of traffic violations, but this is one non-negotiable issue that needs to be addressed immediately. Allowing the media to be involved in the search warrant operations that took place for Operation Cody, after multiple agreements and briefings clearly stated "NO MEDIA" is unacceptable and seems to be borderline criminal in itself. Director Unsworth, I have full faith that you will take this report seriously and use it (and other information you're likely privy to) to clean up the enforcement division of WDFW. I and other sportsman are tired of poachers getting away regularly while recreational fishermen are cited constantly for trivial issues (even though most game wardens admit that the fishing regulations are very confusing). We're tired of hearing about good game wardens being disciplined for non-issues, and we're tired of hearing about the complete lack of integrity in the upper ranks of WDFW. Our WDFW officers have been converted from Game Wardens to revenue producers, which is unfortunate at best.You, as a new Director, have the power to change this. Please do, and soon.Curtis Twiggs Dear Jim Unsworth,I want to give you a quick input on a topic incredibly important to me. We use to have some of the best small stream bank fishing in the state along the Strait of Juan de Fuca for steelhead. Now we have short seasons, and no hatchery fish in the streams. Although the chamber creek hatchery fish are not the quality of Oregon's wild brood stock, their better than no fish at all. Some of these streams like the Dungeness river that use to be open through March/April, and are now only open through the end of January, still have decent runs of wild fish that show up in February/March/April and could be open to catch and release select gear. The forks area streams are a boat-guide show, and a long drive for the Sequim/Port Angeles locals. I guess the real endangered species up here are the steelhead fishermen. Fishing use to be what kept me going during long weeks of work, and got me excited about retiring one day. Now that I'm retired, its hard to get excited about what's left and to pass my joy onto my kids and grandkids. It breaks my heart to see that state treat the sportsman this way, when they just want to go have fun. Looks like we'll have to start going to Oregon and Vancouver Island B.C. Thanks for reading this and if you have any questions or more input, please don't hesitate to email back or call me at (360)-xxx-xxxx. Tom Hale
PATON, SCOTT October 23, 2015
Please allow more non-motorized access for recreation. Hiking /biking and other human powered usage is growing extremely fast and more and better trail systems are needed.
ARNOLD, TOM October 23, 2015
Jim, thank you for making the effort to reach out. I know it's easier to just push forward with what one thinks is right, but to get it directly from the people it impacts is powerful for everyone. So thank you for that.
For me it's about ensuring we don't lose access to anything we currently have. Mission Ridge is an important part of my family's life and, of course, important to our broader community. I have also enjoyed hiking the local trails and even snowmobiling the neighboring green trails. I'd just like to protect what we have.
I don't know the current issues, but it usually comes down to funding. I'd be willing to pay some kind of nominal use-tax or even upgrade my car's license plate to one of those special plates that helps fund things important to me. Additional tax on a snowmobile license would be understandable, too. Basically something where people like me who are using the resource are helping support it in some way.
You have a hard job of balancing our desire to use our resources while protecting them from overuse. Thank you for taking on that challenge. I'm sure smarter people have better ideas and so I'm hopeful that you'll find a way to strike that balance.
HART, JIM October 23, 2015
I live on the Hoh River, I fish from the shore and the amount of boats on the river is crazy.
WHY???? do you people allow out of state guides to come here and pound the Hoh day in and day out??????????????
Don't you think that the boats are adding a lot of stress to the fish??? What about me enjoying the day, how can I do that?
They pull over to shore, then they go take a dump and away they go; how nice.
Real nice that you closed everything in central puget sound area so everyone comes here.
All you guys care about is selling licenses.
Jim Hart...65 years old and sick and tired of all the fly fisherman that have over run the area.
WHITING, BRAD October 23, 2015
I believe the WDFW has been a good advocate for securing natural habitat for wildlife. However, I feel that there is a greater need to provide citizens opportunity to recreate on your lands other than hunting and fishing. Improvements like; hiking, biking, and equestrian trails to allow more users to appreciate the land we live near. Also, enabling special use permit holders (IE ski areas) the ability to expand there operations to meet the growing cost of doing business. Ski areas bring dollars to local economies in the tough winter months, by allowing the areas to manage the leased lands and maximize the use of the land (new trails, thinning, lighting, snowmaking, facilities) you increase visits and bring more dollars to a local economy. Side benefits of this type of expansion is having more people recreating where there are facilities already built to handle human impact, healthier forest from thinning, fire suppression and fuel breaks, and builds a stronger snowpack for increased spring run off for irrigators and fish. Please consider funding other areas than wildlife set asides and hunting grounds.
GOLDENBERG, TONY October 23, 2015
Sir: I would ask that you find a way to get many of the dozens or hundreds of deer out of Port Townsend. They are all over the place. I would ask that if it is illegal to feed them and raccons on your property that you enforce the rules.
NEFF, ADAM October 22, 2015
EAST WENATCHEE, WA
As an avid outdoorsman with the goal of spending 100 days in the field a year, I have a few things that I would like WDFW to focus on.
1. Fight hard and urge hard to get some general funds. The entire department should not have to run on license sales, in fact doing so, in my mind, forces the department to focus too much on sales and not enough on best management practices for wildlife and a quality recreation experience.
2. Quit spending so much dang money on hatcheries. Trout hatcheries in particular should be completely or almost completely stopped. The cost is too great and the benefit very little. Looking big picture, many of us, myself included, lament on erosion of morality in our society. I can't help but look at the current put-and-take hatchery trout lakes as another example of that erosion. When did a good day of fishing equate taking home five barely palatable 8" rainbow trout with beat up noses, and no tail fins. Why can't fishing be more about the experience and not the end result. This isn't the type of wildlife (barely) management that the department should be focusing on. If there is a case to be made for trout hatcheries it is for youth fishing only, and very limited at that.
Continuing on the hatcheries topic, salmon and steelhead hatcheries should be reduced and rethought-out. It doesn't make sense to spend so much money on hatcheries when study after study finds that in most cases (maybe even all depending on whose science you read) nature does it better. The fish are more fit, with higher survival rates, and better reproduction rates. They are more genetically diverse allowing them to best cope with environmental changes whether from wildfire or climate change. Where they are actually useful we should be going to circular recirculation ponds instead of raceways, and where possible trying to use them in a matter that aims to restore native runs (i.e. upper Columbia Coho reintroduction).
3. Eastern Washington Elk should be managed by permit only, do away with this ridiculous spike and true-spike only BS general season. Most of us would prefer to only elk hunt every couple of years if it meant less people to complete with and more opportunities at animals. The current system promotes competition, poor hunter ethics, and a general lack of care for the wildlife and the other hunters.
4. Continue to acquire more WDFW land. I fully support this effort and would fully support additional fees/licenses/taxes on us hunters and the general public to help pay for the additional lands.
5. This one is a bit of a long shot but I would love to see 4-point minimums for mule deer and any buck for whitetails state wide (except for units designated as quality whitetail unit, i.e. NE Washington). This would hopefully help the struggling mule deer numbers rebound.
6. Study (and hopefully peruse) the reintroduction of pronghorn antelope to our state.
Thank you very much to allowing us to have a small say in the direction we would like to see WDFW go. I greatly appreciate the opportunity and would like to thank all those who are working hard for our wildlife resources. Keep up the good work.
MCFADDEN, CHAUNTEL October 22, 2015
Please focus your efforts in future planning and spending for the next decade or more on outdoor recreation! Outdoor recreation is critical for the residents of Washington State and one of the many factors that contribute to a healthy happy lifestyle.
ERICKSON, MIKE October 22, 2015
I would like to express my concern over the need to harvest more antlerless elk in the 513 and 516 GMU's. I have repeatedly requested this for the past 15 years during public comment review period of the upcoming regulation changes with nothing even remotely done to support this request. Nor have I received any documentation to not support this request from District Wildlife Bio's or the wildlife program. The elk herds in the Cowlitz basin continue to grow and there is still no antlerless opportunities in these GMU's for any user groups. This will generate revenue, no revenue will need to be spent on this. Other than this concern I believe your mission is a good one and I personally thank you for the opportunity provided to comment.
ROMASANTA, C October 22, 2015
Dear Jim, Too many private citizens are feeding deer on a weekly/yearly basis (4/7)food!! Bags of grain from stores!! We are seeing an abundant & increased amount of deer. Not only in our small neighborhood, but I hear the same from others elsewhere, where they are humanly fed....... We have talked to those doing so in our neighborhood, but it always falls on deaf ears!!!!! The deer certainly have an abundance of nature's food to graze, at least in Sequim.
ALEXANDER, ROBERT October 22, 2015
In your new position, please invest the time to become personally up-to-date technically, as many of todays issues require an objective sorting of myth vs. science. Stated #1 goal is conserve and protect native fish and wildlife. Hatcheries work in opposition to your highest priority, as modern science has demonstrated. Bait and barbs result in extreme mortality rates - again defeating the #1 goal wherever allowed. Our State need not subsidize subsistence killing of fish by our citizens, since the very existence of hatcheries ultimately destroys wild fish populations, and because we have allowed wild fish populations to dwindle beyond the point at which they should be killed by citizens. The profession of angling guide is unsustainable when its purpose is to assist fish killing, which is not sport fishing.
TONGUE, JASEN October 21, 2015
DEER PARK, WA
Is there any truth to this article? "Inslee reverses panel
KIIVE, DON October 21, 2015
BRUSH PRAIRIE, WA
AFTER LOOKING AT THE GAME HARVEST REPORT FOR ELK(2014) STATEWIDE GENERAL SEASON STATISTICS IT APPEARS SOME INEQUITIES EXIST.
ARCHERY HUNTER SUCCESS LISTS 10%
MODERN FIREARM SUCCESS LISTS 6.8%
MUZZLELOADER SUCCESS LISTS 9.4%
THE INEQUITIES AS I SEE IT ARE:
1)TO HUNT FIRST AFTER ELK HAVE HAD ALL YEAR TO SETTLE DOWN.
2)TO HUNT WHILE THE ELK ARE IN THE RUT AND ARE MORE VULNERABLE.
3)TO HUNT WITH BOWS THAT ARE MUCH MORE EFFECTIVE THAN THE OLDER RECURVE BOWS.
4)BOTH A EARLY & LATE SEASON WITH SUBSTANTIAL HUNTING DAYS.
1)TO HUNT SECOND AFTER THE ARCHERY SEASON.
2)THE NEW RIFLES ARE EFFECTIVE OUT TO DISTANCES PREVIOUSLY UNHEARD OF WITH EARLIER VERSONS.
3)BOTH A EARLY & LATE SEASON WITH SUBSTANTIAL HUNTING DAYS.
MODERN FIREARM GETS:
1)TO HUNT THIRD.
2)ONE HUNTING SEASON AFTER A SUBSTANTIAL NUMBER OF ELK HAVE ALREADY BEEN HARVESTED & DISTURBED DURING THE ARCHERY & MUZZLELOADER EARLY SEASONS.
AFTER LOOKING AT THE ABOVE IT APPEARS MODERN FIREARM HUNTERS ARE STARTING TO GET THE SHORT END OF THINGS.
I HOPE TO RECEIVE A RESPONCE TO MY CONCERNS.
THANK YOU IN ADVANCE.
HIRSCHBERGER, EVIE October 21, 2015
I would like to see more positive information to educate the public sector of non-hunters of the import role hunting is in game management and why it is important. I would like hunter's image and why we hunt in this state to improve. I would like the department to consider more fair seasons and GMUs for ALL weapon choices, we all pay the same license fees and tag fees. Muzzleloaders shouldn't have to have their deer and elk season at the same time. I would like to see more effort to introduce the sport of hunting and fishing to our youth by involving school programs, demonstrating these too, are good conservation and environmental practices. Sportsman contribute a lot to the funding, it makes sense to encourage more to become sportsman or sportswomen.
PAULSEN, ROBERT October 21, 2015
OCEAN SHORES, WA
What is the plan the agency has in regards to timber companies closing all it's roads to public use. It seems your agency is just letting this happen. On the Humptulips river Rayionier just closed the road to the Forks hole where the East and West forks meet. We would put our drift boats in at that site and drift to Hansen FW boat launch. Now no longer available. We need more boat launch sites on the Humptulips and other rivers. When did your agency last build a new launch site of a Grays Harbor River. Take a stand on this issue instead of your agents helping timber companies enforce the no trespassing issue. You work for us not the timber companies. What our state needs to do is go back to funding only from fishing and hunting licenses then maybe you would be more interested in issues such as this. The way it is now with general funding you could care less you still have your funding.
HAWKE, TERRI October 20, 2015
Dear Director Unsworth, WDFW Staff, and the Fish and Wildlife Commission,
Thank you for accepting comments from the public as part of the Washington
MAGNUSON, GARY October 20, 2015
I have bought hunting licenses since I was old enough to hunt except for this year 2015. The reason why is most of the land is locked up, I am not buying a permit from a timber company that gets a tax break for letting the public use its land. If the state can't do something about getting access back I will not be buying a hunting or fishing license again, we all ready have to compete with gill nets and we have to use a barbless hook and most of the time only get to hatchery fish, now lost access to much of our land that we hunted for many years, sorry, I'm done
BLANKENSHIP, JAMES October 20, 2015
I am hopeful that as new director that some much needed changes will finally happen to allow the sport fishing public to have a fair chance at the salmon going up our rivers. My first suggestion is to take all gillnets out of our rivers and I mean commercial and tribal. This year is a perfect example of letting the nets keep a good escapement and then closing the rivers early for the sports fishing. I also question how many "true" native fish there are returning to our rivers. We can find out if they clip all the hatchery fish and let them be caught to keep them out of the spawning beds. Don't close hatcheries to protect the native run. My final comment is about the salmon fishery in the Columbia river. They in the past have opened it way to early and then close it when the run is coming in. They open it back up but for a week at a time but always allow the commercials in before we get to fish. I realize the commercial fishing industry has a big lobby in Olympia and that is one of the reasons the seasons are slanted towards them. I wish you well on making a positive impact on our very valuable salmon and steelhead fishing. This is a great state for outdoors sports. Thank you
THORNE, RODNEY October 20, 2015
Once again Coho salmon fishing was open to commercial fishing in Puget sound and the Columbia river while the returning numbers were minimal. Now that numbers are way down, Coho fishing has been shut down for recreational fishing. This is the wrong way to attack this problem. Recreational fisherman are financially supporting the program but commercial interests are reaping the rewards. This is totally backwards and needs to be turned around.
EMMONS, MARY October 20, 2015
I think the WDFW is doing a great job of introducing wolves back to our state. I had concerns in the beginning that we would end up just hunting and destroying them like other states have done; but we are displaying true leadership in showing the other states that we can share our wonderful wilderness and avoid livestock conflicts too. I would hope that we will continue to protect sustainable populations in Eastern Washington as well. I would also like to hear if WDFW has a proactive plan in place for recovery of the grizzly bear. Successful grizzly bear recovery is important to me in the North Cascades. These wild animals play a critical part of the ecosystem.
MULLINS, JERRY October 20, 2015
thanks for taking my comments.i would like to see increase focus on non game species, restoring washingtons biological diversity.advance and maintain science based policy.boost efforts to recover grizzly bears,wolves,lynx, fisher and other carnivores.programs to educate youth in our state about our wildlife.new revenue streams so non hunters can contribute to wa st f&w. strong inforcement of anti poaching laws.thanks.
SNYDER, KATHLEEN October 20, 2015
I certified my yard as one of your Backyard Wildlife Sanctuaries in 2011. I think this program is worth keeping and expanding. A similar program through the National Wildlife Federation is expensive and cumbersome. As development continues throughout our state, urban habitat becomes more and more necessary to wildlife. John Marzloff's book, Welcome to Subirdia, does a wonderful job of explaining how many species of birds and other wildlife can actually survive and thrive in our suburban yards, IF given the chance with native plants, shelter, and water.
HENDRICKSON, TERRILL October 19, 2015
I would like to see emphasis on keeping healthy populations of fishers and beavers. I.e., mammals and carnivores, in addition to fish. Predators are essential to a balanced ecosystem; beavers create habitat.
MILLER, DOUG October 19, 2015
the picture you have for the email regarding this statement is a statement in itself. there you are with a big smile and darn nice fish. (however, seeing as how it has its adipose, you probably should not have taken it out of the water as it violates the law).
one thing you are asking for if we could yak with you. more direct funding for the habitat program that is operated using the Regional Fisheries Enhancement Groups (all 14 of them and the common pot known as the Coalition). that is the one thing. why just them? they are hard working outfits that allow everyone one of us in this State of ours to see an increase in wild wildlife because the habitat that is required to do so is being enhanced by these groups. they take the little pittance of funding they get (basically a dollar out of every fishing license, and that is the same dollar as they got 30 years ago...try doing that in the world we live in!) these groups work well with other groups, including your very own team of biologists. along with tribal entities, civic groups, and local governments. they only get a very tiny bit of the funding, and use that to make matches that allow them to do big and small habitat improvements. so we can all have the chance to have a big smile as we take a picture of the wild fish or the big deer or the ginormous elk or the wily turkey or the slippery otter, or the red shafted flicker or the willow goldfinch or bald eagle or the majestic oak or the humongous cedar.
they need more money!!! a permanent funding program that increases as the cost of living rises so they can have the same purchasing power from year to year. they need to have opportunities to make the difference.
if you want to yak about any other "one thing", I have a very long list.
Doug Miller, Washington State Resident and Family Farm
MCFEG Board Member, CKCD Board Member
MASSEY, AMY October 19, 2015
Don't make choices based on public opinion alone. Please save wild salmon runs because it is the right thing to do.
COMEAU, TYLER October 19, 2015
First off, thank you for the opportunity to contact you about our concerns and how we would like to see how our fisheries and wildlife are managed. I am a fishing license holder in Washington (nearly 20 years), Oregon and have also had licenses in Idaho and Montana. I consider myself an avid angler and I also advocate for common-sense conservation. Quite frankly, my greatest memories of my childhood involve fishing with my friends and family and I hope the youngsters in my family can continue to enjoy our waterways like I did.
As such, I am concerned over how our fisheries are managed. As you know, recreational anglers are the largest single source of revenue for WDFW, generating over $35 million annually in license fees and excise taxes. Unfortunately, WDFW
FUKANO, COLIN October 19, 2015
MERCER ISLAND, WA
Do not allow fly fishermen to dictate what Olympic Peninsula rivers will be open for selective gear only. All river open to all types of fishing techniques. We can co-exist by releasing all wild fish.
OWENS, TRACY October 19, 2015
MOUNT VERNON , WA
I would like to speak with someone concerning the recent closure of the Skagit river for salmon. When the Mill creek office was asked if netting would be allowed I was told that the tribes are being cooperative and supportive however if the bank anglers are not allowed to fish for salmon why should the tribes be allowed to net at will? I understand that the tribes are allowed up to 50% of the catch but anglers who also pay for their licenses have not been allowed to catch their quota. the disabled and elderly cannot fish from a boat they must fish from the bank therefore they are not allowed to travel or are able to travel to the mouth of the river or travel up north to the Cascades. on average at Youngs bar there are only 4 or 5 anglers fishing for silver salmon. instead of closing the river to all salmon fishing would it be possible to change the limit to 1 per angler per day? this would allow many of the elderly and disabled anglers to continue fishing.
DAVIS, JIM October 19, 2015
hello,I fish,shrimp and crab in area 10. there has not been a winter crab season for at least 3 years.I understand the quota system and agree there needs to be something in place.some of my thoughts are, reduce the summer season to 4 days a week or reduce limit to 4 keepers a day.I my opinion there would not be near the pressure in the winter season that there is in summer season. this year would be great based on the closure of area 10 to sport fishing on oct. 18.It would be nice to get out on the water in nov. and dec. thanks for asking jim davis
LENAHAN, AMY October 18, 2015
BAINBRIDGE ISLAND, WA
Hello there. Please as you are considering Washington's Wild Future, please focus energies and resources on our resident salmon-eating orca, their health and habitat preservation and what they contribute to our local ecology and history. There is a way for both humans and orcas to benefit from the potential abundance of fish in our waters, so please keep in mind the plans that take into account the importance of BOTH. Once they are gone, they are gone. Please don't forget this.
Thank you for your consideration,
MARKICH, ROB October 18, 2015
I wish I could make some positive comments about the effects the department has had on fishing in my area, but that is completely impossible to do. I am fifty-five years old, born in Washington State and have fished for most of my life. Over the last twenty years I have seen fishing in my area go from fairly good and even excellent to marginal or extremely poor and with just a faction of the opportunity I had 10 years ago.
I am not a biologist or a fish manager but from everything I can see, read and understand it appears to me the resource has just been very poorly managed with the main purpose of harvest, harvest, harvest.
I only river fish and over the years have invested thousands and thousands of dollars into boats, tackle and gear. I currently own a river sled and a drift boat which get very limited use because of the lack of opportunity I am given. On the Nooksack River with a six day commercial netting schedule during the Coho season only a small fraction of fish get past the nets. The fish that do are the smaller fish that are able to squeeze through the nets, three to five pounders at best. I no longer have any opportunity to catch and release Wild Steelhead which prior to the complete closure seemed to me to be fairly healthy in the Nooksack, I never had an issue finding fish during February while it was open and even had some excellent fishing days the last few years when it was open. The Nooksack River is now only worth fishing a few months a year with marginal fishing at best. The Skagit is the other river I fish in my area. Once known as a premier Salmon and Steelhead river it now has a very limited fisheries and is the reason I sat down to write you today. Last Friday your department announced a complete closure of the Skagit for harvesting Coho Salmon by recreational anglers. The preseason forecast for the Skagit Coho was over 140,000 fish. How did we ever get from that number to a complete closure? As a recreational river angler I have only a few months of marginal fishing and now one more fishery is taken away from me, I just don't get it.
As I said earlier, I have fished most of my life. I got hooked at an early age and fishing has been a major part of my life and one of my favorite hobbies and past times. However over the last many years it has gotten pathetically poor, I sometimes go fishing knowing I stand little chance if any of hooking a fish. Because of the poor quality of our fishing I now started to go hiking in our mountains rather than go fishing in our rivers. I truly don't understand why the resource is not managed more conservatively? We need to make sure more than enough fish are able to spawn each year rather than have these emergency closures after we discover too many fish have been taken, and mostly by commercial fisherman. It's simple math to me, more fish that spawn mean more fish in the future. It seems the managers want to make sure that every single fish that can be taken is taken leaving fewer and fewer fish to actually spawn. It seems we are managing all these fish runs into extinction. It is so very sad and disappointing to see how our once mighty rivers that once teamed with Salmon and Steelhead now tend to be closed to fishing or void of any fish to even catch. Something needs to be done soon, fishing in these rivers has turned into a complete joke and a waste of time.
WOOD, GORDON October 17, 2015
Why are hanging derbies allowed??
TIEFENTHALER, MELISSA October 16, 2015
Thank you for your support of the Columbia Springs hatchery and property. Please continue supporting operations at this site. Columbia Springs is an important hatchery in SW Washington and the primary environmental education center in Clark County.
FOHN, MELINDA October 16, 2015
My messages to the Director is: evaluate the impact of fish stocking on Puget Sound native salmon and cutthroat during their lifecycle in freshwater streams. Stocking lakes may unknowingly crowd out natives when these fish stray downstream. Place the importance of native populations above recreational fishing in high value habitat areas.
Your razor clam program is excellent and the outreach raises public awareness about our changing ocean conditions as related to recreational harvest. The recent closures should help wake up the public about Ocean Acidification, the Blob, and climate change.
Consider funding the Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement "Reducing undersized crab catch" campaign to continue to educate the new folks to crabbing. It's a great program, proven, but needs some funding to go farther.
Thank you, Mindy Fohn
HOWELL, DEAN October 16, 2015
Hi, I have over the last 50 years watched and observed the commercial gill-net fleet destroy the salmon, steelhead , sturgeon, and sockeye various runs in the Columbia River. The gill nets have culled the larger salmon and steelhead from the runs.
I just read a article about salmon fishing in Chile, a salmon run was started a few year ago in a river in Chile that is producing Samlon up to 60 ibs, Laws were put into effect to not be able to gill net this river. I believe this has helped.
My experiences have seen gill net personnel . Strip eggs from mature salmon and sell the eggs, off-load fish onto non gill nets boats. give steelhead ,sturgeon, and salmon away or sell to people.
Presently the gill nets are working the Columbia River for a very poor silver run. The gill nets are
doing there so called clean up. This has gone on for years. This clean up!! What has been the effective doing a "clean up" year after year.
i Hope I will see the Gill nets off the Columbia River in my Lifetime.
KOEHL, ELDON October 15, 2015
I have lived in this State since I was 4years old. I am now 65 and over the past years I have seen a decline in crabbing in HOOD CANAL, from Union on up. Their are no crab. Someone or Something may them Non-existing. This was once a great place to take family and have a good time. Is there a reason I should go broke to go to a place that id dead?
GILMAN, JENA October 15, 2015
NORTH BEND, WA
Some of the best hikes I have experienced in my 62 years were on WDFG or WDFW lands. Being a native Eastern Washingtonian I have had lovely walks on WDFW lands in Frenchman
BENDER, GREG October 15, 2015
BATTLE GROUND, WA
I hunt and fish in Washington, so I am part of the Cash Cow the state takes advantage of every year as license and tag fees go up. As a hunter, I want access to as much land as possible, both public and private (when available). I have heard from too many private land owners who have cut off access to their land because the DFW decided to support timber companies instead of them. YOU are my representative, and I don't feel like you are doing the job I want and need you to do. Specifically, you granted LHPs to the Bennet Lumber Company, giving hunters access to 10,000 acres and got us shut out of almost 200,000 acres. How did this happen?! Where is the communication?! This is frustrating to say the least!
I am attaching a picture of a sign posted in SE Wasington about the loss of access to private land.
TRUESDALE, BRIAN October 15, 2015
Keep helping hunters; I'm seeing way too many people who want to curtail hunting seasons. or anything relating to guns. For crabbing you guys are doing great, for the first time in years I'm seeing lots of young crabs in the hood canal.
So keep our access to public lands for hunting and fishing
HAGY, JIM October 15, 2015
How about convincing your people in the Mill Creek office that THEY also should take an interest in working with the public. A couple of years ago the fly club I belong to TRIED (without success) to have trout lodge plant fish in Lone Lake - FOR wdfw.. We find your office typically does not even return phone calls to the conservation representative.
You should hire some more Bob Jateff's
DENNIS, LEVI October 14, 2015
As a simple public resident without any direct involvement with the WDFW other than working with Lenny Hahn on some elk and deer poaching tips. I would like to see more done in term's of punishment for trespassing and poaching crimes as a whole. Such as setting mandatory minimum fines of $500 for all poaching incidents and hunting while trespassing fines as well. When someone get's a ticket for trespassing while hunting they don't pay any more than it would have costed them to just drive to the mountains and hunt so it's not stopping anyone. Fuel cost's for hunting are higher than the fines imposed that I have heard of from people. Also I would like to see you re-structure the administration with the elimination of Cenci and his violator's who feel they answer to no one and are above the law.
JOSE, JULIA October 14, 2015
I love living in a state that values wild habitat that supports all sorts of life. I have participated in long-term bird banding studies, am a volunteer steward for a natural area preserve and volunteer with Rare plant monitoring through Rare Care, U. of Wash. I am sad to see our parks receiving so little budgetary support, so I believe it is very important that the Dept. of Fish & Wildlife is well funded to watch over both game & non-game species.
Identifying & protecting strategic areas to protect for habitat connectivity to maintain genetic diversity & movement as climate change occurs is also very important.
I support science-based policy decisions regarding protection for recovering species such as grizzly bears, wolves, lynx, fishers & the habitat they need. I hope you will continue to fund and perform monitoring of the huge variety of habitats throughout Wash. State for the benefit of the human & non-human creatures that depend on them.
Thank you for the opportunity to comment.
TWIGGS, CURTIS October 14, 2015
Director Unsworth,First off, I want to congratulate you on your new position as Director of WDFW. I also want to thank you for taking the position as outdoorsmen and women have waited for some time for a change to take place.Right now you have a report in front of you from the WSP regarding your enforcement division that is partially already public. The report details the level of abuse of power that is occurring regularly within the WDFW enforcement upper ranks. As a lifelong Washington resident and sportsman, I find that this misuse of power is reprehensible at the very least, and puts a negative mark on the WDFW that is not easily removed. As a military combat veteran, I can tell you that many of the actions that have now been made public would have resulted in a member of the military being given a bad conduct discharge, but have resulted in promotions for Deputy Director Cenci in particular, but others as well. There are a few key points that bother me that I think may bother you as well: 1) Why are our game wardens working in a hostile work environment? These officers are local legends where they live and for good reason - they are required to do a much more dangerous job while retaining and understand more legal issues than most law enforcement. These officers should not return from this environment to a boss that threatens to "put his boot up their asses" over trivial issues.2) Why are we allowing officers, especially senior officers to break the law and not receive any form of punishment? Again, in my military days just a few short years ago, even a lowly speeding ticket resulted in a written counseling session. While this may seem excessive, the fact of the matter is that law enforcement and military should be held to a higher standard. How can you possibly enforce a law with any integrity if you're constantly breaking that law yourself?3) What is most troublesome to read about is putting officers lives in danger. I can personally dodge a hostile work environment, possibly let go of traffic violations, but this is one non-negotiable issue that needs to be addressed immediately. Allowing the media to be involved in the search warrant operations that took place for Operation Cody, after multiple agreements and briefings clearly stated "NO MEDIA" is unacceptable and seems to be borderline criminal in itself. Director Unsworth, I have full faith that you will take this report seriously and use it (and other information you're likely privy to) to clean up the enforcement division of WDFW. I and other sportsman are tired of poachers getting away regularly while recreational fishermen are cited constantly for trivial issues (even though most game wardens admit that the fishing regulations are very confusing). We're tired of hearing about good game wardens being disciplined for non-issues, and we're tired of hearing about the complete lack of integrity in the upper ranks of WDFW. Our WDFW officers have been converted from Game Wardens to revenue producers, which is unfortunate at best.You, as a new Director, have the power to change this. Please do, and soon.Curtis Twiggs
ZIMMERMAN, TOM October 13, 2015
More resources dedicated to protecting deer and elk---less emphasis on salmon . I think tying up our resources on killer whales is a waste of our man power-- let the Feds do that
PENNEY, SHERRY October 13, 2015
WHITE SALMON, WA
One of the top funding priorities for WDFW should be the Regional Fish Enhancement Groups (RFEG). RFEGs accomplish important projects for salmon recovery and habitat restoration. More than other such entities, RFEGs engage with landowners and local governments to ensure they have local cooperation and support for projects. This kind of outreach gets valuable buy-in that is a long term benefit to salmon recovery.
Base funding by WDFW for RFEGs has not increased since 1990 while project complexity and cost have increased. The work done by RFEGs is too critical to salmon recovery for WDFW to underfund and risk losing RFEGs as a means to protect salmon and educate the public about the role of salmon in the ecology, culture and economy of Washington.
MOORE, JEFF October 13, 2015
Sorry I was unable to make the meeting in Mill Creek - It's hunting season after all.
Please make protecting wild steelhead a priority using good science. I believe we can maintain both wild and hatchery systems.
I would also like to see a Primitive Muzzle loader seasons or areas so we don't have to run into our Camouflage clad In-line brothers in the woods.
I like the website! The interactive hunting tools are helpful.
KELSEY, BRAD October 12, 2015
It's my understanding that you're interested in hearing from residents about changes that they would like to see. I'd like to see WA revisit its hunting regulations regarding airguns. The airgun market has changed dramatically since we were kids. Many of today's airguns are high-powered, precision tools that are capable of taking small game humanely at ranges of 50, 75 and even 100 yards. States such as CA and VA allow airgun hunting, and I would like to see WA do the same. I hope you'll consider this matter.
Thank you, and best wishes in your new role.
BAUMANN, RICHARD October 12, 2015
I am really happy about the Federal Government doing a environmental impact statement for the grizzly bears in the North Cascades. I am totally in support of bringing the grizzly bears back to the North Cascades as well as the wolf. I believe people need wilderness in order to save the planets ecosystems as well as give people needed enjoyment. It is important that the public is educated about the dangers of the wilderness so bad events don't occur. Today there is quite a lot of information about grizzly bear safety and wilderness safety for people to read. Thank you for helping to preserve Washington State wild areas.
HANSEN, C October 12, 2015
I am a lifetime washington resident and have been hunting this state and others for nearly 30 years. I have been following the efforts to adress the issues in Enforcement brought to light since the Operation Copy debacle. While I am concerned for the future of our youth hunters in this state, is now my main concern that you take the necessary action(s) to root out the corruption and and cronyism that apparently run rampant in the Enforcement Division. I have read the WSP report covering the previous review of past behaviour, and let there be no mistake - I am absolutely APPALLED at the behaviour, blatant lies and CYA that this group of men seem to think they can get away with.
Director Unsworth, it is your duty and responsibility to the sportsmen of this great state to take decisive action and uncerimoniously remove these men from their positions of power. The abuse of authority demonstrated makes me sick.
You have a unique opportunity to lance this long-festering sore in WDFW Enforcement. Give the officers who still care the opportunity to give back to the Department and the people of Washinhgton.
Director Unsworth, I want you to hear me loud and clear when I say I want my license and tag money applied to fixing this issue for good. Take out the trash.
DENNEY, DALE October 12, 2015
Dear Director Unsworth,
I regret not being able to make it to any of the commission meetings this year to meet you, when you were nominated I was hopeful that you would get the job, so please let me welcome you to Washington. My name is Dale Denney, I own and operate Bearpaw Outfitters, a successful outfitting business based in Northeast Washington since 1977, we offer guided hunts in Idaho, Montana, Utah, and Washington. I also own www.hunting-washington.com a popular online hunting forum with nearly 20,000 members. I am president of Washington for Wildlife an organization that helped facilitate the purchase of the Colville Fish Hatchery from WDFW by Stevens County that we lease and operate as a fisheries learning center for NE Washington high school students. I also served on Governor Inslee's Parks and Outdoor recreation Task Force. I wear quite a few hats and my life is totally committed to hunting and outdoor recreation.
I have a few important points I would ask you to consider:
Predator management is lacking due to voter initiatives and studies citing questionable conclusions. It's not normal or healthy for us to be seeing cougar on a weekly basis in our hunting areas. The lack of predator management is hurting ungulate populations, hunter opportunities, and local economies. Please bring more balanced predator management back to Washington.
There are serious concerns we are all aware of that have been expressed by citizens and WDFW employees. I hope that you will bring some accountability, pride, and fairness back to the WDFW.
Hunters & Fishers
They are the backbone of the financial well being of wildlife management in Washington. Non consumptive users are certainly important but many hunters in particular generally feel they have in many ways been abandoned by WDFW. Whether WDFW recognizes that or not, many hunters feel this way. I hope that you will take actions that will help overcome this trend and perception.
SHEETS, LARRY October 12, 2015
Wild turkeys have become a nuisance species that are possibly out-competing forest grouse in some areas. They should be hunted more heavily, and would be if tag fees were reduced and/or a turkey tag came free with every small game hunting license. (I am a retired Hunter Education instructor without a computer, so I've asked WDFW staff to submit this for me.)
CLINE, DAN October 12, 2015
Really step up the effort on poaching from those who do not obtain a legal licenses,Time after time I see people on the beaches, river" and salt water piers, ,who take way more fish and game without one care about our resources ,The rape of our animals in our forest goes on all day and night, give the officers money for new rigs,Get out and canvass others and they will verify this.
MILLER, KEN October 12, 2015
I read the book "Operation Cody" about a year ago and am still disgusted with the WDFW having this much garbage continuing to go on. I am on the brink of ending my Hunter Education Instructor status since I won't be a part of an organization that just doesn't care about anything but selling licenses and to heck with ethics and sportsman.
WALLACE, JOHN October 12, 2015
Dear Director Unsworth,
I've been reading with some amazement the WSP reports on the investigations of your senior officers and I must say that I'm shocked at what I've read. I'm shocked that the first investigation by a so-called neutral party swept glaring problems under the rug, so that a further WSP investigation then became necessary. I have met and worked with many of the lower-ranking officers and employees who were interviewed by the WSP and know the high level of their commitment to their jobs and our wildlife resources. For Cenci, Hobbs, and Crown to still have jobs on the taxpayer dime seems unbelievable to me and many others. From all appearances, the good ole boy network of the WDFW is alive and well. You have a real opportunity here to make a great and positive change at the WDFW, Director Unsworth. I sincerely hope that opportunity is exploited to its full extent.
FRITSCH, THOMAS October 12, 2015
It is time for the State of Washington to allow the use of dogs to hunt fall turkeys. The general fall seasons run for nearly a month, the late general fall season is 25 days and the 3 permit area seasons run for a month. The bag limit for the general fall seasons is 3 turkeys. You are also allowed to harvest 3 spring birds.
JUERGENS, HAROLD October 12, 2015
I appreciate the opportunity to reach out to you as provided on the web. I was a NATRS major at WSU for 2 years before I changed majors to Animal Science. I'm still passionate about our state and it's natural resources. This state has many, many opportunities to offer, but with that being said, you have a mess on your hands. The trust between the common license holder and WDFW is the lowest I've seen in 30 years. Yes, there are hot topics like wolves, but true leadership and trust within the dept appears to be in terrible shape. (Rugged Justice doesn't help either, and partnering with a very pro animal rights group with that is a mistake IMO as well).
I urge you to do all you can to rebuild that trust. Cenci is a problem that I know you're aware of. Please look into this matter fully and FIX it. It would be unfortunate to realize that this type of behavior is allowed, and if not quickly corrected, it would appear this is the standard that you feel is acceptable.
I have a LOT of respect for our enforcement officers. Seeing some of the best of the best leave due to this hostile environment is a true loss for our state. I'm in management, I get it. But this one is an easy call. Public employees have a higher standard and I wouldn't allow this kind of behavior on my crew.
I wish you luck in your position, hope you lead by example and take the proper steps to improve on the relationship both in and outside the walls of WDFW.
HIGBIE, PATRICK October 12, 2015
The biggest issue I am aware of is elk hoof rot. It seems poorly understood and managed.
There is a need for more WDFW enforcement officers as well.
LOUGHEED, CLINT October 11, 2015
Thank you for the opportunity to provide input for WDFW's Washington's Wild Future initiative. My comments are as follows:
*Increase efforts to recover wolves, grizzly bears, lynx and other non-game species.
*Manage the state's wildlife resources for the benefit of hikers, bird watchers, horse riders and other recreationists and not just for hunters and anglers.
*Continue land acquisition for the benefit of wildlife and recreationists.
*Increase enforcement to combat poaching and over harvesting.
*Give priority to enhancing wild fish populations and reduce the reliance on hatcheries. Hatcheries have a negative impact on wild fish recovery.
*Reduce motorized access to wild lands and streams to help improve habitat quality. A specific example is the need to gate road access to Decker Creek near the bridge just beyond Schafer State Park. A gate would prevent vehicles from driving across and down Decker Creek(a steelhead and salmon spawning stream) to access the East Fork Satsop River.
Thank you for considering my comments.
Clint Lougheed, Leavenworth
Fish Biologist, retired
VALLIERES, ERIC October 11, 2015
Like a large number of Washingtonians, I care about our Southern Resident Orcas. Please make it a priority of your department to protect our orcas and the salmon their diet depends on.
ROBINSON, KIMBERLY October 10, 2015
~ I'd like to see an increase of orca enforcement patrol of pleasure craft, making a patrol for each resident pod.
~ I'd like to have an increase of escapement of Chinook Salmon during the summer months that would be available for resident orca.
Thank you for your consideration of these requests.
SCRIBNER, DENEE October 10, 2015
Please preserve plant and animal habitat as much as possible and hold land users accountable to obeying fish and game laws.
SHARPE, JEAN October 10, 2015
Now that WSP Investigation is over it would appear that DC Mike Cenci is now a liability to the enforcement division. No longer can anyone believe what Cenci say as the report clearly shows Cenci to lie. No longer can he command staff when he so clearly treats field officers with so low regard and yet Cenci is never, ever held accountable. Female officers can now have an opportunity to sue Cenci and the dept for sexual harassment. What an embarrassment to the enforcement division to have command staff clearly out of control. I believe law suits will continue to pile up against Crown, Cenci, Hobbs, and Captain Meyers. Then the resources of WA will suffer as money is given out and the resources suffer at tax payers expense. Please clean house in the enforcement division and get a command staff that is moral and ethical.
N, DEREK October 10, 2015
More shore access for freshwater, especially lakes; there has been a definite squeeze by development. More trails to destinations; also interconnectivity with other wdfw sites, state parks, etc. Would be nice to see more night fishing availability, or have night fishing friendly areas outlined on your website. I think the go fish Washington portal is useful and can be expanded on all of its current successes and efforts. In general i find wdfw areas to be well kept, occasionally there are those areas which have lots of trash; raccoon/bear resistant trash cans would be useful; discarded fishing line receptacles should be placed at more locations, i have only ever seen a few at beach/pier locations, and those were typically inconvenialtly located. Increase patrols of wdfw officers; i have only ever seen one in ten years; especially for the green/duwamish river, there are many snag fishermen, poaching, exceeding catch limits, and litterers. Water quality testing for freshwater, especially lakes, results accessible to public. Video surveillance of parking areas would be welcome, but potential costs may be excessive. More visible and accessible volunteer opportunities; partnering with other agencies and ngo's. More public awareness to prevent spread of invasive species, both plant and animal, and how to report sightings; a specialized phone app may prove very useful.
GOSCH, TIM October 9, 2015
This is not the first time that input was requested so I'll cut and paste my previous post first.
Open transparency, with independent research and public results regarding "Hoof rot" It's obvious to anyone living in the effected areas that the last twenty-one year fiasco has not been bennifical to the elk or WA. With sick animals in multiple places in WA and OR it seems negligent to simply say that toxins cant be playing a part. Unfortunately with the lies the pubic has been told so far, there is little trust in WDFW and their friends the timber companies. Please don't hire Dr Anne Fairbrother again so she can tell us that toxins are safe...thats insulting.
Reduce the fees, expand opportunities, increase the herds. In the meantime I'll go hunt elsewhere. Its sad, our group used to be twelve or more. Now there are none who will hunt here.
Now to add to the post....
I'm continually disappointed by what seems to be a lack of effort by WDFW towards the Hoof Rot issues. I was hoping that some day I would be able to share the experience of hunting with my Grand Children the same way I learned. Sadly, I don't believe that will ever happen again in my own back yard. Please prove me wrong. Show me that WDFW has the abiity to manage healthy herds. Show us some tranparency and an honest effort in dealing with the sick an dying elk, not just a nother kill off in an effort to hide the truth.
Tim Gosch... A life long WA resident but former WA Hunter
SMITH, STU October 9, 2015
I'm concerned about the orcas in Washington waters, and I ask that you make their future a priority. As you know, they are threatened with a lack of food, including Chinook salmon. Accordingly, enhancing wild salmon stocks - and their habitat - should also be a priority. Thank you.
REISENBICHLER, REG October 9, 2015
I encourage the department to expand its efforts to maintain or restore the ecological integrity of Washington's natural systems (terrestrial and aquatic), and to expand opportunities for Watchable Wildlife.
Thanks to you and WDFW for previous efforts, perhaps exemplified by the program at Sinlahekin WMA.
NISBET, TINA October 9, 2015
This is a test
WETTSTEIN, JASON October 9, 2015
testing this email function once more.
CURTIS, CHARLES October 9, 2015
i feel in the past that the "sportsman" has been sold out by previous directors. i truly hope you can help to change that.
my biggest issue is hatchery cutbacks for salmon & steelhead and the increased trout plants. i believe salmon and steelhead fishing brings more local and state economic benefits. plus in all honesty the trout the are planted by wdfw have soft flavorless meat.
i believe lowering the non-tribal commercial fishing or raises their licensce fee to something close equal to what the recreational anglers pay in. non-tribal commercial fishing takes a significantlly larger portion of the salmon when compared to "sporties". yet they pay far less in fees.
my second concern is the over harvest done by non-tribal commercial, sporties, and tribal fisherman. please step up enforcement and cite larger fines to help curtail over harvest & poaching. i understand that the wdfw doesnt have any authority to oversee tribal fisheries, but the federal government does. please get them involved. there are few tribe that privately encourage overharvesting practices amongst their members.
thank you for this opportunity to write my suggestions and concerns.
BURR, ERIC October 9, 2015
Wolves are probably your most critical challenge, both out on the ground and in the arena of public opinion. They have become a symbolic flash point for the culture wars, and therefore demand your most intelligent effort to manage your public persona. Carter Niemyer and Conservation NW are probably your best sources for constructive advice. Jay Kehne with Conservation NW is dealing with this as much as anyone now locally, whereas Carter is in demand nationally. Refer critics to Cristina Eisenberg's and/or Carter's books.
NOBLE, KYLE October 9, 2015
My message pertains to steelhead in the Puget Sound basin. Particularly hatchery steelhead releases in rivers of the Puget Sound basin. As an avid steelheader, it is certainly disappointing that litigation has caused the stoppage of hatchery plants on a majority of the rivers that feed Puget Sound. While I understand that ESA listing of wild steelhead has caused the WDFW to need permits from NMF, what I can
PIDGEON, MARK October 9, 2015
My name is Mark Pidgeon and I am President of the Hunters heritage Council, Washington
MICHEL, A October 8, 2015
I care about Souther Resident oracas. please make orcase and their salmon snacks a priority
CROSBY, LINDSEY October 8, 2015
I have been hunting geese for a few years in SW Washington. I have a current goose card and know not to shoot Dusky geese. What I don't understand is if I accidentally shoot a Duskey this season I get my card punched and also receive a citation. Why would I get a citation when I get my card punched and can not hunt the rest of the season. It has not been this way in the past. This does not seem fair, for something unintentinal. I could understand this if someone was targeting the Duskey and had several when checked in the field.
KIRWIN , GEORGE October 8, 2015
SPOKANE , WA
Junk science is what you are based on. I will no longer be buying a fishing or hunting license in the state of Washington
AADSEN, TELE October 8, 2015
MADISON, MIKE October 8, 2015
MC CLEARY , WA
I would like to know why we have to have wolves? Hunter or not people need to be informed on what they put all wildlife threw at there presence. We lost the right to hunt bear with hounds there were even commercials on it because it was inhumane. We can't trap moles its inhumane trapping and poisoning mice I hear is trying to be stopped. A person can't beat an animal or shoot a nuisance dog or cat its inhumane. Why is it humane and ok to have wolves killing innocent and all wildlife wildlife should not have to live in fear and sadness every moment of there life knowing sooner or later they and there parents and offspring are going to be eaten alive the worst way I can think of to die why is that inhumane kind of thing acceptable??? There needs to be a new approach on not wolf management but entire removal. show inform the public of stuff like I have seen like a calf moose laying on the ground with its butt eaten out and left still alive and the mom laying with its head on it how dramatic and inhumane if people seen what they are supporting in the real way real world they would not allow it get the humane society and these groups that got hound hunting mole trapping ect stopped on our side!! maybe fliers video ect out to everyone they don't realize we should be able to it is very inhumane and we are allowing it and its wrong!! Show anyone what they do and asks them if that is ok with them inform them and have a vote on it animals should not have live in sadness and fear there entire life!!!
TREHERNE, TISHA October 8, 2015
BAINBRIDGE ISLAND, WA
I care deeply about Southern Resident Orcas, an icon of the Puget Sound Region. Please make these amazing orcas and the salmon they depend on a priority.
NOEL, MICHAEL October 8, 2015
My schedule will not allow me to attend the public meetings, but here are some thoughts.
1. Hunters & fisherman generally bear the burden of increased license/access fees to pursue what we love. Lets make sure this money gets where it needs to go administration is a necessary evil, but can easily be overdone. Biologists, enforcement & access for us should be at the top of the spending list. Not in the middle or at the bottom.
2. Let's have some more steadfastness in dealing with the tribes. We all understand that treaty rights are a burden for you guys to deal with. However, allowing last minute deals which benefit no one but tribal interests in a time of ever decreasing access to sportsmen is really discouraging.
3. Lets get something done with hatchery fish production. Closing hatcheries not only discourages angler participation at a time when we need more financial resources and opportunity, but causes much more crowding and chaos at the remaining fisheries. There is plenty of science on both sides of this issue if it needs to be settled in court then so be it, lets just get it done. I feel many local and national organizations would be happy to help if they were approached.
I appreciate you taking time to read this, please do not hesitate to contact me and let me know what I can do to help.
ROSENBERG, JOHN October 8, 2015
October 8, 2015
Director Jim Unsworth
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
600 Capitol Way North
Olympia, WA 98501-1091
KIM, JI-YOUNG October 7, 2015
Please prioritize humane methods when dealing with predators such as wolves and bears. They are a vital part of the ecosystem. Also please help bring back the salmon so orcas can thrive.
WEYENBERG, IAN October 7, 2015
as a citizen, tax payer and avid user of washingtons back country. i wanted to write and voice my complete support for the reintroduction and protection of wolves in this state. likewise i support the reintroduction of the grizzly, which you deny is here but i have seen in the NCNP at least once this year.
farmers and ranchers should watch their flock, not indiscriminately kill anything that might do them harm. additionally, there is plenty of elk and other "protected" species in this state to go around, no need to kill the wolves because they might take a trophy buck or make you work harder to hunt an over populated and protected species. i say protected because a LOT of money is spent on those populations to keep the hunters happy, maybe its time we stop that?
i hope that you will agree, some things are worth more then money, like a well balanced ecosystem.
TOBECK, ROBERT October 7, 2015
RENTON , WA
Thanks for the opportunity to communicate with both you and the department. I have three major points that I feel WDFW needs to address:
Prioritizing Recreational Fisheries & Fee Increase Proposal
Recreational anglers are the largest single source of revenue for WDFW, generating over $35 million annually in license fees and excise taxes. Unfortunately, WDFW
JONES, GREG October 7, 2015
1 You need to completely revamp the enforcement program. I personally know several enforcement and former enforcement people. I know that you are aware of the issue with Cenci. The guy has systematically tore the agency apart. Some of the best Sergeants this agency has had have quit because of this issue. These Chief, assistant chief, and sergeant jobs should not be politicized. Get rid of the culls .
2 More focus needs to be put on habitat improvement and scientific approach. The process of setting hunting and fishing seasons should be based on sound science, not what a particular user group wants. Way too many animals are harvested because of politics. The complaint I hear a lot from your Bios is that they present data to Olympia and folks there go with political approaches not ones based on science.
3 We need more game wardens. The guys in my area are worked to death and aren't able to keep up with the issues they are hired for. Protecting our resource is vital and what we have is not enough.
4 The tribal issues need to be worked on aggressively. I work with a couple tribes and know for a fact that co-management is not high on there list. If our resources are to be around for future generations we need a better system.
5 Since big timber companies own a big chunk of land and habitat in our state, I would like to see incentive programs put in place that would challenge these companies to do a better job of increasing habitat potential on there lands. The only good thing about theses landowners habitat wise is they log. Beyond that, between fast growing single specie trees, spraying, and road density, habitat on private land leave a lot to be desired. Road density is so bad that closing some roads are vital to a quality habitat scenario.
VIGIL, JERALD October 7, 2015
I have been fishing out of Ilwaco at buoy 10 and one day you can catch wild Chinook and the next day it is illegal. I'm too old to have and operate smart phones. Couldn't you have a bulletin board at major Puget Sound Marinas to inform fisherman of changes in the regs. that occur daily.
GUTHRIE, BARBARA October 7, 2015
Population growth will continue and protecting wildlife habitat, dealing with human-wildlife conflict, minimizing the degradation of critical habitat for endangered and threatened species...all will become more challenging issues in the future. Since funding is finite and the problems are infinite, it is important to strengthen and forge new partnerships with stakeholders that have a similar vision and mission as WDFW of conserving and managing Washington
VIGIL, JERALD October 7, 2015
Some time ago $10 or $15 dollars were added to the Salt Water fishing license to
build net pens and raise Salmon in the Sound to enhance the Black Mouth fishing.
This worked for a while but now the net pens are there but the fish have been eliminated. Why? If there is no raising of the fish, shouldn't the license fee drop. I would like to see the fish raised in the net pens and this would increase the fishing and feed other fish predators in the sound.
HERTZLER, LAURIE October 7, 2015
I strongly support wolf recovery in Washington State. I want to see the department work closely with wildlife groups to prevent conflicts with livestock with nonlethal means. Livestock producers must take responsibility for protecting our wild places and learning to live in harmony with our wildlife. We can no longer exploit our lands and animals without consequences. I would also like to see a closer relationship with the department and the public, so we can experience the amazing gifts we have in our state. I would like to go on a wolf-watching trip in our own state. I'd like to see more animals on trail cams. Oregon shares more information, shares the wolves' names and pictures of litters. This helps education the public, who can be very misinformed about the nature of wolves. OR7 did a great deal to educate the public, and I think most Oregonians rejoiced in his return from California, finding a mate, and producing young. Let's do the same here.
SNIDER, MARK October 7, 2015
OTIS ORCHARDS, WA
Recognize that WDFW is accountable to and operates on behalf of numerous Washington citizens and stakeholders who are
OZANICH, BRENT October 6, 2015
I agree with the general sentiment that the hunting/fishing regulations need to be simplified.
In addition I would like to see the strategies that the regulations represent explained and the progress tracked. For example; Elk hunting. why are certain gmu's spike only? Why are others true spike only? Why are still others 3 point minimum? What are the biologists trying to achieve with the herds? Then track the herd data,publish annual results, and show us if the strategies are working or not. A short summary is all I am thinking of and a chart plotting progress year over year. If this could be done for each species,and each hunting method, I think it would reduce a lot of frustration many feel over seemingly random and overly restrictive regulations.
Thanks for the opportunity to comment.
GRANBERG, RACHEL October 6, 2015
Let's spend more resources in fire prevention and habitat restoration through the reintroduction of a historic disturbance regime - prescribed fire. Many landscapes in the PNW depend on fire (or a modern surrogate) in order to maintain ecosystem services. Not only were lightning strike fires a normal,occurence,but Native Americans regularly set intentional fires to manage habitat on a landscape scale.
Firewise, WDFW, The Nature Conservancy, Center for Natural Lands Management, DNR, BLM, USFS, etc. should be working collaboratively to provide solutions to increasing fire intensity and frequency in the face of global climate change. Hire me to be project coordinator for a project like this.
MEYER, MARLENE October 6, 2015
Encourage and educate local grocery stores carry sustainable fish, e.g. not farm raised Salmon. Some stores carry all the wrong fish, such as most Safeways.
STONE, LOU October 6, 2015
Dear Honorable Director Unsworth:
Please consider the following thoughts, that the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife should:
Pursue science-based management for all fish and wildlife species, specifically carnivores. Social tolerance, harvest opportunity and other factors should be considered, but not above science-based wildlife management recommendations.
Increase conservation priority and focus on non-game species, including allocating more time, funds and staff resources towards non-game species recovery, conservation and habitat enhancement.
Increase WDFW conservation focus and priority on native carnivores as they recover in our state, including smaller carnivores such as lynx, wolverine and fisher. Native carnivores of all sizes are vital for healthy ecosystems and are an important part of our state
BURKE, TIM October 6, 2015
I want to encourage you to consider the next generation who should have the same opportunities to enjoy the great northwest as many of us had. It is so important that we focus on preserving our rivers and salmon and steelhead fisheries. This means 1) Organizing the budget into specific line items that fun areas of improvement. 2) Habitat Recovery 3) Enforcement of guidelines/laws that allow rivers to recover and thrive. 4) Hatchery program that champions the genetic finger print of each river. Please! This is so vitally important!
Believe River Guide Service
ELEY, MARGARET October 6, 2015
I dig clams on Long Beach. I buy the license, have my own container and walk to the beach but I cannot dig my own clams. I do not meet the 2 classifications for a disable permit as it is written. I have a very hard time walking very far and bending over is a major issue. I am willing to abide by the laws but there must be a way persons like me can have someone dig my clams legally. Not everyone fits the "disable" classification but still are unable to dig.
Thank you for your interest.
PROFFITT , SCOTT October 6, 2015
Let houndsmen run bear and Mtn lion again.I can say that is a why a lot of your sportsman go to Idaho for and it would help the bear and cat problems in the suburbs. Thanks scott
SANDERSON, LARRY October 6, 2015
SPOKANE VALLEY, WA
What was the purpose of buying the Grand Coulee Ranch?
Will that be closed to hunting now it's WDFW ground?
Will WDFW make up the loss of taxes in Douglas County?
SANDERSON, LARRY October 6, 2015
GANN, WILLARD October 6, 2015
I'm American Indian and I don't know how the puyallup indains the can take all the fish and the regular guys Fishman cannot catch Harley one this year I thought this was supposed to be a record year of the fish coming there was a half the fish that was two years ago plus I'll take the fish Indians you should go all the way NPR river during hardly any fish coming up now up to the main street bridge in Fishman don't get nothing plus I think the game wardens need to read the books before they start giving out tickets around here plus I had to call the Department of Fisheries to find out why and we can keep on keep two copies and there was last year there was four and I talked to one guy at the fisheries and they said the written rule books wrong
LOSS, CINDI October 5, 2015
I think residents of the state should have more affordable access to these wonderful Natural Resources we all enjoy here in Washington State. Fishing Licenses are outrages, it cost my family a lot of money to get to the Ocean; Straits; Hood Canal even the Snake and Columbia Rivers are a great distance to travel for food fish for my Eastern Washington family and friends. The DFW charges us through the nose for these fish that are so regulated you need to be a genius to understand the do's and don'ts posted in the regulation book. There needs to be less restrictions and more accessibility to all species of fish. One price for one years worth of fishing, to all residence, no extra charges or species charges, that is just ridiculous. Thank-You for listening.
GRENON, ALAN October 5, 2015
My greatest interest is in restoration of rare and degraded habitats, with focus on threatened or endangered species, and especially on bolstering rare species before they become more threatened. For recreation, my angle is mostly birding (watching), so non-game wildlife are a priority, but if bird populations are well-supported, most other wildlife will be, too (including plants).
KERLEE, DON October 5, 2015
CENTRALIA , WA
How to restore Hunting privileges to forest land in Western WA? The cost of timber company permits has quadrupled the cost of big game hunting, (if you can even get a permit, I have not been able to). 90% of timberlands I used to hunt are gone...What happens next? I think this is the end of hunting as we know it in this state.
I think Montana is our only choice remaining. the cost of a deer tag is $500.00, and farmers are PAID by the state to allow hunting! With these timberland fees and the cost of WA tags, we have to, the hunting is not good enough here in Western WA to justify the cost. If we are going to travel it will be out of state.
When this happens by multiples of hundreds of hunters, possibly thousands in the future were does that leave the WDFW?
If this sounds all doomsday, well it is. I used to just go hunting, that appears to be a thing of the past. I have hunted for 43 years.
CHANDLER, CAROL October 5, 2015
BATTLE GROUND, WA
I'm concerned that we(WA state) needs to manage wildlife population numbers based on actual wildlife habitat capacity for each species. A good example is the elk herd numbers do not reflect the current carrying capacity based on the forage available.
BOZE, DOUGLAS October 4, 2015
MOUNT VERNON, WA
I am concerned about the absolute lack of available area for people to drive to access hunting areas, in western Washington. Eastern Washington has lots of areas that are both accessible and huntable. As our hunting population gets older, it becomes increasingly difficult for those older hunters to walk greater distances and pack out game. Some of my fondest memories as a youth was that of driving around logging roads with my grandpa looking for black tail. It is a shame for hunters to have to "walk in" to most areas. In addition, I find it basically offensive that hunters need to buy a "discover pass" to simply park at nothing more than a gravel area to walk past a gate to hunt. Increasing parking fees and lack of drivable logging areas for access are concerning. Not to mention the multiple passes needed (WDFW parking pass, discover pass, etc). If there is going to be a parking pass, there should be ONE pass for everyone, hikers, hunters, etc.
Finally, trapping in this state needs to be re address, as far as using body gripping style traps. Trying to lug around several large live cage traps along a trap line is completely unrealistic. Not to mention, in my opinion and experience, live body cages stress out an animal much more than a quick human body grip trap.
GEORGE, DERYL October 4, 2015
The South Channel in Grays Harbor; the sports fisherman can not keep any Chinook. I have no objection to this as a means of assuring the resource. The Chinook are really stacked up in there due to low water in the rivers. Your managers proceeded to allow the Gillnetters to fish in those conditions. They just plain slaughtered the fish. I see this as a severe case of total mismanagement by your fishery folks. Normally, I am very supportive of the Department. This was not good! Every sports fisherman that I have spoken with feels the same way.
OZUNA, DAVE October 3, 2015
I'm writing to voice my concerns about recreational fishing in Puget Sound. Given the enormous economic impact of recreational fishing, please do everything within your power to provide for opportunities to harvest fish in the Puget Sound region. I would hope you work toward the increase of the hatchery program for both salmon and steelhead. In particular the shutting down of steelhead hatcheries and the closing of Puget Sound rivers is putting an enormous strain on those rivers that remain open.
I believe that the enhancement of recreational fisheries should your first priority!
SWALANDER, KEN October 3, 2015
Band all commercial fishing, demand all the money collected from our fishing license fees go to improve fishing in Puget sound, like improve fish hatcheries and build more of them!
DROZ, ROGER October 3, 2015
PORT ANGELES, WA
hatcheries should be your top priority! more fish means more fishermen means more revenue! there should be no commercial fishery in the puget sound areas, only in the ocean! the halibut fishery in the ocean needs to be changed, give us a 3 fish per person limit, but give us a couple months to fish! the way it is now it is a complete bottleneck at the boat ramps and you risk your life to go no matter what the weather is like!
ROSS, KEITH October 2, 2015
Mr. Unsworth, I'm pleased that you, as the director ,are looking foward to improving our fisheries here in Washington. Being a born and raised Washingtonian ,I have enjoyed years of bountiful catches of Salmon ,Steelhead and trout. In recent years I have seen and witnessed the catch diminish with fewer opportunities from shorter seasons , closure to sportsman in certain areas where tribal and commercial still continue , and hatchery closures . The License Fees seem to climbing and opportunities for sportsman seem to be in decline. I do enjoy my time here in the outdoors of Washington State . As a boat owner , There is no better place to take in a day on the water here in Puget Sound. I would really like to see the fishery here in Puget Sound be improved on . If This means increasing Hatchery production in current hatcheries or through new hatcheries, I would be willing to pay extra dollars for the cause , But if the trend continues to go the other way . Opportunities for me in other states fisheries may be the solution for myself. Thanks for the chance to express my concerns. Keith Ross
BABIK, MELISSA October 2, 2015
I would like to see more funding funneled to the RFEGs. These nonprofit groups have low overhead and admin costs while making enormous on the ground differences within their communities. Specifically Mid-Columbia Fisheries has had huge involvement with citizen volunteers and landowners in their district. They have successfully leveraged grants and volunteer match to implement restoration projects while promoting educating and outreach within their local community. They are finding ways to engage youth from Central Washington University, provide job training, and hire many young budding biologists. As a strong partner in salmon recovery, I personally would like to see their efforts expanded not shrunk due to insufficient state funding. In the face of climate change and severe droughts this is NOT the time to reduce funding to groups that are contributing to healthy salmonid populations. Sustainable fisheries and restoration work will support the local communities and will become essential if future generations are to experience our iconic WA state salmonid populations.
SEMKE, ELI October 2, 2015
Welcome to Washington, Dr. Unsworth.
I'm a lifelong Washington resident. I grew up with my family catching salmon, picking oysters off the beach, hiking the Olympic mountains, and seeing Orcas, among many other marine mammals, in Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands. These are the reasons I've never seriously considered living elsewhere, they are what makes Washington a place like no other. It is of upmost importance that WDFW continue and increase its efforts to conserve the ecosystems that support wildlife, and ultimately people.
I'd like to voice my strong support for the reintroduction of wolves, and efforts to reintroduce grizzly bears to the Cascades. Carnivores are an integral part of functioning ecosystems. I am a hike and backpack in the Cascades. Those who oppose reintroduction of wolves and grizzlies are misinformed, seem to lack the knowledge to safely share the wilderness with these creatures. I believe a public education campaign can, in large part, remedy this misunderstanding. WDFW could use its authoritative voice to increase public understanding of these important species, and allay fears.
I appreciate your taking the time to take public comment. Thanks for your efforts to preserve the wildlife of Washington!
FAIRCHILD, JENNIFER October 2, 2015
I would like to see the agency focus more on wildlife ad natural resource conservation, education, and advocacy. It seems that agency's focus is to support hunters and sportsman. I think that is fine, but i'd like to see more of a balance. At times it seems that the agency gives into demands for bigger hunting and fishing quotas when the science doesn't support it or when we see trends such as climate change coming into the region and changing the norm.
I'd like to see the agency be more neutral to emotions and demands and focus on science and conservation to ensure a healthy wildlife population in the state for all to enjoy, hunters, sportsman, and wildlife/nature enthusiasts.
I'd also like to see more support for conservation of the state's carnivores such as fishers.
Conservation for all wildlife is critical.
STRANDELL, ROBIN October 1, 2015
Our family of 4 lives on a small farm in eastern Washington where most of the wolves are doing so much damage. We would like to see you, and all of the "pro-wolf" people, take all of the wolves in this state, divide them between yourselves, and keep them on your OWN fenced, private property. You wolf-lovers are no better than terrorists, letting your wild dogs run around damaging other people's private property. P.S. We also aren't interested in having grizzly bears brought into the state to create the same problems the wolves are causing.
JOKELA, MARY October 1, 2015
DEER PARK, WA
I appreciated the Spokane area opportunity yesterday for comments, values information and to commend DFW for the outstanding work performed in many arenas of wildlife concern.
And as I just read the outrageous non-fine for the 2014 Whitman County wolf poaching, and storied commorant killings on the Columbia (which I recognize is outside your jurisdiction) I would add to my 9/30/15 comments a robust direction that the "just kill them" posture will never energize DFW policy (which it hasn't historically). The Department's figurative ear will be more than bent in that direction, but I trust DFW's fiduciary responsibility will be upheld for all Washingtonians and the species it conserves.
MANNS, TIMOTHY October 1, 2015
MOUNT VERNON, WA
Dear Director Unsworth,
I appreciate the opportunity to give an opinion about wildlife management in Washington. My impression is that there are a lot of things WDFW does well despite the agency's less than adequate budget. I will say that there has been a tendency at some times and in some places for the interests of non-hunters and non-fishers to be disregarded or given short shrift. I want to emphasize that this is not the case presently in the Skagit Area, where Manager Belinda Rotton does a fine job of listening to all stakeholders and doing the best she can for the many interests. As a birder and someone interested in wildlife in general, I am happiest when WDFW focuses on habitat protection and restoration and provides a reasonable level of access for wildlife watchers. While a bit of the Discover Pass revenue goes to WDFW, I would be happy to pay more for the required Pass so that birders like me would be contributing more to the public lands we use. As a Skagit County resident I also want to specifically mention the Johnson-Debay Swan Reserve and the importance of it remaining in reserve status as a non-hunted area. Despite the fact that there are years when the reserve sees relatively little use by swans, it will probably be more and more important to swans in the future as farm lands in the Nookachamps floodplain are increasingly converted from corn fields to filberts and berries.
Thank you for your interest in obtaining input from the public.
Conservation Chair, Skagit Audubon Society
BAYRAKCISMITH, RANA October 1, 2015
Thank you for soliciting input. Most importantly:
DUNCAN, DEAN October 1, 2015
Are we, as responsible stewards of are marine ecosystems, going to continue the use of commercial and Tribal nets in Puget Sound until the last wild Salmon is killed. This is completely irresponsible management of a species that was once plentiful in this region (Pr- Judge Bolt decision). Quoting my father,who fished for salmonn in Elliot Bay from a row boat that he kept on Alki Beach, WDFW is a God Dammed Catastrophe. One hook,one pole,one fish, per day, per person,PERIOD!. Get the nets OUT! I think we all might be pleasantly surprised with the outcome... By the way, WDFW licences need to be consolidated, you just have to hunt or fish in a different State to realize this.I do most of my hunting and fishing out of state,imagine that!.I just love to fish,every year the restrictions increase and the Chinook numbers decrease. the way WDFW manages this trend is sure to continue.when you attach a dollar sign to a species it is inevitable that will end up on the endangered species list,shame on you and your mismanagement. Dean Duncan, proud member of CCA,Ducks Unlimited,and Pheasants Forever. I also have purchased a hunting and fishing license in Washington State for the last 40 years, $250 last year,do you honestly think I'm getting a fair deal, REALLY!!!
LESTER, DEB October 1, 2015
I would like to see you enhance your level of effort on contaminant monitoring in fish and shellfish. This information is critical to the ability to detect and track contaminant issues in Puget Sound and freshwater bodies.
DASHIELL, ROBERT October 1, 2015
BAINBRIDGE ISLAND, WA
WDFW new hydraulic fish passage rules and their current enforcement need a serious and urgent review. Your predecessor was asked by the Commission how much a fish passage costs as compared to a typical culvert. He replied he wasn't sure .., but estimated the cost at about $3,000.
Our fish passage culverts, with engineering design and installation, are costing more than $200,000 each. These are for small streams, some of them having no anadromous fish. Local WDFW hydraulic permit approver says all streams will have new fish passage designs regardless of whether they have any fish of any type and are constant flowing or seasonal. Anadromous fish or stream characteristics are not a consideration.
Our local survey show stream simulation culverts likely kill more fish that what they save because the pools that fish gather in are eliminated and there is no longer a channel in the culvert ... the depth of water is not sufficient for fish to cross under that roadway in summer months.
You have an expert fish biologist on the WDFW commission ... Conrad Mahnken. He has observed the situation on Bainbridge Island. You should make a point to talk to him and hear his views on the relatively new and current hydraulic passage rules.
For some streams, the new hydraulic rules may make sense. But putting in Taj Mahal type culverts and bridges to protect streams that have small residential fish ... let's say 4 inch non-seagoing cutthroat, is nothing more than a massive waste of tax and fee payer's money being dictated by hydraulic rules that fail to take into account fish types and stream characteristics.
Many attachments available if anyone in WDFW is interested.
STROBLE, SHARON October 1, 2015
We need more appropriate penalties for Wolf Poaching - a "slap on the wrist" is NOT ENOUGH. Cougars should not become an inappropriate target for predator control when THEY ARE NOT THE "PROBLEM".
Ranchers should not dictate predator control practices when they are not doing their part to responsibly care for their animals.
BAYLESS, CASEY October 1, 2015
WOODLAND , WA
Good morning Director Unsworth,
My question to you is why do fish even get clipped, marked or even get called native any more? The very small population of true native fish compared to the rising numbers of hatchery reared fish, is it worth the time, effort and money to clip fins just to tell sport fisherman they can't keep a hatchery fish that has an adipose fin. This is not a question geared towards saying that the efforts of WDFW are a waist of time because there is probably a plan, however time and money could be saved to add to the very small population game wardens that patrol this valuable fishery that is slowly coming back.
One point I an trying to make about the clipped unclipped fish is gill neters and native Americans can keep what ever they catch however sportsmen can't ! With the millions of sports men and woman that buy fishing licenses each year to help support WDFW, why can't the marking of fish stop and when fish return make it a 2 fish limit per person per day 1 salmon of any species and 1 steelhead using the same seasonal guidelines that are in place and they may be unclipped! I think you would even have more people buying licenses! This is of course is in reguardless to the columbia river fishery. This has been a question of mine for many years, and either way I still plan on fishing the columbia river as it has provided for me and my family for many years!
It's just frustrating to put a lot of effort into a day or weekend of fishing to hook one or two fish and have to release it unharmed knowing it is a hatchery fish but is unmarked! Anyhow keep the fish coming and how ever it turns out we will still keep fishin!
WILLIS, CHERYL October 1, 2015
Partnerships will contunue to be an excellent method to maintian Washington Fish and Wildlife properties signed and accessible. Counting ad monitoring fish and wildlife should be incorporated yearly. Conservation can include limiting access to properties at specific times for wildlife breeding sucess.
Paid permiting for access and hunting and fishing continue adding enforcement to check permits and poaching.
Drought preparation plans for lands and waters should be undertaken.
ZELASKO, SANDY September 30, 2015
I want to see a page on your website where I can 'Take Action" to benefit wildlife. Make it easy for people who don't have time to write essays. Thanks
TURNER, KELLY September 30, 2015
WDFW is doing many good things for our precious environment. Thank you. Here are a few ideas from a long-time outdoor adventurer and environmental activist:
-eliminate all fish hatcheries. Put those resources into habitat rehab and protection, especially estuaries.
-require all qualified WDFW field personnel to spend at least 75% of their time in the field, on foot or raft or kayak or drift boat. End the use of jet boats, ATVs, helicopters, and flagging tape or other markers. Equip them with appropriate tech (iPads, etc) to assist them with surveys, monitoring, and documentation. Leave no trace.
-value non-sporting/hunting/fishing species as much as game animals. They are all critical elements of a complex ecosystem.
ADAIR, JOHN September 30, 2015
Hello. Thanks for the opportunity for comment. I am a fisherman of sorts, targeting coho salmon and halibut and am a member of CCA and the local Pogie club. Appreciate the WDFW attention to recreational fishing. There is a joke that one has to practically be a lawyer to understand the WA fishing regulations. One of my concerns is that we keep in mind that the resorts around WA, such as in Sekiu (one of our favorite spots) are totally dependent on fishing seasons. Another concern is that we work with the tribes to be responsible in their gill netting. The cards are stacked in their favor from the start. They are granted half the fish, but are much less than half the population. They are more commercial than subsistence. They do not contribute to funding, but rather are a drain on resources. I submit their aggressive gill netting is responsible for the diminished Chinook. Thanks, and see you on the water. John Adair
DUTRA, LORETTA September 29, 2015
I would appreciate a copy of WDFW's mission statement regarding the reintroduction of wolves.
I don't think WDFW or the rancher can sustain the current program.
A modified less expensive program such as using counts before and after turn out then compensating based on a percentage of losses over historic numbers.
Maybe a program like that or some other less costly program that also uses less man hours.
SCHLIE, GERALD September 29, 2015
The Snider Creek Native Hatchery project on the Sol Duc River was closed a few years ago. The returning native hatchery steelhead offered an excellent fishing opportunity for little to no cost to the State, and little to no effect on the native steelhead. The one study offered by the State that may provide evident that native hatchery steelhead are harmful was not convincing enough in my opinion to shut-down the operation. And now the Sol Duc native steelhead will slowly drop in numbers because the Quileute Tribe still nets the lower stretches of the river! The number of returning steelhead per mating pair is not significantly higher than two (statistics provided by WDFW). Therefore, without any enhancement of the natives, any harvesting will result in a reduction of the total population. Some form of native steelhead enhancement must be implemented.
DUTRA, LORETTA September 29, 2015
STAUFFER, DAN September 29, 2015
Too bad the public meetings nearest my home happen on nights I have unavoidable commitments. Director Unsworth, your Washington's Wild Future initiative is a two edged sword. I applaud you for reaching out to our states citizens, but fear the message you and the department will receive from many of them. When the 'non-consumptive' users come to the table with their well intentioned, but often misinformed demands to the WDFW's time and budget be very sure to correctly inform them it is time to "Put up, or Shut up" The consumptive users, hunters and fishers, have supported this dept with our hard earned dollars for generations and having groups and individuals advocate for use of the revenue we generated, oft times to end the pursuits the hunters and fishers paid for is absolutely galling. If these folks want to save and or expand the programs they enjoy, they should be funding them. Step up and add their retail purchases to Dingal/Johnson and Pittmon/Robertson so the Wildlife account gets larger, step up and demand to purchase licenses and pay fees that support the programs they enjoy. The hunters and anglers of this state have made it clear we will not support increases on our fees and permits for less opportunity and we certainly abhor and detest financially supporting those who seek to take away our time honored pass times.
HARGROVE, THOMAS September 29, 2015
1) The license is simply too bulky which results in it being moved from place to place and often being left behind by accident. The should be a simple, one piece. one sheet thick version which can stay in a wallet full time. 2) The multiple passes for access to various state owned lands create confusion, particularly since they use the same hang tag. There should be a way to use color coding for the two passes or, better yet, combine the two passes on one hang tag so there is no doubt that the correct one is displayed. 3) There needs to be a more pro-active way to push closures to E-mails and smart phones. Nothing quite as frustrating as driving 200 miles only to find the destination or species closed. 4) It would be good to coordinate razor clam dig openings with beach clean up campaign days This would allow clammers to help with the clean up and allow cleaners to have a side benefit to their charitable efforts. 5) Its not clear why the size limit on chinook is 22" in the near sound areas and 24" in the open ocean. Nor is it obvious how this can be enforced in the area where the two limits adjoin (Marine area 4/5.) Unless there is a clear biological reason for this we should have one consistent size limit thoughout the salt water areas. In the same vein, the current regs lack a clear division of tidal areas at river mouths. The Columbia has the Buoy 10 regs and the Hoodsport hatchery has an exemption, but all other river/stream mouths have no clear delineation of where the stream size limits (mostly 12' jacks) are legal vs the "true saltwater" limits prevail. Obviously, the tidal head can go inland a fair ways and an ambitious angler could wade out some distance into the ocean at a delta (or go totally crazy with a float tube or kayak.) Seems like an opportunity for citations and litigation which needs clarification.
SWALANDER, KEN September 29, 2015
l like that you are stocking some of the lakes with jumbos and triploids. But you need to fight hard to keep the hatcheries [all hatcheries] open, and expand and improve them. Also work with the legislature to secure a larger amount our money going to funding the hatcheries. We pay a lot throw the license fees but get very little in return. And one more thing make the "Washington sport fishing rules" booklet simpler to read and understand.
WYCKOFF, SUSAN September 29, 2015
I am thrilled to see that the Fish and Wildlife Service is possibly moving into protecting and dealing with more than just game animals. This would be fantastic! Thank you, susan
TYNER, JAMES September 29, 2015
Regulations have become way to complex and confusing. Need a lawyer to understand all the if and buts. And see a lot of neglect to using wdfw launch sights without permits.
MARRA, P. GERALD (GERRY) September 28, 2015
First off, fire all of those folks who scheduled this meeting in Muzzle loading elk season, west side. The other meetings are also in prime deer or elk hunting. What department are you from? Keep the hunters out of their season? BIG TIME NOT THINKING FROM SOMEONE.
As a master hunter of many years, the program has changed. We are not farm baby sitters. Last year I was drawn for a hunt in Elk Prairie Road. We were allowed to hunt 3 days from March 12-15. Even though there were areas in the same location that needed damage elk fixing, we were not allowed to help with that hunt. This farm had Master Hunters called since August. The elk were in the fields until about a half an hour before legal hunting time and were gone. This is not a master hunt. All that was needed, was for the regional Bio to drive up, park his truck and the elk would run away. No opportunity for us to hunt. We were also not allowed to go say hello to the farmer. Those in charge of these hunts need some training on how to run this kind of hunt.
Also, one of my major beefs is the Master Hunter Advisory group. I have NEVER heard from any of them, I have never heard of any of their illogical recommendations to the Department nor have I seen any minutes of their meetings where things that effect my hunting are decided. They do not represent me or many Master Hunters. They are a yes group for the Department. Also, as a older Master Hunter (aged 75), I have NO need to purchase two elk tags if I get drawn for a damage hunt. This is one of the most stupid things I have heard. I have a valid tag that goes to waste each year as if I am successful, one elk or half an elk is plenty for me. Why do I have to pay for a tag NOT NEEDED, except to make money for the state.
Yes, much must be done to make this state a great place for sportsmen and Sportswomen to partake in our seasons. Too many people in Olympia headquarters and not enough understanding the real world.
MILLER, BOBBI September 28, 2015
Mr. Unsworth -
I applaud your desire to hear more about what is important to the public and collaborative ways of working with communities. My comments may be out of step with those of someone that is an avowed hunter/fisherman, but I will share them anyway.
For too long this state has catered to the whims and desires of hunters through the game division, even going so far as to move the management of wolves to the game side of the department, rather then have them covered under Penny Becker and the "diversity" division - whatever that name means? Many of us understand trophic cascades, and the need for apex predators in the ecosystem in order to add balance to our environment. We can not, and should not, bow to ranchers grazing their animals on public lands, or kowtow to hunters who don't want wolves killing deer when we all know that wolves will take the sick, weak and young - making the sport of hunting an actual fair fight. Besides, with bacterial hoof disease in Washington's elk, it seems to make more sense to allow wolves to cull those sick animals while you figure out the causes of the disease and go about determining how to correct it.
I continue to be embarrassed by the state and our lack of concern for endangered species, a blatant disregard for working with those organizations that want to save our world and make it a better place by making sure we have a balanced ecosystem and are focused on biodiversity. It is critically important that you take a long, hard look at what is happening with species in the state, and determine that you will be a part of the solution, not the problem.
REITER, BRAD September 28, 2015
DEER PARK, WA
Would like to see 4 point minimum back in GMU 149
STRAGIS, LICIA September 28, 2015
LOON LAKE, WA
Here is my personal input regarding wolf management. I reside in Stevens County. I work as field biologist in very remote areas of eastern WA. Hiking and backpacking is one of my favorite activities. Usually I work and hike alone.
There is no setting that I could imagine that I would be safe encountering a wolf pack. I don't carry a firearm. Although bear spray would work for individual large predators, I don't believe it would deter a pack a wolves. There is a wolf pack in almost all the mountain areas of this county and within roaming distance of where I live.
I personally wish the following measures be adopted.
1)There is no federal listing in this part of the state. WDFW should remove state listing.
2)There is not enough WDFW personnel to protect people, livestock, and curtail wolf activity. WDFW should allow lethal methods of control and protection from wolves to individuals and property owners.
3) Start a hunting season in E. WA.
Thank you for this opportunity to contact you.
BROOKS, KERRY September 26, 2015
Protection, conservation and restoration of all species and their habitats is paramount.
This mission supports regional and global imperitives and trumps short term individalized economic considerations. No excuses.
WILLIAMS, KEN September 26, 2015
Sear Sir, I can only hope you folks at WDFW are not seriously thinking of having the 3rd largest river in the western states, the Skagit, designated as a 'gene stock' experiment. Many or your past and current policies have not worked or are in a perpetual state of broken. Please do not consider the main stem of the Skagit your laboratory. Perhaps the tributaries but, not the main stem.
Respectfully, Ken Williams, long time resident and fisherman.
DIVES, RICHARD September 26, 2015
Due to the large number of aninals(deer and Elk) that are stuck by Archers during the early Archery season and the meat spoiling before they can get it to a butcher shop you need to take a long hard look at not opening these seasons until the temperatures are such that the animals can be found and processed without the possibility of spoilage. This could be when leaves have dropped and a freeze or two have killed off the flys and gnatsAs for Elk I think hunting for them should be after the rut and the cows have been bred. Thank you for the opportunity to express one or two of my views. Dick
EPPINGER, ALAN September 26, 2015
I would like to see the return of the 4pt. min. Whitetail buck to GMU117. In prior years I allowed young bucks to pass only to hear shots from adjoining properties and no longer seeing these deer. We do not have an abundance of mature bucks to choose from and a more liberal doe season might satisfy the "meat hunter."
I would also appreciate more local lakes,in the Spokane,area that would be open to winter fishing.
FOSTER, TODD September 26, 2015
I have lived in Washington and hunted here since 1992. Transferred through the military, this has become my home. My family and I enjoy a subsistence life style by hunting for our food and supplementing only as required. Primarily an archery hunter, I've enjoyed the season dates for whitetail deer over the years and was very excited and successful this year for elk. I would like to see the late season deer move back to 15 November opener and not sure why we lost the days in late season. We eat bear, deer, elk, turkey and fish throughout the year. In general I've been satisfied with the department and due to my hunting method and season dates, never felt the sting of short seasons or comparing Washington to other states where you buy a tag and hunt with the weapon dictated by the date. I would like to see two things in the coming years; 1) a better comprehensive game regulations pamphlet as the current one seems to cause quite a bit of confusion and 2) better predator management. The first one should speak for itself, however predators in this state seem to be on the rise and impacting rural areas greatly. Finding ways to increase harvest on cougars, bears and taking a hard look at the wolves needs to be accomplished. Baiting bears, running hounds for cougars to name a few. I realize and support the wolf management plan, however feel we in the NE will suffer greatly before goals are met across the state. Another opportunity if predator reduction isn't viable could be to increase habitat for deer and elk to increase their numbers to compensate for the loss. There should be studies available that show when and how prey based animals are more successful at avoidance based on habitat; maybe throw some time on improving the habitat. I know a few areas up in the northeast corner that have become very choked with brush and the elk are loosing out, forcing them into less productive locations. Lastly, there are a lot of hunters that would like to see Game Management as a priority, where do we sign up to help take care of our hunting areas? I for one would put amble time into improving where I hunt.
THOMAS, BEN September 24, 2015
YAKIMA , WA
Please, Expand big game hunting opportunities in E. Washington, particularly elk. There's only 9 days total for the modern firearm elk season , that's nearly bad enough to quit hunting. Everybody expects the same thing anymore, and thats super low success rates and foothills riddled with orange dots . 99% of hunters I encounter during hunting season are pissed off due to a ton of other hunters and no other options.
Maybe increase the options for legal elk to harvest like a few days of a general cow season in some units, like it used to be. . Or maybe let hunters hunt multiple seasons without the stupid multi season permits that cost tons of money, and that's only after you PAY to apply!! What a scam. I am less than 30 years old and have been hunting and fishing my whole life while spending thousands of dollars into the industry weather it's a state license or equipment ect, and I honestly don't see myself even hunting in the coming years. Or fishing.
FREDRICKSON, LES September 22, 2015
BAINBRIDGE ISLAND, WA
I'd like to see more effort put into our warmwater species. I enjoy fishing for perch, crappie, bluegill and walleye but it feels like I have to drive across the state to do it. Also, the past few seasons on Potholes has been lights out for walleye, let's keep this fishery working. Like grandpa used to talk about the good ole days, well it has been pretty darn close to that on Potholes.
STRANGE, BRENDA September 22, 2015
Conservation, conservation! Preserving land for wildlife. Developing more of these wildlife crossings so they don't get killed (or get people killed) when they try to cross major highways and roads. Preventing chemicals & toxins from getting into rivers, streams & oceans.
Thank you for letting us make comments.
HINER, LOREN September 22, 2015
As a certified forester and the watershed manager of the two small municipalities of Montesano and Hoquiam I am concerned that the agency's policies remain understanding and proactive towards the needs of forest landowners.
Deer, Bear, Mt Beaver, flat-tail beaver and others continue to be a destructive force in our forest enterprises when their populations get over abundant. In the past we have had a good relationship with local agents understanding our concerns and in obtaining depredation permits. It was just announced that a special license is now required to trap mt beaver, I don't think this is moving in the right direction.We need the ability to bait problem bears rather than to hire dogs to chase them down, in areas that are adjacent to developed neighborhoods.
Also, we need your agency's biologists to be understanding of the cost of replacing culverts in order to unblock a small amount of very marginal non-anadromous fish habitat. This is not money well spent!
Thanks for asking!
HYLAND, CHRIS September 21, 2015
WALLA WALLA, WA
The current allocation of Spring Chinook harvest, for sport anglers, on the Columbia and Snake Rivers, is disproportionately weighted to benefit those who angle below Bonneville Dam. As shown in the figures in the attached PowerPoint (which was shown the the F&W Commission Sept. 2014), the harvest is heavily structured to benefit lower river anglers.
WDFW staff have also stated publicly that the rationale for this division is "arbitrary".
I would be happy to provide more information/further discussions on this issue.
Discussions need to begin with lower/up river anglers, Oregon & Washington, on having a discussion of a fair sharing of Spring Chinook harvest.
PONCZOCH, TODD September 20, 2015
Please take a look at modern air rifles and consider making them legal for small game at least. Texas let's you shoot hogs and deer, Arizona let's you hunt bear and cats and hogs. Air rifles can now be had in calibers from .177 to .50.
PONCZOCH, TODD September 20, 2015
Please take a look at modern air rifles and consider making them legal for small game at least. Texas let's you shoot hogs and deer, Arizona let's you hunt bear and cats and hogs. Air rifles can now be had in calibers from .177 to .50.
JOHNSON, REX September 20, 2015
LAKE FOREST PK, WA
My Wife and I hike and fish in several of the WDFW lands and waters. We consider these areas to be special and we always enjoy our time in them. We feel WDFW has been managing these areas well and we thank you for that. My only criticism would be for some for the inconsiderate public that leave their garbage or ignore signage on vehicle restrictions. I have no good ideas on how to deal with that crap. About the only thing I wish WDFW would do better would be to get their web page to respond when you click on a WDFW area; today when I went there, I tried several different areas and none of them worked.
KIRKEVOLD, RONALD September 20, 2015
I fish Tacoma inland waters for salmon. the last 15yrs our numbers have declined to almost a dead sea.Its not because of the low rivers. I believe their are many reasons.When are we going to stop indians from netting the rivers? Also when are we going to build hatcheries instead of closing them down.If we dont do something about this soon salmon will be gone in the Puget sound. I am 60yrs old and remember when we had salmon runs like Alaska.Its really to bad my grand kids wont know what a salmon is.Please do something. THanks Ronald Kirkevold
DEGENSHEIN, DEBRA ANN September 20, 2015
Here are just a few of the many issues I worry about: 1) Work to improve department morale as your is at the bottom or close and continues to lose employees doing the right thing because they are working for supervisors with no field experience and poor judgment like the enforcement supervisor who ruined the poaching case that took about two years to set up by calling news reports; 2) Wolves are not "critters" as one article quoted you saying; 3) Prove us wrong - as majority of WA residents don't feel the former ID #2 should be leading our state's FW future - most don't even know but need to (I lived in ID form 03-06 where I learned the only thing that matters to most hunters is Elk/Moose hunting; not other animals or preserving the land; last year said it all with state park funding down from 18 million about 08 to 3.5 million); 4) Vast majority of WA residents was ESA to remain and we are going to do our best to ensure it does (by supporting Earth Justice, Sierra Club, Center for Biological Diversity, etc.); 5) Re-educate yourself regarding carnivore predator management not to mention SW resident ORCAs which you have no experience with; 6) I contacted my State Senator Ann Rivers asking her to research changing enforcement prosecution to one state officer as the $100 fine, issued by the Whitman Co. DA to Jonathan M. Rasmussen, was a slap in the face to our state's program; 7)Realize that what makes us in WA happy are stories like Cinder the Bear... teach kids empathy... you need more employees like Rich B and more state funds so that the Karelian Bear Dog program does not have to be funded primarily from private donations. I am 56 and used to think I would not live long enough; now I worry I will live too long.
SWEENEY, SUZI September 20, 2015
To Whom It May Concern:
PLEASE, PLEASE do something about the over abundance of wild turkeys! They have out-competed other birds in my area (N Spokane County). They crap all over my yard. I no longer put bird seed in my feeders because of them.
I feel the permit cost to hunt these birds is way too much. There should be a minimal $5.00 per tag fee; which would make it much more affordable and would help to reduce the population Open seasons should run much longer, if not all winter. If they were less expensive to hunt and there was a longer hunting season; maybe you could make a major dent in their population. This is greatly needed. They are a nuisance bird; much like a noxious weed and not native to our area.
Whoever had the "great" idea to "reintroduce" them to our area should be fired!
I commented on this same subject several years ago to your Department and did not even hear a courtesy reply in return.
MCKINLAY, JACK September 20, 2015
Turkey license cost $18.50 per bird. There are way too many turkeys. Reduce the price.
You need more game wardens.
FORBES, TIM September 20, 2015
The picture of you holding this beautiful trout out of the water for a picture is something I would like to eliminate on all catch and release waters.
If we need a picture, take it in the net, or in the water if your hand releasing. There are plenty of studies and the anatomy of trout showing their vital organs that support my proposal.
The better we take care of the wild trout, the better the fishing will be for the future,
"Let's CATCH AND RELEASE all wild trout as if it's the last trout on earth".
TACHELL, ART September 19, 2015
Customer service! Many of your managers, bioligists, enforcement personnel seem to have forgotten who they work for. Your staff seems to have a long list of scripted excuses for poor salmon fishing Especially in areas 10, 11 and 13 of Puget Sound.
I have not heard of one creative idea from the WDFW managers on how to improve salmon fishing in the Southern Puget Sound areas.
Some of the PSREF is being used to support regular fisheries operations instead of enhancement which is what it is intended for.
The WDFW needs more funds but until the department actually gives the reacreational fishermen what they want which is dedicated funds and some consistant improvement in the fisheries it will not happen.
Recreational fishermen are eager to support quality fisheries but the fisheries department has a bad reputation and has many fences to repair.
The enforcement agency gives the department a black eye daily 75% of the contacts that I have had with Enforcement personnel has been very negative making a fun fishing trip a lousy day for no good reason.
I could go on and on.
This can be fixed with good leadership!
VERHEUL, GEORGE September 19, 2015
I would like to first acknowledge all the good things WDFW has done over the years. We have a people management problem not a game management problem, too many people in too small an area. I've spent a lot of time in mountains between Ellensburg and Wenatchee and seen a lot of positive changes in the past 50 years, road closures, Naneum Forest etc. What I would like to see is more enforcement people either WDFW or DNR. The number of agents was reduced due to budgeting, we need them back to do "PR" work as well as enforcement. They are the only contact most people have with WDFW or DNR. May be maintenance or biologist personal could work a weekend shift periodically.
I would also like to see WDFW magazine like Montana and Wyoming have.
Now I'm going up Naneum to listen for an elk to bugle.
Thank you, George Verheul
HADLEY, ROBERT September 18, 2015
I was looking at the dates of your meetings and noticed that they are during some sort hunting season. Is this so you can limit the number of people who are willing to attend your meetings so you can manipulate the input you get?e
BAKER, DEBORAH September 18, 2015
I see there's no forum in the northwest - I live in WRIA 1. There are so many overlapping programs in this state, it's virtually impossible to find all the layers. There's RCO, Ecology, Commerce (!), and the state Conservation program to follow as well as Puget Sound Partnership with all its "action plan" goals, the EPA, NMFS, tribal connections and other partners galore. Is that leading to confusion, redundancy and priority conflicts? My observation (from someone living in a bona fide wild area) is YES, there is confusion and there are conflicts. WDFW is one of the few agencies with field crews - where the "rubber meets the road" - and the department could/should take the lead in demanding better coordination. Just my view. The coho run looks pretty good in streams up here, by the way, despite this being a low water year.
HOLLOWAY, SCOTT September 17, 2015
CHEHALIS WA., WA
Thank you for the opportunity to make comments on the upcoming rule changes, I have some ideas that may help our fisheries. The biggest issue that we can't seem to deal with is the ones that affect the salmon and steelhead stocks the most. I am talking about the commercial harvest, we continue to look at sportsmans harvest as the root cause of the the depletion of our stocks. I used to fish the north coast rivers, but gave up when I would continully would watch the tribe drift net the hole I would be fishing in and fill the boat with native steelhead, and then to add insult to injury the U.S. Park Service made the stretch of river off limits to non-tribal fishing.
I continue to kill fish with the catch and release program, fishing barbless hooks and landing them with hooks embedded In their gills badly bleeding and floating off belly up. I just fished the Willapa and we kept catching unmarked kings, and at the same time they opened a commercial season where I was told that they caught 300 of their 500 chinook quota, so they stopped and moved their season forward another week. But why do they have a quota for keeping wild fish? While I keep throwing incidentals back that I know are going to die. So I guess what I am getting at is why do we not give the sport fishing a catch and keep wild quota. I was at the meetings when they first started the catch and release program, and we were told it was not going to be permanent which is what it became; nothing is worse than throwing a steelhead back that is going to swim up the river a couple more miles to its death in a net! I too catch fish for food not just for sport.
What really needs to be done is to reevaluate the commercial first program, tribal and non-tribal and ask the question ( why have our native fish not come back to a sustainable level after 28 years?)
Jim,Thank you for your time, and I hope you can make a difference for the sportsmen who eat fish.
Sincerely, Scott Holloway.
STEWART, BOB September 17, 2015
A forestland owner of 40 plus years, I am discouraged by your department's inability to manage the black bear populations, or permit landowners to implement control measures to counter the wholesale destruction of trees by nuisance bears.
Feed barrels are a short-term measure, which in the long run only worsen the problem by increasing bear populations.
Baited hunts, hound hunts, and snaring/trapping are all disallowed or so tightly regulated to make them impractical, and ineffective.
When a bruin or two are peeling 20 to 30 cash crop trees on your property a day what course is there to take? What would you do if they were your trees and your investment for the future?
I maintain, that if the WDFW refuses to control their nuisance wildlife or permit landowners to do so, then the WDFW should be liable for damages incurred by subject depredation. I for one have sacrificed enough timber for our state's puny bear control program.
The last time I looked, Washington state harbors more black bear than any other state but Alaska. The spring bear peel problem is a learned behavior with "pockets" of real damage. It does not take a rocket scientist to locate, ID, and quantitate the extent of damage being inflicted. Nor does it take a million dollars to further examine, discuss, and work out a practical solution.
Either pay the landowner for the tens of thousands of board feet of lost timber
or give them the ability to control the bears.
POYNER, ROBERT September 17, 2015
I would like to see a change to the control zone at Westport Wa. I would like a handicap area or senior fishing area,along the south jetty. this is a place, where people who are handicapped, could fish in northwest wind comfortably. My mother has some serious back issues and this is a place where I can still take her fishing in some comfort. I have fished this area since the early 80's. As fall approaches I miss this opportunity to fish close to home in a relaxed setting. as long as the ocean quota is open it make sense to me to allow some of our senior fishers to fish in that area. thank you for this opportunity to have some input.
DOBBINS, BOYD September 16, 2015
All your meetings are during a hunting season! Imagine that. Same ole same ole.
KINGFISHER, ERIK September 15, 2015
It'd be great to have funding go towards partnerships with local land trusts on some of the smaller habitat preserves WDFW owns. There are some standard stewardship issues that could benefit from local land trust partnerships, like boundary issues, neighbor relations, and invasives management.
NIELSEN, PAUL September 15, 2015
NORTH BONNEVILLE, WA
Director Unsworth my name is Paul Nielsen I have lived in Washington all my 47 years and have been fishing since I was 3 years old. My dad started my sister, brother and I out fishing in Offut lake all at a very young age. Fishing, hunting and camping to me is a way of life.
3 years ago my wife and I moved from my hometown of Olympia to the small town of North Bonneville on the Columbia river. We love it down here and plan on living out our days here God willing. After many years fishing for steelhead and salmon I have no interest in combat fishing any longer. When we moved down here I made it a priority to learn where the trout fisheries are in the area. I have fly fished in the past a little and walking a lonely mountain stream searching for trout is my passion.
Last summer while camping up in the Gifford Pinchot NF I started searching out every mountain stream up in the Cispus river country and was successful at finding numbers of Rainbow, Cutthroat and Brook trout. I have always used barb less hooks or pinched the barbs on my flies and am careful while handling and releasing fish. The only fish I keep are the Brook trout as they are not a native species and make life hard on the resident Rainbow and Cutthroat.
With much sadness I have read the new regs and learned that more than half of the mountain streams I loved to fish are closed starting this year it is very distressing to me. Where I had 6 streams to fish there are now only 3. I liked to spread my fishing out so as to rest the fish for 2 to 3 weeks in each stream. And most distressing the decision to close the upper Cispus above the North Fork means almost certain death for the few remaining Rainbow and Cutthroat as the upper river is overrun with Brook trout. Keeping the upper Cispus open and allowing fisherman to keep Brook trout would assure the survival of the native species.
As a conservation minded sportsman I am all for catch and release and selective gear rules in small head water streams but closing them to fishing is to extreme. I understand the need to protect anadromous species in this state but most of these streams affected by this closure support resident fish only.
So now if I want to keep fishing the Cispus drainage I will have to put more pressure on less fish and I am not the only one. Eventually there will be no fish left to fish for because of the increased pressure on the remaining few streams left open. This will cause irreparable harm to the whole drainage. The Brook trout will also be a factor in all this as I have caught them in the upper Cispus and on a small tributary to the main stem. The blame will lay at the door of the WDFW when these things come to pass.
It seems more and more the Dept. thinks the fish belong to them, not true they belong to all sportsmen who pay the salaries of those who are charged with managing the resource. Because of years of poor management practices anadromous fish in this state are in trouble, but closing small streams that don't support these species is not going to do anything for salmon or steelhead and only takes away opportunity from those of us who no longer want to fight the crowds, those who seek solitude on a lonely mountain stream.
And in the case of the Brook trout and the upper Cispus the sportsman are not the only losers, the few remaining resident Rainbow and Cutthroat trout unique to this drainage lose as well. I would hope from now on that the department listens to the fisherman who know these rivers before making such drastic changes.
I will be attending the coming October meeting in Vancouver and hope to talk with the local biologist and let him know what I've learned the past 2 seasons about the Gifford Pinchot streams. Just maybe we can find a better way than just arbitrarily closing fisheries and taking away opportunity.
Thank you for your time.
VANDERBERG, NORMAN September 15, 2015
Reduce the size, length,amount of the recreational fishing license. Open wild Coho fishing periods,in area 4 and 5 so people can plan and use them, this Sept. Neah Bay opens people find out start to plan 6 days later closed ?? Sekiu open 2 days here three days there, What happen to 2 week period, Coho amounts seem to be abundant,by the amount we sport fishermen release...always remember who pays,the sportsman, and finally close area 12 to crabbing two years in a row not one " keeper" in the lower legs of the canal....Thanks
MORRIS, YOLANDA September 14, 2015
Thank you for inviting my submission about what is important to me related to Washington's wildlife.
I hope Washington will be a leader in conservation of all species, they all hold value. I grew up in Selah Washington, now live in Seattle, but return to Selah monthly to visit family. Most of my outdoor mountain adventures happen in Washington with my family, friends and dog, and most of that in the Cascades. I enjoy hiking, camping, backpacking, drives through the mountains, wildlife viewing, mushrooming, and also enjoy organized 5k-half marathons. I don't often head into the hills in the fall because of hunting.
More enforcement would be appreciated. One of my favorite places in all of Washington is the Yakima Canyon. I have stumbled over a poached headless big horn sheep carcass and also just recently dealt with many drunken revelers while trying to enjoy floating the Yakima River with my family.
Thank you again, please continue inviting the public's feedback. On that note, a Seattle meeting location would have been appreciated.
WINSLOW, BOB September 14, 2015
Recover the wild salmon through no or significantly reduced harvest in watersheds (especially Hood Canal) for several salmon and steelhead cycles to better ensure enhanced if not optimum WILD spawning adults.
Increased habitat purchases, less studies and plans and fewer higher paid enforcement officers.
JABLONSKI, JASON September 14, 2015
Please do not close an area for Chinook Salmon ie Gorst Creek to hook and line in the confines of tidal land saying it's because "poaching" and protection of letting fish get to hatchery. when Natives get to set nets across the entire mouth. This is a slap in the face to hook and line fisherman. We understand if the closure was to all people for the sake of saving chinook in the future. I gaurntee the hook and line folks take less fish than the nets do. if your going to close for protection lets stop nets across the entire mouth.
MITCHEM, DARCY September 14, 2015
The most important issue facing hunters/anglers and other outdoor recreationists is ACCESS. Nowhere is this fact more obvious than in Washington, where in the last few years huge amounts of timberland have become fee for entry. These fee or lease lands can, and do, block access to public lands or private lands that may be open entry. This trend will drastically reduce hunter numbers, license sales, and the ability to manage wildlife populations under that traditional North American model. We will become more like Texas and Europe where the average hunter is priced out of the market. Hunters will head to states with more public land (Idaho, Montana, Oregon) or stop buying licenses altogether. The ratio of anti-hunters to hunters will get worse, and we will loose additional opportunities at the ballot box. You will hear a lot about wolves from the hunting public, but opportunities lost to reduced game populations from predators and disease will be nothing compared to the loss of opportunity when half the state is under a fee-for access program. The WDFW must aggressively pursue an updated property tax system, where free entry land gets the largest tax break. Such programs exist in the great lakes states (Wisconsin, Minnesota, see attachment). Leveraging the property tax system is the single greatest opportunity to improve recreation. We need the political will to examine the history, obligations, and possibilities for public access found in tax systems. Additionally, Landowners that charge a fee for access should be following the same rules and tax obligations (B&O rates, property tax values, ADA requirements, sanitation) as other businesses that provide recreation. Currently, industrial timberland owners are getting the best of both worlds: income from recreation, and tax perks of timberland. Our tax system was put in place to reward timberland owners for the "many benefits that forest areas provide" including "recreational Spaces" and "fish and wildlife habitat". Now they are double-dipping--charging the public for recreational spaces and access to the public's wildlife while still getting the full tax break. Big timber will tell you that there is no "requirements" for public access in the law. This is true, the "current use" law rewards everyone the same. Property taxes are subsidized so that "present and future generations will enjoy the benefits forest areas provide" , without proof forestland owners actually provide those benefits. That can and should change. Here is the wording of the law (note the legislative intent) http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=84.33.010
Legal public access must be acquired to landlocked public lands. The WDFW, DNR, BLM, and USFS should not be afraid to use all tools, including eminent domain, to acquire public access to key public lands. The DNR needs the authority to acquire easements for public use via eminent domain--it has no such authority currently. All land trades or sales must ensure continued public access, and not take access away in one place to gain access in another. Government agencies that limit access must be confronted--does an entire watershed really need to be closed to the public? Forest Service road closures need to be questioned and challenged when they limit public access or opportunity. The Discover Pass, Lands Access Pass, NW Forest Pass, Interagency Pass all add to the "hassle factor" and expense that keeps people from hunting/fishing or simply getting out in the woods.
Access considerations should be a higher priority on land acquisitions. For example, Weyerhaeuser has 200 acres that blocks access to 7,000 acres of WDFW land (the St. Helens Wildlife Area). Because this 200 acres doesn't provide prime endangered species habitat, it is a lower priority for acquisition. Grant programs that are administered through the state Recreation and Conservation Office should be modified to acquire public access. Both the NOVA and SCORP plans support more grants for access.
Fishing is also affected. Many rivers with salmon, trout, and steelhead runs flow through restricted private lands. Most of these streams and rivers on the west side of the state were used to transport logs and shake bolts, making the beds and shores public lands on navigable waters. WDFW should work in concert with State required Shoreline management plans to improve access to waterways. The Shorelines management law has provisions for funding access. Flood control and other projects (dikes, levies, dams etc.) should have a public access component. Mitigation and habitat improvements or acquisitions should be multi-faceted if possible, and include public access provisions.
LOCKHART, STEPHEN September 14, 2015
I am on the water about 60-80 days per year, mostly on the Columbia, Lewis, and Cowlitz rivers. One of my passions is to introduce people to fishing. I took my neighbor and his 12 year old son fishing on the Columbia below Warrior Rock this weekend. We landed 5 native Chinook, and no keeper hatchery fish. For the weekend we landed 8 Chinooks, only one was hatchery. 7 up river brights, and one gray belly (tule). I also take quite a few clients on guided fishing trips, and it would sure be nice for them to be able to take a fish home. I would like to see a one native fish per year rule (when fishing is open to hatchery fish). That way people that only get to go once a year, or once every few years get to take one home. Additionally, for those that catch quite a few fish, we have a chance to keep a trophy or keep one if it is obvious that it will not survive. Thank you for your consideration on this matter.
YANAMURA, JAY September 13, 2015
I live on the beach next to the North Bay shellfish park in Mason County. Every low tide when the beach is open for shellfishing, people come out and dig huge holes looking for clams. They often do not refill holes or rebury clams they leave behind thinking the tide will take care of it. The beach and shellfish have been damaged unnecessarily because of this erroneous notion. PLEASE POST SIGNS at the beach access stating the requirement of refilling the holes and reburying the unkept clams IN MULTIPLE ASIAN LANGUAGES such as Chinese, Korean, Filipino and Vietnamese. They are the biggest violators by my observations. It really does not work to have signs at that beach only in english.
SEAR, MICHAEL September 12, 2015
FRIDAY HARBOR, WA
I spend in excess of 300 hours a year sport fishing in Puget Sound and feel very fortunate to live in Washington State. Saltwater sport fishing has changed a lot in the last 50 years and pressure on the resource continues to increase.
If it's within your scope of influence please consider/suggesting that the 2016/17 marine area selective fishing bag limit be reduced from two to one hatchery King per day. The impact to wild fish would be reduced,conservation efforts would benefit and it may improve the North of Falcon process versus what transpired in 2015/16. A win win for all parties involved should be the objective.
Thank you for the opportunity to comment.
Marine Area 7
PARKER, PETE September 12, 2015
With the amount of money spent by recreational fishermen , why has there not been one new boat ramp constructed in area 9 and 10 in the last 20 years? Why do we get the short end of the stick on chinook fishing in Washington. Why so many restrictions in Hood Canal? Yet Indians continue to overfish silvers on the Big Beef? There is a big inequity in the amount sportsmen take vs commercial and Indians. Sportsmen take a minute amount of chum, sockeye and a continually dwindling amount of kings and silvers. All we ever get are more restrictions, higher license fees, and the need to have a lawyer on board to read the regulations.
SMITH, LELAND September 12, 2015
GIG HARBOR, WA
Regarding halibut fishing in the Strait of Juan de Fuca: Could we get two days of summertime openings in areas 5 and 6? Typically, seasons are open in May when water conditions can be kind of rough. For safety sake, It would be great to have two days of halibut fishing in summer for folks who operate smaller boats.
SMITH, LELAND September 12, 2015
GIG HARBOR, WA
Regarding halibut fishing in the Strait of Juan de Fuca: Could we get two days of summertime openings in areas 5 and 6? Typically, seasons are open in May when water conditions can be kind of rough. For safety sake, It would be great to have two days of halibut fishing in summer for folks who operate smaller boats.
WILLIAMS, CHRIS September 12, 2015
Washington needs to allow hunting of small game with air guns. Guns that produce 12 ft/lbs. of power have more than adequate power to cleanly take small game out to 50 yards. This has been the maximum legal limit in Great Britain for years, and thousands of small game animals have been taken cleanly with these air guns. Please consider allowing the use of airguns for small game hunting - they are more than up to the task.
WRIGHT, CHARLIE September 12, 2015
I would like to see something done with the point system in Washington. I've been a life time resident and have 21 quality elk points, 18 bull points and can't draw a descent hunt in my resident state! I've been drawn 4 times in Oregon for 2 mule deer hunts and 2 very quality elk hunts from 2003 to 2009. The point system obviously doesn't increase my odds of a draw when I know people that have drawn the quality elk hunt that I've been putting in for 2 times in 3 years!! Maybe have a category for points 1-9 and 10 to infinity!! Im disabled and 55 years old. Would certainly like to draw something before I'm too old to be able to go on a hunt. Not to mention the investment I have in all the years of applying!! For a resident tag!!!
PIAZZON, TONI September 12, 2015
First of all, THANK YOU Jim for initiating this. I used to hunt and fish, now I bird and hike. For years, some of your practices have been very surprising to me. I would ask others, "this is dfw doing this? I thought they were suppose to be protecting wildlife and habitat, so we could go and enjoy nature and wildlife and hunt or fish if that was our sport and or our meal." I can't recall the specific issues, but I have thought badly about this dept. I have even spoken to dfw employees and they told me, if they would have known about their policies and thus what they would be doing, they would not have gone into it. I am hoping others will have specific recall and that employees will be able to make comments openly or anonymously. Thank you for listening.
DRISKELL, JAMES M September 12, 2015
Please retain the catch and release of all cutthroat trout in all waters in western Washington, especially in the spawning areas.
BEDELL, KENNETH September 12, 2015
There has to be a way of providing harvest protection for Lewis river Tule Chinook salmon other than closing the Buoy 10 Chinook retention. The mostly recreational boats fishing for Chinook salmon from Buoy 10 to Tongue Point went from thousands to about 3. The Chinook count over Bonneville Damn has been over 20 thousand a day, which seems little changed since ending Buoy 10 retention. Why end retention of this type of salmon because of one one small subset of Chinook.
Has the return of these tules increased since WDFW ended Bouy 10 retention? Has the return goal of these Chinooks on the Lewis River been reached? If not, what percentage must be reached prior to reopening the retention of Buoy 10 Chinook?
Next year how about changing the fishing regulations so that all Tule Chinooks must be released below Bonneville damn for the entire year. This would accomplish the goal, would it not? Personally, I always release all Tule Chinook I might catch. Have you ever tasted one? Not a good thing. Not even worth smoking.
MCCOMBS, STEVEN September 12, 2015
The ability to have consistent seasons is critical for my friends, out-of-state family and tourist. It allows them to make plans to travel to Washington State. I have personally experienced having guest travel to Washington and the Recreational Fishing Season cut short.
Please prioritize Recreational Interest and Sustainability over Commercial Interest in regards to Fish and Shellfish.
Thanks for your attention to these matters.
LLOYD, DAVID September 12, 2015
I am trying to pass on a family hunting legacy to my grandson. However, with increasing fees to hunt on private timber company properties and further restrictions even there (eg Snoqualmie unit of Hancock Forest in GMU 460 recently added "wildlife escapement areas". Also there is no hunting during the second part of the season during the rut in GMU 460)he is losing interest with each unsuccessful deer hunt. Please try to open up these areas, especially during the rut in November. Thank you.
CANTRELL, PATRICIA September 12, 2015
All funds should be used for wildlife protection, not wildlife destruction!
HARRINGTON, KEITH September 12, 2015
MITCHEM, LARRY September 12, 2015
I'm a lifelong resident of Washington state and hunter for the last 38 years, having lived in SW Washington (by Mt St Helens) most of that time. I wanted to thank you for your time. I'll keep my comments short and to the point.
What is WDFW doing right? Unfortunately, not much in my opinion. Elk and Deer populations have dramatically declined over the last 15 years due to too many cow and doe permits and we have fewer places to hunt. Expanded general season lengths this year (2015) for all user groups with fewer cow and doe permits is a step in the right direction.
Where you need to improve? Public access and Youth hunting opportunities. Ensure all public land has access to hunting and never give up any hunting opportunities on public land.
Expand youth hunting opportunities by upping the age limit for youths to 18 years (essentially High School kids) and allow adult special permit holders to transfer permits to a youth if they choose to do so. The adult still loses his/her points if he/she chooses to transfer the permit. We need to get more kids interested in hunting.
Focus your efforts and funding on public access and expanding youth hunting opportunities.
A simple way to increase revenue is to make multi season elk and deer tags over the counter (unlimited) and increase the price for the elk multi season tag. Hunters only have so much time to hunt and the increase in hunting pressure spread across multiple seasons will be insignificant.
TYNER, JAMES September 11, 2015
The game regulations are not user friendly. To use them you just about have to have aa attorney with you.
Living above the mission boat launch and walking down to the launch every day , I get to see many laws being broken almost on a daily basis. Cars with no permits to be at the launch, fires being built and people camping at the launch. Deficating in the middle of the parking lot less than 50 feet from the latrine. Cars tearing up the road leading to and from the launch. Garbage littered the full length of the road. Fireworks being set off below our properties. No patrols after dark??? I could go on and on
FERGUSON, CRAB September 11, 2015
Hello sir. I have a few things I wanted to discuss in regards to fishing and crabbing.
The first thing is I wish there were many more WDFW police/rangers available. I know this is more in the control of the WA State legislature and the state budget, but the agents are spread to thin. Also, they tend to focus on a few areas too much instead of appearing at more lakes, piers, rivers, etc. where there are a ton of poachers. I go to certain spots and never see one WDFW agent ever show up in many years, all the while poachers know this and take full advantage of the situation. Again, I know this may be out of your control, but if more agents could hired and more on patrol, the better. But also know Governor Inslee doesn't take wildlife management seriously, and I know he wants to close salmon hatcheries so he can spend more on social engineering.
Second issue is in regards to crabbing. Last year we spoke with many WDFW police and called your department multiple times in regards to what actually constitutes "a unit of crab gear" and I was hoping that this issue would be resolved. We received very conflicting information from your office every time we called. The WDFW pamphlet clearly states that the legal a unit of crab gear is "One star trap, one ring net, or one pot" (page 139 in the WDFW fishing pamphlet. However, the book doesn't mention a crab snare or a crab trap such as the CrabHawk or CrabJaw, which are all attached to a fishing pole. So I crab with two crab pots and one fishing pole with a CrabHawk crab trap on it. Because of the legal definition of what a unit of crab gear is, I'm not breaking any laws. However, some WDWF agents consider it a unit of crab gear, some don't. Same goes for your office, depending on who I talk to. With this being such a big issue last year, as I know a lot of people called on this very issue, I was hoping this would be clarified. The Oregon fish and wildlife dept. is very clear on this, unlike WA. And if the CrabHawk is considered a unit of crab gear, what about a dip net? What about a scuba diver picking up crabs? Is he considered a unit of crab gear? What about me wading into the water and picking them up? That is legal, but do I all of a sudden transcend the legal definition of a unit of crab gear? Another point I'd like to make is if I'm using my fishing pole with a CrabHawk to catch crab, is that considered a fishing pole or a unit of crab gear? This is important for us that pay for the two-pole endorsement.
Attached are images of the CrabHawk crab trap and the loop-style crab snare that attach to fishing poles.
Craig J. Ferguson
THALER, TOBY September 11, 2015
"We are embarking on this effort to strengthen the department
GAUSMAN, RYAN September 10, 2015
I am a lifelong Washington resident, hunter, and fisherman. I've been a professional hunting guide in various states and have personally hunted and fished in other states as well. I currently work for an outfitter in Washington and hunt and fish myself. I owned a hunting and fishing based sporting goods store for 7 years as well. In short, I can't spend enough time in the outdoors. I live on the boundary of the LT Murray Wilflife Area, Joe Watt Canyon, and spend my days off riding horseback there. I received my first hunting license in 1963. I also
Work as a sergeant for Smohomish County Sheriff"s Office.
My priorities for WDFW would be to continue to support the sports men and women of our state through proactive management of game animals and fish in Washington. I believe there is a place for hatchery fish such as steelhead and was disappointed with the elimination of many hatchery steelhead programs. I fished the Skykomidh River heavily between 1989
And 1996 and saw the days when three or four dozen fishermen were out every morning enjoying the wonderful sport of steel heading along that river. I would see a dozen or more fish on the bank and elderly as well as younger people enjoying the opportunity to get out and catch these great fish. I also fished the catch and release fishery for wild steelhead on the Skykomidh River and found that there were a great number of aggressive wild fish in the river. I was disappointed when this fishery was cancelled and more disappointed after speaking personally to the biologist who made this decision because she told me there are no people available to figure out how many fish there are so we closed the season just in case.
I believe restoring mule deer habitat that was lost as a result of fires should be a priority. Many other species will also benefit from this. Mule deer have been having their challenges the past 20 years or so and have seemingly been coming back the past few years. It would be sad to miss an opportunity to help them by reseeding the burned habitat or taking some action to restore it.
Wolves are a hot button I realize. I support wolves in Washington but believe they should be managed as any other species. Emotion and political special interest pressure has no place in wildlife management in our state. If s game population or agricultural group is being detrimentally affected by wolves I expect the problem to be addressed in an aggressive manner. I appreciate that WDFW has done that in some circumstances.
In summary, I think the people who contribute the majority of funding to wildlife in our state should be given serious consideration in the decisions that are made. I realize that sometimes it's the old "silent majority" issue because they don't speak up. I believe WDFW should solicit input from our state"s outfitters and guides who spend their lives on the waters and in the woods with the wildlife that are being managed. From my experience I know they appreciate the resource and have a stake in the future of the wildlife. They are a huge resource of information but virtually ignored by WDFW. I also believe WDFW withholds information from stakeholders. I know the Muckelshoot tribe has been collecting data on mule deer mortality since I spoke to them and their helicopter crew at Joe Watt Canyon by my house. They told me the study was in partnership with WDFW. That information and a lot more which is available would certainly be of interest to the citizens of our state. As it is being managed currently leads mine to the conclusion that information is intentionally being withheld from everybody except those who can be managed or manipulated. Transparency is severely lacking in our game department. For the past 20 years while I have
Been employed in law enforcement I have spent a significant amount of time, 12 years as a marine patrol deputy, working with wildlife enforcement officers on land and water. These are great people but the system does not seem to be unbiased or transparent. Clearly there is considerable special interest, backroom, influence and tribal
privelege influencing policy and decisions at WDFW. Maybe absolute honesty and unbiased decision and policy making are s thing of her past but that is a really sad situation if it is indeed the case as it seems.
Thanks for your consideration. Feel free to contact me, I am an unrepentant enthusiast of Washington"s outdoors and have bee for 55 or so years.
POPE, DARRYL September 10, 2015
Director WDFW Jim Unsworth SEPTEMBER 5 ,2015
600 Capitol Way N.
Olympia, WA 98501-1091
Governor Jay Inslee
Office of the Governor
PO Box 40002
Olympia, WA 98504-0002
Senator Kevin Ranker
215 John A. Cherberg Building
PO Box 40440
Olympia, WA 98504
Representative Kristine Lytton
429A Legislative Building
PO Box 40600
Olympia, WA 98504
Representative Jeff Morris
436A Legislative Building
PO Box 40600
Olympia, WA 98504
I have felt that that the WDFW has been run more on the means of the revenue that it can create, than the well-being of the biological resource to its maximum yield per GMU game management unit. I believe the that special hunt permit draws presented by the WDFW, quality deer and elk, buck deer, second deer, bull elk, antler-less deer and elk is something that has become the carrot in front of the horse, that some applicant won't ever receive. Today. I myself, have acquired 17 points on a on a quality deer tag. That
MCKELVEY, CRAIG September 10, 2015
Most of the small stream tributaries to Puget Sound rivers are now closed year around. I would like to propose that a short fall season with selective gear rules be opened for sea run cutthroat on at least some of these creeks in September and October. Catch and release would be OK too.
I grew up fishing Woods Creek in Monroe for these wonderful feisty trout. I had been enjoying great fall fly fishing for cutthroat on Woods Creek right up until all these streams were closed.
I believe this would have no impact on young salmon or steelhead and would also help prevent poaching (especially of adult salmon) along these secluded creeks; legal fishermen would serve as a deterrent by observing and reporting violations.
I would appreciate your consideration of this suggestion and would enjoy hearing from you.
KUKAL, CURTIS September 9, 2015
In the coming decades, I encourage the WDFW to work to remove non-native fish from naturally-fishless lakes in our alpine lake ecosystems, and to cease stocking activity in all naturally-fishless lakes in designated wilderness areas. Fish in these systems reduce the abundance of larval amphibian populations, degrading the wilderness.
HAGEN, CARL September 9, 2015
1) Why the size restrictions on the lakes? One will be two over 15 and the lake next to it is two over 14. As far as Summit Lake why is it not open year round?
2) The hatcheries have to continue in operation. Without them there will be no sports fisheries.
3) There is a rule that says a person shall not discharge a firearm from a roadway in a negligent manner. To me that means that as long as traffic is not coming and you are putting someone in the direct line of fire or close by you can shoot from a public roadway. When discussing this with an agent he said NO WAY. I catch you and you get a ticket and we argue it in court. WHY NOT SAY NO SHOOTING FROM, ACROSS OR ALONG a public roadway in a negligent manner? What I am trying to say if it is fuzzy is word it so you can not shoot from a public highway.
It has gotten to the point where it is not fun to go out and fish or hunt because of all the rules and regs. Like people say you have to take your lawyer with you so you don't screw up.
On regular open outboard boats why do you need a carbon monoxide sticker? When you have a cabin situation I can see it but for God's sake an open 14 foot outboard.
TSUCHIDA, TED September 9, 2015
First, I would like to say that the department is doing a great job based on interactions I have experienced. I contacted the department on razor clamming information and Dan Ayres has been very helpful in providing information on razor clamming as well as surf fishing. Although the regulations vary and are confusing the website provides clear instructions on current status and any updates. Keeping regulations as clear and uniform as possible are helpful.
I believe in addition to conservation and growth of fish and wildlife, the department's efforts toward public safety is of paramount importance. Specifically, we really appreciate and rely on the department's red tide notifications for where it is safe to harvest clams.
My family enjoys the outdoors and believe we are very lucky in the Puget Sound area for the variety and abundance of fish, crabbing, shrimping and clamming opportunities.
CHAN, CAROLYN September 9, 2015
Seeding more goeyduck, as much as is in our control, fostering the best habitat possible for the fish, shellfish and wildlife and investigating whether the Indian tribes are overfishing and attempt to prevent wasteful fishing if the investigation finds this is happening.
YOUNG, DEREK September 8, 2015
Director Unsworth, thank you for the opportunity to share in the success and planning for the sustainable future of our fish and game resources. As you know, there are many challenges within our borders, but one of the largest and underfunded programs address the threats we face from Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) in WA. WA is dead-last in funding for AIS management, budgeting a meager $500,000 in 2012 to keep our cold, clean waterways free from terrestrial and aquatic plants, fish, snails, and other water-borne invasive species. Please renew the agencies focus on protecting our borders with boat inspection stations, outreach/education programs, and enforcement.
RINGLEE, CHRISTOPHER September 8, 2015
GIG HARBOR, WA
Dear Director Unsworth,
The Staff at WDFW must hold co-managers accountable in the managing of wild steelhead runs on the North Coast and Strait of Juan de Fuca. Currently, several rivers are fished every season without proper Steelhead Harvest Management plans and this is illegal. The Hoh river continually under escapes on wild steelhead, yet the river is open to harvest by sports anglers and the Hoh tribe is fishing without an agreed upon harvest level.
The Sekiu River is also being netted almost every day from November through parts of March. No agreed upon SHMP is in place with the Makah tribe and this type of management is gross negligence in regards to managing our runs. The Sekiu River has no data collected on the wild steelhead stock and receives a plant of hatchery fish without any type of collection facility.
WDFW has managed in this status quo regime for too long and responds only to legal action towards the agency. I fear that this issue will soon find its way to the courts soon as well.
WEISSINGER, WILLIAM September 8, 2015
FRIDAY HARBOR, WA
My suggestion for your priorities:
1. Act to support and help and save Orca whales.
2. This means also acting to help salmon
3. And also acting to help sand lance, which salmon eat,
4. And also acting to help herring, which salmon eat.
ACHZIGER, STEVE September 6, 2015
Why is lying to the public about wolves necessary ?
Why is lying to the public about a facilitator, from a state, who has ZERO wolves and paying her $850,010 needed ? We, as hunters in Washington State already know the answer, manage the problem, not the problem manage the WDFW ?
Why does Conservation Northwest have more say in OUR game management than the hunters of Washington State who PAY YOUR SALARY ?
Why aren't the Woodland Caribou mentioned in just about any publication in WASHINGTON STATE, ever ? All you want to do is save the most prolific killing machine, re-introduced, by the WDFW and supported by CNW and it's ilks ?
Why are a lot of these meeting held during hunting seasons ?
DOBBINS, BOYD September 6, 2015
Why is it the people that got hound hunting in this state banned are the same people that will never see a Couger.
Same goes for the zealots pushing wolves on W.A.
Why did you spend 850 k for a pro wolf mouth piece? And who approved this?
Why are all of your dog and ponie shows scheduled during hunting season? Not just one all of them.
I only get 8 days to hunt mule deer in this pathetic state and I should miss that to come listen to you spew goodness?
Have you read Operation Cody yet? Of you have! Why does Cenci still have a job?
Have you read the novel you guys call the "regs" why is it that grown men that have been hunting since childhood have difficulty with the regs.
Why is it that people that don't hunt and fish and purchase licenses have more pull than the ones funding your pathetic programs.
WDFW has very little respect from the sportsmen of this state especially we that have been buying licenses a tags for 35 plus years. It seems Liberal W.A. Won't be satisfied until hunting is a thing of the past.
That's all the time I'm going to waste today on you clowns as I realize this will most likely be round filed unread.
With zero respect.
KLIER, MARK September 6, 2015
Maximize Washington State's Elk Population for quality hunting, not for general season revenue.
1. Remove General Season hunting from all Quality Elk Areas.
2. Implement Draw ONLY in Quality Elk Areas.
3. Discontinue Spike only hunts, especially for Archery Seasons.
4. Move towards Quality Based hunting for Elk in Washington State
in the Quality elk Areas.
5. Use lower quality elk areas for General Season Hunting.
I have been a Washington resident since 1975, & have quit hunting
Elk regularly in Washington since the early 90's. I hunt Elk every year
but go to either Oregon or Idaho. Many other Washington hunters I know
do the same or wish they could afford to do the same. I use Washington
Elk hunting only for quality special draw permits, because general season
hunting with severe limitations simply is undesirable. The time & money
hunters spend on Elk hunting should be rewarded with a quality hunting
experience & Washington State has the capacity to do so.
On the Positive side, Washington state has done well with their special
permit program. Implementing multiple categories & multiple season permits
has enhanced hunter opportunities greatly. Also; Washington State seems to
have a good handle on the Deer Management in the State. Keep up the good work.
REFBORD, RICK September 5, 2015
PORT LUDLOW, WA
Director Unsworth, I applaud your use of electronic media to hold a forum for an input of ideas, and I have a couple. I have fished in the Florida Keys
, lakes in Minnesota and Wisconsin,rivers in Iowa and streams in Wyoming. The regulations never required us to bend the barbs over. When "snagging" in one of the rivers and streams on the Olympic Peninsula I can under stand that the hooks be barbless to truly give the fish that have entered the fresh water a chance and not to expend precious energy. But to be fair the fish caught wile trolling in the salt water deserve the same consideration. The barbs aid the fisherman to retrieve the fish in a timely manner and release any out of season or small fish back to the water much faster than using barbless. It shouldn't be a big hurt to let us use barbs in the salt water from a boat, especially when I see the senseless waste in the fall at Hoodsport when the native tribes net and string the hens to die on the shore by the hundreds just to sell the roe. The rules hamstring the sportsman to a point of being ridiculous.Please.
consider bringing back the barbs
Sports Editor Port Ludlow Voice
MEIKEL, ART September 5, 2015
NINE MILE FALLS, WA
Understand your aims. How will this mesh with the recently completed 5 year plan?
SHARP, ROSS September 5, 2015
I feel over all things are great. One area bugs me. I know everyone has a chance when it comes to the big game raffles but from what I am seeing it has just been a cheaper way for the rich to buy a good tag. What I mean is that basically they are buying the raffle. I know many people who are not buying because it's not a level playing field. I know it's all about the money but I am willing to bet if you put a cap on how many tickets a guy could buy you more people would buy in and the money in the end would be the same.
And it would be fair. Right now all a person has to do is see how many tickets have sold then buy enough to put it in their favor.
PEARSON, MARVIN September 4, 2015
Thank you for this unique opportunity to speak to you. Back in the day, I lived for nothing but upland bird hunting and fishing for the various species of salmon and stealhead that returned to our coastal and inland rivers.
Unfortunately, In 1995, I became involved in fisheries politics during the re-licensing of the Cowlitz River Hydro Electric Project. I became involved with the Cowlitz River Fishing Guide Association. While trying to get their voice heard by Region Five, I was lied to so many times by the people in charge of Region Five, that I just quit fishing and hunting.
The last WDFW license I bought must have been some time around 2005.
In that regard, perhaps I do not have a dog in this hunt. However that is not what this message about.
I'm here today to ask you to review WDFW Policy guidelines regarding rules of conduct for members of your State Advisory Panels. In particular, the conduct of Bob Reid.
This guy is co-chair of the Steelhead / Cutthroat Advisory Panel. He is also a member of the Cowlitz River Advisory Group.
This guy represents your agency and has proven over and over to be an internet bully, a liar, and a general discredit to to what I feel your Agency is trying to project.
I wish I had the computer skills to add quick one touch links to internet fishing forums where Bob Reid feels it' OK to belittle, demean, and discredit people with flat out lies and personal attacks.
The forum I am referring to is called Gamefishin.com
Bob Reid is a regular and top poster there. One could look in the general fishing page and look for the only recent thread to have a yellow padlock shown. Then one go go the WDFW Politics forum and see yet anothter thread with the yellow padlock. Guess what ? Bob Reid again.
Bob Reid does you and your Agency no favors in either of these two discussions.
Director Unsworth, I wish you would look into this matter. It's been a long time coming to have a Direct actually willing to reach out to the Sportsmen and women and ask what they are really concerned about.
Thank you for the new fresh breath of air surrounding your Agency.
MCFARLANE, HEATHER September 4, 2015
SemiAnnual beach cleanups by shellfish industry are inadequate to protect our precious estuaries like Burley Lagoon. Attached photo shows a partial collection of industry debris collected over the last 3 months from 3 different sites on the Lagoon. The debris will be given to Taylor Shellfish mgr. at their Purdy site. The problem will persist as installations are far from the various companies' home bases. They do not staff their sites to handle daily/weekly/monthly debris. Private citizens are left to clean up the mess to protect forage fish and salmon streams.
MARETT, BOB September 4, 2015
PORT TOWNSEND, WA
1) Eliminate "Fishing Opportunities" as a organization goal as it stands for fishing license fees.
2) Form a lottery and fee system for out of state guides.
3) New regulation to require that all fishing must be done from standing outside the boats for all river fishing.
4) On a cycle basis, eliminate all fishing on a river until runs recover then allow fishing while another river is cycled off. Repeat as required to meet the WFDF remaining goal of fish preservation.
MYERS, DAVID September 4, 2015
I am a certified hunter education instructor, I have concerns about the shift in emphasis in the HE area away from traditional classroom courses toward online classes. Online classes do NOT, in my opinion, provide the hands-on instruction that ultimately leads to safe handling of firearms in the field. Only by repeated handling of firearms under the watchful eyes of qualified persons, is the ultimate goal of safe handling reached. Furthermore, limiting classroom time to a maximum of 20 hours is short-sighted at best.
MYERS, DAVID September 4, 2015
I am moderately concerned about what appears to be an inability of the Department to make optimum use of citizen volunteers. Those willing to help are required to jump through several, very inconvenient, hoops before being able to assist. Then, in some but not all instances, Department staff seem to fear for their own jobs as volunteers are available. This limits the amount of work that can be accomplished and ultimately increases the outlay of scarce funding.
MY, DAVID September 4, 2015
RHODEN, JAMES September 3, 2015
I would like to recommend habitat acquisition and preservation.
Let's save what we can before its too late.
JOHNSON, DAVE September 3, 2015
We need predator managment in this state! I know hound hunting for bear and cats was taken by the voters. But the state needs to find a loophole to use this managment tool. Instead the WDFW takes opportunity away, they stopped hound hunting for coyote, for no biological reason. The WDFW keep making it increasingly difficult to do bear depredation hunts. Stopped using the public saftey cougar hunts, and pilot program hunts. There is no baiting for bear, no real trapping and now more predators (Wolves) coming into our once a hunters paradise state, with zero ways to manage. This is my main gripe. I have plenty more, Most hunters I know do not trust the WDFW which creates a attitude of (I don't care) Which then makes poachers or hunters that just give up on the sport altogether.
BUTLER, FRED September 3, 2015
The pheasant season in eastern Washington needs to be shortened to a maximum of 2 weeks, very few pheasants to start with and no way, for the population to increase, with the long season, and extreme pressure.
Also more panfish opportunities for the Quincy lakes area, rather than managing warm water lakes for trout.
Thank you for the opportunity to express my concern.
LONG, PHILIP September 3, 2015
61 youth elk permits 1,794 applicants
1,070 Quality Elk permits 29,529 applicants
1,680 Youth Deer permits 2,471 Applicants
1,090 Quality Deer permits 25,998 Applicants
Those number say all you need to know about how messed up WDFW draw system is. This system is broken down into so so many categories that it makes even the most benign permits are impossible to draw.
HAHN, JOHN September 3, 2015
ALLYN , WA
Hello director Unsworth,
I would first like to say how happy I am that you have been hired as wdfw director. This state needs direction from someone with knowledge and experience from a successful game department.
I my self am a life time Washington resident of 34 years. I have been hunting for 22 of those years. My biggest concern has always been " The WDFW lack of Political support to Washington's Hunting rights" I have been a hound hunter since before the ban of I-655 in 1996. This was a tragedy of huge proportions across the state. Now the timber company's hire hound hunters to KILL and WASTE our state's natural recourses to save $$$$ for big pockets in the timber industry. The WDFW did not support there own game laws when attacked by liberal activists. The WDFW sat on there hands and did nothing. I talked to a game warden in the Vail tree farm this year and he told me that WEYCO KILLED, NOT Harvested 49 bear's this spring in that tree farm. All of those animal went to waste. How is that legal? I know the hunters that hunt for WEYCO, they get a quota and have to fill it. They kill every bear they tree Sow, Cub, Boar......... I couldn't give a damn about WEYCO'S tree loss. they have more money than our states government.
The right thing to do,the moral thing to do, the ethical thing to do would be shut off the wastage of our natural recourses, and get the support of the big money lobbyist's from the timber companies. With that, reinstate Washington's hound hunting rights.
Thank you for your time,
Sincerely John M. Hahn
CLIATT, TAMARA September 3, 2015
When I hear the title Fish and Wildlife I cringe. I don't connect Fish and Wildlife with the protection of our wildlife. There are too many instances of wildlife being killed when coming into contact with people even when those people are in the animals' habitat. I believe every effort should be made to relocate rather than to kill. The human race is encroaching on wildlife habitat more and more and the animals are paying the price.
In the case of wolf re-introduction. I have mixed feelings. I would love to see wolves be able to return but I also feel that for some it is a death sentence. With the legal hunting of wolves starting to come back in some places what is to prevent a replay of the near extermination decades ago.
We also have penalties for poaching but either those penalties are not enforced or not enforced to the extent allowable. Why have them if they are not used?
For myself when you have a department that is supposed to protect fish and wildlife and the first thought that comes to mind is that the department kills rather than protects I feel that some changes need to be made.
MCFALL, TAISHA September 3, 2015
Recently I've attended the summer lecture series at the Olympia Estuarium and I was very impressed with the enthusiasm that WDFW employees had for their work and for sharing their work with the public. I also encountered two employees who were in scuba gear and counting fish in a river on the peninsula last spring. I waved at them and asked what they were doing and they took a substantial amount of time out of their day to enthusiastically educate me about their jobs and what they loved about serving Washington's wildlife. These two encounters lead me to believe that WDFW is doing a great job in hiring good people who are passionate about their work. It's so important to have a good rapport with the public and to seek out education opportunities whenever possible. Thank you for doing that!
As for areas that I think WDFW could improve, I mostly just wish that education regarding reducing plastic pollution was of a higher priority. I don't know how WDFW can help with that, but it seems relevant to your interests. Thank you for the work you do!
GREENE, BRET September 2, 2015
Start by not spending nearly a million $ to close public meetings. the wolf plan took years to develop and now we need to hire a conflict specialist ??
KOHAN, MARK September 2, 2015
Dear Mister Unsworth,
Hiring a baby sitter for WAG meetings at the tune of $850,010 is simply unacceptable. If you paid me $8,000 a day I would be more then happy to list 100 different reasons on why it is unacceptable, every day until I run out. I would die a millionaire. Are you still hiring people to waste tax payers dollars?
DICKEY, CHRIS September 2, 2015
KETTLE FALLS , WA
*short term* - WDFW has a good opportunity for outreach in habitat recovery efforts with a focus on Mule deer and Elk. Get some seed on those burned out areas and talk with private land holders about seeding grasses/trees/shrubs that are beneficial to ungulates. I hope the methow recovery efforts last year greased the wheels? I don't know if anything happened with it.
long term - We need more predator control! Cougar are out of hand and really hitting the mule deer wintering areas hard, in an area I hunt they've pretty well wiped out the small pockets of mule deer and moved down into WT. I see them all the time. On my daily commute I counted 3 in one night in my headlights as I travel through a deer wintering area along the Columbia river. I've hit them with my car even (accidently) This is GMU 105. Please increase the yearly cougar take or better yet remove it and make it 24/7 365 like coyote.
I applaud the increase of spring bear permits, but it's not enough. We've got bear coming out of our ears! They really suppress deer by preying on the fawns and Elk calves.
MCASKILL, LIINDA September 2, 2015
Please support non motorized recreation ! and access for equestrians and hikers on non commissioned dirt roads, such as LT Murray, Robinson Canyon. some of the "tank Traps" or deep trenches on the previously open Robinson Canyon road and Ainsley Canyon, make for a difficult location to ride a horse / mule. would like at least a 3 ft. path. Please !
BOZE, JAMES September 2, 2015
SEDRO WOOLLEY, WA
WDFW is about managing habitat and wildlife and not about entitlement. The reason I bring this up is a couple years ago WDFW big game permit system went from a 5 category (Deer, Elk, Moose, Sheep, Goat) to a 27 category system ( 8 Deer: Quality Deer Hunts, Buck Deer Hunts, Antlerless Deer Hunts, Second Deer Hunts, Youth Deer Hunts, 65 Years and Over, Disabled Hunter, Master Hunter, 7 Elk: Quality Elk Hunts, Bull Elk Hunts, Antlerless Elk Hunts, Youth Elk Hunts, 65 Years and Older, Disabled Hunter, Master Hunter, 4 Sheep: Any Ram, Adult Ewe Only, Youth Hunt, Disabled Hunter Ram, Disabled Hunter Ewe, 2 Goat: Any Goat, Conflict Reduction, 6 Moose: Any Moose, Antlerless Only, Youth Only, 65 Years and Over, Disabled Hunter, Master Hunter).
The common explanation for this change was that people waiting for a quality permit wanted to harvest does or cows and people drawing doe or cow permits almost every year wanted the ability to draw quality permits. What ended up happening is everyone his having to spend more money to keep up with the point increases and there is less opportunity to draw permits across the board.
The threshold for entering permits is $7-14, that low threshold means that everyone is putting in for tags that they really don
TACHELL, JONATHAN September 2, 2015
GIG HARBOR, WA
Good afternoon Mr. Unsworth,
So in general I have seen a shift in the culture of the WDFW in the past 30 to 40 years. Previously the WDFW supported hunters and fisherman and provided opportunities for them. This was everything from a successful pheasant program to a world class blackmouth fishery in southern Puget Sound. Now it seems that the WDFW is more concerned with generating the most revenue possible while providing the least amount of recreational opportunity. Also, the fact that the WDFW is allowing special interest groups like WFC to dictate our fisheries management via lawsuit is pretty pathetic and sends the message of a weak and spineless organization.
The tribal issue is one that is much tougher to address and I recognize that. However, the WDFW and the tribes are supposed to be co managers and that is just not the case. The tribes are running the show and it has to stop! There needs to be more accountability as far as how many fish, shellfish and game they are actually harvesting. They should also not dictate what fisheries should be open or closed based on their own agenda.
The bottom line is that we the recreational fisherman are paying more and more each year for license fees and new endorsements. Meanwhile, we are getting less and less for our money. Decreased hatchery production state wide, closed fisheries, smaller quotas, etc.... the list goes on.
I think it has been lost on the WDFW that license holders and tax payers pay their salaries and expect them to produce a product for the money being spent. This is not happening!
I grew up fishing Area 11 and my dad has been working at the Point Defiance Boathouse for over 40 years. To watch the south sound fishery go from very good, to marginal to now almost non existent is downright wrong and depressing! What happened to the delayed release blackmouth and coho programs? Why has fall hatchery coho and Chinook production been slashed?
The focus of the WDFW should be to provide recreational fisherman and hunters with the best possible fisheries and hunting opportunities first! We are paying the bills and contributing millions to the states economy. Yet commercial fisherman and tribal fisherman who contribute very little to the states economy and the WDFW remain the WDFW's priority. This is completely backwards and blows my mind to be honest with you!
Myself and many others have sat in on countless meetings, wrote countless emails and made countless phone calls only to see zero change except for many of the states fisheries getting worse due to poor management. We as recreational fisherman feel that we are fighting a losing battle despite how much we care about the resource and want to see things change.
So I beg you as the new director of the WDFW please make a change in the right direction. Put the guys that are footing the bill (recreational fisherman) first and help us out. We need increased hatchery production for coho, Chinook and steelhead state wide with the exception of the Columbia since it is the only fishery that is productive as of late. Protect the runs that stand a chance (coastal wild steelhead, north sound wild steelhead) and produce hatchery fish!
This whole hatchery management reform program is a joke! It has been proven that hatchery fish have a very minimal impact on wild fish so it really comes across as the state wanting to save money by hiding behind the guise of wild salmon and steelhead protection. I can tell you right now that the biggest limiting factor for our poor salmon and steelhead returns is commercial fishing in Alaska, Canada and Washington coastal waters. Along with tribal commercial fisherman, especially the gillnets that are being used which prohibit the use of selective harvest to minimize the impacts on wild fish. Meanwhile I am standing in the river with a single barbless hook able to effectively release wild fish if caught. Also, the over abundant predator issue needs to be addressed state wide. Seals, sea lions, cormorants, mergansers, Caspian terns, etc.... all consume an unfathomable amount of juvenile and adult salmon and steelhead.
Thank you for the chance to be heard and please, I am begging you to be a voice for recreational fisherman and hunters.
Thank you for your time Mr. Unsworth.
Sincerely Jonathan Tachell
JOHNSTON, BRIAN September 2, 2015
the State/Wdfw need to re-introduce winter run Steelhead to the Puyallup and Carbon River systems., and other Puget Sound Rivers where the Hatchery smolts,and Hatcheries themselves have been discontinued.Re-introduction of Steelhead to these River systems will not only provide more recreational, and economic opportunities for people, but will aid in the recovery of these runs!
REISEN, CRAIG September 1, 2015
1. Improve the Quality of our Lake fishing in western Washington, so we can have more lakes like Pass Lake, with a chance at catching bigger trout.
2. Mandatory catch & release for all Sea run Cutthroat, Statewide.
3. Open the Skagit River to Barbless Lures/catch & release fishing for Steelhead from January to April.
4. Rebuild the Chum Salmon population in the Snohomish river watershed.
5. Mandatory catch & release for All Bull Trout in the Skagit river watershed.
6. Mandatory catch & release for Wild Steelhead in all the Forks area rivers.
7. Plant more Brown trout Fry in western Washington lakes. Brown trout would winter over better than rainbow trout and give anglers a chance a catching bigger trout with a Quality experience.
8. Open more Puget sound lowland lakes to "Year round fishing".
LISCHKA, VINCE September 1, 2015
Would really like to see trapping regs loosened up...I about have to take a loan out to buy a couple traps...it's rediculous how restricted it is
GARDNER, JACQUELINE September 1, 2015
Thank you for the management of our Dungeness crab season so that we have such an excellent resource. It seems to work, but I believe a daily limit of five crabs per license is excessive. Would three crabs per day per license meet most people's needs? Would it make a difference in the crab population? And, please keep the pressure on to prevent and retrieve derelict crab pots. Constant reminders are needed to weight pots, use extra line to allow for tide swings, put on extra buoys for flotation if they begin to sink. Also, we applaud the Hood Canal shrimp season at four half-days per year, but the choice of those four days invariably falls on some of the worst tide swings of the month, which contributes to lost gear, even among experienced shrimpers. Could the season be set more prudently with tides and currents in mind?
Thanks for listening to us.
LONG, DAVID September 1, 2015
NORTH BEND, WA
Would you please look into using the appropriate powered air rifles for small and big game. Pre-charged pneumatic airguns from 12 ft/lb to over 500 ft/lb are available.
http://www.airgunnation.com/forum/discussion/hunting/ is one location to view for various types of hunting that is done.
Thank you Dave L.
FLEMING, JOAN September 1, 2015
WDFW lands are recreated on by more than hunters and fishermen. More passive outdoor sports enjoy the beauty of these lands such as horseback riders, hikers, bird watchers, kayakers, etc. But when looking at the FB page for WDFW, you mainly see hunting/fishing recreation represented in posts. I am a horseback rider and hiker. I find my access to WDFW lands for horseback riding frequently blocked by WDFW. I realize that some horseback riders ignore signage restricting their access to certain WDFW lands, but they do not represent the vast majority of horseback riders. Yet, we are all restricted from those lands. There are not many choices of WA State lands that allow horseback riding compared to the opportunities that other recreational groups such as hikers can enjoy. Restricting horseback riders to a limited number of riding sites causes overuse of these areas. Please be more open minded about horseback riders on your lands. Thank you.
HANDLEY, THOMAS September 1, 2015
My message is very simple.
Why do we not have catchable numbers of spring chinook in the North Fork Lewis?
WALLIS, MATHEW September 1, 2015
The Washington halibut season needs to be changed to allow for better access to fish. Ideally there would be a yearly quota of fish per Liscence (3 or 4 fish?) and a longer season, similar to the regulations in BC. The current season is too late in the year for productive inshore fishing. This change would allow for greater opportunities and improved boater safety while continuing with conservation efforts.
JOHNSON, GARY September 1, 2015
Dear Director Unsworth,
As a disabled hunter I would like to see more opportunities for the disabled without more limitations on equipment. I am not able to stand very well so a crossbow with a scope or a muzzle loader with a closed breach would be a great help. Thank you for your time and consideration. Gary
MARRA, P GERALD September 1, 2015
Washington State is getting a very poor reputation from hard core hunters who now hunt out of state every year. Years of poor planning, lousy Master Hunt management and drawings have increased the negative attitude towards the WDFW and their employees. Ever since the Fisheries Department took over management of the WDFW, things have gone downhill fast. Bowing down to pressure groups in steelhead fisheries has not helped. A lot of things need to be done, but a general good feeling toward the Department is mandatory. Something that is not easy to do but is needed badly.
HIEBER, FRANK September 1, 2015
Please revisit the regulations regarding hunting with airguns. The current regulations restrict hunting to small unclassified animals, essentially pests. I suspect that these regulations were drafted with the 1950s Daisy Red Rider BB gun in mind. Things have changed quite a bit since then. There are now air rifles with velocities matching .22LR firearms and the force of their impact can be equal or greater than some firearms depending on the projectile size. Rifled airgun calibers go from .177cal (7.9gr) up to .50cal(250gr) (that's right .50cal). They hit targets with between 10-300 ft-lbs energy (fpe). Other states allow hunting of all game animals, including deer, elk, bear, etc with air guns. There are also air-powered shotguns for use with hunting fowl. Washington is behind the times in this area.
RASMUSSEN, PAT September 1, 2015
Change needs to be seen on the ground. Much talking for many years about improving salmon habitat, study after study after study, does nothing. Salmon continue to decline. Change on the ground is what helps salmon. They need the Snake River dams taken out, toxins in stormwater run-off decreased, culverts taken out, greening of development, habitat recovered, etc.
PHILL, DEREK September 1, 2015
GIG HARBOR , WA
This year I have fished marine area 2 and 3 26 total days. When I return to the dock, this is the all to common chatter amongst the fisherman. "I must have released a dozen unclipped coho to find a couple clipped". A commercial troller in Lapush last year said he dropped 36 dead unclipped coho overboard to get his clipped quota in 1 day. As you probably already know even with a knot less rubber net about 50 percent of these unclipped coho myself and other fisherman catch are bled out and dead before we even get the hook out in the net. My question is why isnt the rule first coho cought. There are way to many salmon dying in the ocean trying to find a clipped coho. Yes you will always have the idiots that keep fishing for a bigger coho but my opinion from experience is the majority would retain there first legal size coho. My thought is Washington anglers would kill far less unclipped coho if you allowed us from day 1 of the salmon opener to retain our first coho cought regardless of clipped or unclipped.
MEACHAM, TONI September 1, 2015
Washington State needs to be ran using common sense. Fish and Wildlife seem to have taken a turn to run everything based on a never ending supply of funds which come from the people of this state. Stop buying land with our money. Stop competing with private entity. Fish and Wildlife hurt Washington economy. Please start working with private entity, sell excess lands to adjacent landowners, and start budgeting.
RURIK, CHRIS September 1, 2015
KEY CENTER, WA
Thank you for all your hard work to make Washington a great outdoors state. The natural world is our most valuable commodity.
I use public lands as a birdwatcher and fisherman and would like to see continued emphasis on habitat preservation. Also, I'd like to see more cross-sector partnerships to promote habitat stewardship in traditionally 'marginal' zones -- public right-of-ways, private property, shorelines, etc. If we can solidify ecosystems not just in the protected areas but everywhere else as well, it will go a long ways toward ensuring healthy bird, fish, mammal and plant populations far into the future.
Lastly, I want WDFW to take a strong stance on climate change and begin immediately to prepare the state for the impacts climate change will bring.
Thanks again for all you do,
BROWN, WILLIAM August 31, 2015
As a member of the Washington Prospectors Mining Association and a resident of the state for 51 yrs. My concerns are as follows....
1. The lack of Scientific proof that small scale miners are the cause of the lack of native spawning fish.
2. Inaccurate information used to make regulations on Small Scale Miners.
3. The lack of experience the WDFW biologists have when making their decisions on HPAs.
4. The continued waste of TAX PAYERS dollars to attempt to ban suction dredging, we are less than significant.
5. Regulate the amount of netting of spawning fish by the tribes(they take more than they use).
I ask myself sometimes, Those who are against small scale mines that are wearing gold rings, necklaces and earrings where do you think they came from? Gold is not grown on trees.
HORAN, JAMES August 31, 2015
In a follow up news release/update to website, provide brief:
1. description of challenges you mention,ie, budget, sufficient staffing, changing technologies, changing attitudes, population growth, better out reach efforts, cooperation with tribes, effects of global warming on fish/wildlife, law enforcement communication with clients
2. brief description of current biennial budget, possibly as a pie chart.
I think both will help us think a little more clearly and focused.
And, by the way, welcome to Washington Director Unsworth!
HORAN, JAMES August 31, 2015
In a follow up news release/update to website, provide brief:
1. description of challenges you mention,ie, budget, sufficient staffing, changing technologies, changing attitudes, population growth, better out reach efforts, cooperation with tribes, effects of global warming on fish/wildlife, law enforcement communication with clients
2. brief description of current biennial budget, possibly as a pie chart.
I think both will help us think a little more clearly and focused.
And, by the way, welcome to Washington Director Unsworth!
YOUNG, ALEX August 31, 2015
Aerial spraying of clear cuts with untested mixtures of herbicides after logging is a TERRIBLE practice. Glyphosate has recently been found to be a carcinogen in the EU. Polaris, SFM, Liberate etc etc are all being wildly sprayed over vast expanses of Washington where they enter the ecosystem. Soil, Plants, Animals, Water and Fish are all being exposed, as are people. Meanwhile We have almost a million acres burning. Do whatever it takes to bring back responsible controlled burns. They protect communities and forests from excessive wildfire temperatures and spread, they benefit the wildlife and when done responsibly the carbon emitted into the atmosphere can be minimized. The money currently going to Monsanto and other corporations would be better spent with fire departments and forest employees. The mismanagement of our wild lands hurts us all.
BAFUS, MARY August 31, 2015
Eastern Washington needs to keep species like, walleye & crappie, large/smallmouth bass, perch & Muskie. You seem to focus on rainbow trout and not the other wonderful fish that are known to survive our climate. (I am not sure if any of the mentioned fish are natural species to this area, but I love catching them.)
Funding should go to habitat improvements, as Mardon Resort of Othello, Wa. does yearly/privately. It HAS made a difference for the reservoir fisheries.
LORIA, JIM August 30, 2015
Please provide more support for the walleye fishery in our state.
CARKNER, RICHARD August 30, 2015
Dear Director In light of the ever increasing fire danger on forest and range lands I highly reccommend you consider using grazing permits to control the understory and forage grasses on land you manage like the LT. MURRAY in Kittitas County. The fuel supply that has built up over the years is an explosive event waiting to happen. With no management to reduce the fire potential this beautiful area will be blackened and the wildlife hapitat destroyed. Carefully managed grazing could generate some cash flow for the department as well as protect the habitat by reducing the fire danger.
HEPKER, CARL August 30, 2015
i think we give too much to the tribes. in reality, they get far more than half the available fish because when emergency measures need to be enacted it is only the sportsmen that is affected. you never hear of the tribes needing to stop netting or having their days or quota reduced. there are countless stories of tribe members showing no care for us sportsmen. i have seen them kill birds, tie up to private property and show a general disregard for your average fisherman.
i applaud the efforts to save fish with closures due to conditions.
i think more measures should be taken to remove the threat caused by the extraordinary amount of sea lions, in all locations. their numbers have gone up from the thousands to hundreds of thousands. its time to take them off the endangered list.
i think farmers and cattle ranchers need to suck it up when it comes to dealing with predatory animals such as coyotes, wolves and bears. just because they have enjoyed relative peace for a number of years doesnt mean they should continue to get a free ride. its nature. its wild. what do they expect. it isnt a sterile environment where everything will go their way.
AUSTIN, CATHERINE August 30, 2015
To Jim Unsworth and WDFW staff involved in the agency visioning process: while it is very important to provide recreational opportunities such that people can create and sustain a personal relationship with their natural environment, please be conservative with regulations that allow fishing of stocks impacted by climate - such as low water, reduced habitat connectivity, and higher stream temperatures. These species are the legacy we carry forward and we need to be vigilant in their protection. For example, bull trout in the Skagit system could be purely catch and release. Steelhead in the Sauk system should only be catch and release if that ever comes to pass, etc.
Thank you for your attention.
SHARP, CODY August 29, 2015
Since 1996 the use of hounds and bait has no longer been legal with that thousands of dollars each spring goes into timber deperdation permits. where we have people willing to purchase tags to hunt these problem bears and manage this. Since no one in the dept will stand up for the use of hounds bait trapping all things have been lost. At a very high expense. We the people of wa state pay for your salary wardens biologist by the tags licenses permits ect. While each year a little more is taken away grounds locked up. It seems the people who pay your wages are being forced to go else where and that's the image set by fw. Once you have managed to lock all the lands up out price hunting in this state why will we need a game dept you guys are your own worse enemy. Most wardens approach a person as if they have violated a law before even stepping foot in the brush yes there are bad people out here but treating a person with respect is a two way street. You as a dept have catered to the public and not focused on the state if the majority of wa had a choice we would not hunt or fish. So it's time you step up support the people and start doing something about our game management. Wolves bears cougar bobcat coyote are going to wipe out deer elk and what other animals they can get ahold of. The only way to truly control a population is to manage it. Witch sir your dept has slacked on. I'm sure since I'm not a degreed biologist my voice will be over looked. But in the end remember once all the Prey animals have wiped out there what resources they have then what. Yes less incedent are being reported since why report them when nothing will come of it. Being political is not always correct step out side the box and make a diffrence Give the sportsman of this state a reason to support of dept. Make this state one where people want to come hunt.
ANDERSON, WILLIAM August 29, 2015
*More Habitat-Especially Upland Bird
*More Public Access to Hunting on Private Land
*Better Population Control, Especially Wild Turkey and Doe Deer
LA FOUNTAINE, TIM August 29, 2015
The Cowlitz was once a great recreational fishery. The move to convert the Toutle and Cowlitz to a wild winter steelhead system is a poor decision. Run the hatcheries at maximum capacity with upgraded facilities and great managers and bring the Cowlitz back to a four season system. There are much better choices to meet the fed requirements. The Cowlitz has public access and is utilized by a lot of people.
HOANG, KHUONG August 29, 2015
Hello Mr. Unsworth, I see that you are a fly fisherman from the photo above, and I am one too as well. It would be really great if we had a fly fishing only catch and and release lake somewhere in the Seattle Bellevue area that has nice fishes such as Lone Lake in Whidbey or Pass Lake in Deception Pass. It's too bad that great fisheries like those lakes are such a long distance away for most of us. Thanks!
HELM, JADE August 29, 2015
Stop reducing sportsmen's time in the field especially on once in a lifetime moose hunts. Several of the GMU units have been cut in half(early, late)and then they are only a month long. Sportsmen should also be able to put in for whatever special permits they want and not have to choose a weapon type. This would give hunters more opportunity and the state more money. Please don't just brush this aside every time they come out with new regulations it is taking away opportunity not giving it. P.S I know that they have increased moose tags its about time. That does not change the fact that when a hunter does get drawn his/hers opportunities have been cut in half.
Thank you for your time,
BOWDEN, TOM August 29, 2015
BLACK DIAMOND, WA
As fly fisherman, I'd like to see the following priorities.
1. Recovery of wild steelhead and salmon fisheries.
2. Continued catch and release regulations for sea-run cutthroat in Puget Sound.
3. Re-establish the late-release resident coho program in Puget Sound. In past years, this was a great winter/spring fishery for both fly and gear fishermen.
4. More quality lake fishing opportunities. The joint effort between WDFW and South Sound Fly Fishers on Munn Lake has been a big success, providing the opportunity to catch and release larger fish in the winter months. It would be great to see the Department explore more opportunities like this.
SMITH, OLIVER August 29, 2015
Give highest priority to wild steelhead over hatchery fish in those rivers capable of self sustaining populations. Reduce and regulate the number of guide licenses given out each year on a river by river basis.
WALLACE, KIRBY August 29, 2015
Overall I think DFW does a great job.
Two areas I have concerns about.
1. Get the game laws out earlier if possible.
2. I'm very concerned about land owners such as Weyerhauser charging high prices for access. Especially considering much of their land was given to them by the people. I worry that it may lead to outdoor recreation becoming a rich man's sport. Unfortunately I don't have a good solution.
Thanks for the opportunity to comment.
WOJCIECHOWSKI, QUINTON August 28, 2015
I still can't figure out why Washington decided to hire unsworth after Idaho fired his worthless lying ass for his lies pertaining to the wolf debacle. Olympia seems to not have a clue how to manage an office, let alone our public lands. Fire the prick before he screws us over like he did Idaho.
WALLACE, SETH August 28, 2015
Specifically, make sure the WDFW is very aware of the significant contributions that hunters and anglers contribute to the WDFW, wildlife management, wildlife conservation, and the economy. For example, 1,005,000 hunters & anglers spent $1.6 billion in Washington in 2011 (http://www.sportsmenslink.org/uploads/page/EIR_Washington_final_low.pdf). They know this, but we should remind them and the public that will be listening. Acknowledgement of these contributions may have been somewhat subdued over the past several years due to the unfortunate political climate and cultural changes in the urban centers that has tended to sway away from supporting and promoting the activities of hunting and fishing.
Push for the management of our wildlife by wildlife management professionals. Put forth the expectation to stop allowing animal-rights and anti-hunting organizations dictate wildlife management policies via emotional diatribe, propaganda, references to flawed and/or biased
PHILEN, KEN August 28, 2015
Can you please develop an App where we can buy our fishing license and also record our catch? There is no need to carry 3 feet of paper in my wallet for catch record cards, and you can have real-time data on catch rates. Once I record my catch send me an email saying you got it. There should be a creel report showing what people have caught for the day. Also the App should know where I am located and give me the latest fishing rules for the body of waters within 5-10 miles of me.
ZWAR, KURT August 28, 2015
Mr. Unsworth, Picking out one thing to discuss is pretty tough. My short list would include (1) Do not condemn and destroy the Skagit Farmed Island (so-called Deepwater Slough project - Part 2) - it will be heavily resisted by Washington citizens who love and use the Skagit Farmed Island, (2) please learn how to how to transplant native, Pacific Herring...so that it can be done at Cherry Point and elsewhere (3) work with other agencies (DNR, Ecology) to remove the 1,000 creosoted pilings that are still poisoning the Skagit River South Fork estuary, (4) Protect the Skagit River South Fork estuary from oil trains. Thanks for your help and good luck. Sincerely, Kurt Zwar SkagitFarmedisland.org firstname.lastname@example.org
FELT, DAVID August 28, 2015
MOUNT VERNON, WA
There seems to be a real attack on our hatcheries. The program in place has really worked well. I would urge the director to pull out all the stops and stop these special interest groups from using Sate taxpayer money to derail our hatchery programs for salmon and steelhead.
Also the commercial crab harvest has to be looked at. When recreational crabbers are getting their chance at the harvest the crab being brought up are for the most part small or just under legal size. This tells me there is too much commercial crab harvest. Maybe it is time to set a smaller quota on commercial crab harvesting in Puget Sound. Perhaps it is time for commercial free zones on crabbing so the recreational crabbers get a fair opportunity in areas that is more accessible to smaller boats and gear.
ALLEN, TERRY August 28, 2015
When wdfw issues a notice about openings and closings of particular area, it would be helpful to link to a map. As it is, only those people very familiar with an area fully understand the notice.
I appreciate that you provide a brief explanation for openings and clothings. Keep up the good work.