Posts tagged: Washington Fish and Wildlife Department
HUNTING — Just as the public comment period on proposed fishing regulations closes today, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has announced it's taking public comment through Feb. 15 on proposed changes to hunting regulations.
On the list is a proposal, championed for several years by Jim Sutton of Spokane, to allow lighted nocks on arrows used for archery big-game hunting seasons.
Other changes include:
Providing more landowner hunting permits in exchange for more more public access to private land.
Adjusting seasons for big game hunting.
The Fish and Wildlife Commission, will discuss the hunting proposals and hold a final round of public comments during a March 1-2 meeting in Moses Lake.
The commission is scheduled to vote on the rule changes April 12-13 in Olympia.
ENDANGERED SPECIES — While state and federal officials have killed at least 74 wolves related to livestock attacks in Montana this year, killing wolves is new in Washington.
After six wolves in the cattle-attacking Wedge Pack were eliminated in northern Stevens County last week, Washington legislators are suddenly waking up to the issue that 's been simmering for years.
And, of course, the first comments are shrill.
See the NBC News report.
See the KING 5 TV News report.
ENDANGERED SPECIES — “We don't know that we got them all, but we couldn't find any more,” said Dave Ware, Washington Fish and Wildlife Department Game Division manager, explaining the agency's decision today to wrap up its mission to eliminate the Wedge Pack of wolves that have been preying on cattle in northern Stevens County.
The sixth wolf in three days was killed this morning by an agency sharpshooter in a helicopter just south of the U.S.-Canada border in the “wedge” area between the Columbia and Kettle rivers. The wolf killed today was the alpha male, who'd was wearing a GPS collar and was easy to locate. Also killed this week was the breeding female and four other adult wolves
A young female wolf from the pack had been killed by a state marksman on Aug. 7.
The one pup from the pack's 2012 litter that had been trapped and tagged was found dead of undetermined causes last month
The KING 5 TV video above shows the alpha male and the pup during their capture and release earlier this summer.
That totals 8 wolves, but doesn't explain the whereabouts of several other pups thought to have been born this year.
“The pups do a lot of howling when they're weaned, but we didn't near the howling earlier this summer, so we don't know what happened,” Ware said.
“Could there be other wolves out there? Yes. We'll be monitoring. If we found one in the near future, we'd have to think about what to do. The ones we've found in the past few days have all been adults. So we've accomplish the objective and disrupted the pack. If we see something soon, we'll deal with it.
“But if we get tracks or howling a couple of months from now, it may not be a member of this pack. It could be more wolves dispersing from Canada. We'd approach that case differently. Wolves are going to come back to the wedge sooner or later. It's good habitat.”
The Diamond M Ranch, which had at least 17 cattle attacked or killed this summer on public and private land, is pulling the cattle out of the area, but the ranchers told Ware that some of the livestock can't be rounded up in the rugged forest. All of the cattle don't come in until the snow flies.
ENDANGERED SPECIES — Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife officials say a helicopter gunner killed the alpha male of a cattle-preying wolf pack today, concluding the mission to eliminate the Wedge Pack in northern Stevens County.
The wolf was shot just south of the U.S.-Canada border in the third day of aerial shooting that claimed six wolves, agency director Phil Anderson said in a media release. The alpha male has been wearing a GPS since early summer, when it was caught and released by a state wolf researcher.
The state has been following the GPS signals of the alpha male to locate the pack, which officials have been targeting for elimination since Saturday.
The pack's alpha female was killed earlier this week, Anderson said. A younger female wolf was shot by an agency staffer on Aug. 7 during the first lethal efforts to curb attacks on cattle that started in early July.
How do you know you have the entire pack, considering WDFW originally estimated the pack included at least eight animals? WDFW state wildlife manager responds.
A Spokesman-Review photographer has been attempting to get photos of the effort, but was told by agency staff on the scene that they could not include him in the activities or make any official comments. One staffer did say that none of them enjoyed what they were doing, but that they were doing their job.
“Directing the pack’s removal was a very difficult decision, both personally and professionally, but it was necessary to reset the stage for sustainable wolf recovery in this region,” Anderson said. “Now we will refocus our attention on working with livestock operators and conservation groups to aggressively promote the use of non-lethal tactics to avoid wolf-livestock conflict.”
With the latest operation concluded, Anderson said the department would continue to monitor wolf activity in the Wedge region as it is doing in other parts of the state. While some WDFW staff were working full time with the Wedge Pack for most of the summer, other staffers have been working to document wolf activity in Okanogan, Chelan and Kittitas Counties, the Blue Mountains and elsewhere in Northeast Washington.
Read on for more background and details.
ENDANGERED SPECIES — After discussions with ranchers who've had cattle injured and killed by wolves in the past four weeks, Washington Fish and Wildlife Department officials have raised to four the number of wolves that might be killed to stop the depredation.
The guideline had been set at three last week after a Diamond M Ranch calf was injured and another calf was killed by the Wedge Pack on a Colville National Forest grazing lease in northern Stevens County near Laurier.
Department officers are moving into the “wedge” area between the Columbia and Kettle rivers today in an effort to trap and put radio collars on more gray wolves in the pack to monitor their movements. Wolves are protected by state endangered species laws, but lethal action is authorized under the state wolf management plan to protect livestock.
WDFW spokeswoman Madonna Luers confirmed that Director Phil Anderson had authorized department officers today to kill up to four wolves in the pack in the coming days or weeks if required to thwart the attacks on livestock.
Wolf attacks have been confirmed on up to eight of the ranch's animals in the past four weeks, including two calves killed. Officers responded to the July attacks by killing one non-breeding female wolf in the area on Aug. 7.
Read on for the official announcement by the WDFW.
ENDANGERED SPECIES — State wildlife managers today killed a wolf from a pack that has repeatedly preyed on livestock in a remote area of northeast Washington for the past five years. Officers are still in the Ferry County area near the Canada border with plans to kill a second wolf.
Acting under the terms of the state’s 2011 Wolf Conservation and Management Plan, the Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) took lethal action after a series of wolf attacks on the Diamond M herd, whose owners graze about 400 head of cattle in an area known as “the Wedge” between the Columbia and Kettle rivers.
The attacks left one calf dead, five cows or calves injured and at least two missing since mid-July.
This is Washington's first lethal response to the wolf population that's repopulating its former range in the state. An adult male wolf was trapped (above), fitted with a radio collar and released in shortly after the mid-July attacks. The transmitter has allowed some monitoring of the pack.
Read on for the official response, details and background regarding this endangered species milestone.
HUNTING — Friday at midnight is the deadline to apply for special hunting permits for fall deer, elk, mountain goat, moose, bighorn sheep, and turkey seasons in Washington.
Permit winners will be selected through a random drawing conducted by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) in late June. The special permits qualify hunters to hunt at times and places beyond those authorized by a general hunting license.
Applications may be purchased from license vendors statewide or online.
Consult the 2012 Big Game Hunting Seasons & Regulations pamphlet for details.
Read on for more information:
HUNTING — The Washington Fish and Wildlife commission will vote on about a dozen proposals involving significant changes in hunting regulations for the 2012-2014 seasons when it meets April 13-14 in Olympia.
Fish and Wildlife Department game managers gave the panel detailed presentations on the proposals during the commission meeting earlier this month in Moses Lake.
Audio files posted on the commission's website allow you to listen to those presentations as well as the public comment on the agenda topics.
Click here to see the revised proposals the commission will be considering next month.
HUNTING — A few days later than scheduled, proposals for hunting rules and seasons for 2012-2014 have finally been posted on the Washington Fish and Wildlife Department website.
Check them out. The Fish and Wildlife Commission will take more public input on the proposals during its March meeting in Moses Lake.
2012-2014 Hunting Season
The Wildlife Program is currently in the process of developing the 2012-14 hunting seasons. The first public comment period (8/15-9/20) has just wrapped up and department staff are currently analyzing the information received. Hunting season recommendations will be developed and available for public review in early January. Learn more >>
ENDANGERED SPECIES — Here are more detailed accounts of today's meeting in which the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission adopted an amended Gray Wolf Management and Conservation Plan four years in the making:
HUNTING/POACHING — Hunters relished wintery conditions that coincided with the onset of the rut last week. Conditions were good for filling a tag in the final days of the late rifle whitetail buck hunt, which ended Saturday in northeastern Washington.
Poachers seemed to like the conditions, too. Washington Fish and Wildlife Department police made 48 arrests and issued 24 warnings during the past week in the Spokane Region.
Failure to tag a deer or using someone else’s tag on a deer were common infractions, but officers also were ticketing for violations including littering and road-hunting to spotlighting and shooting bucks that didn’t meet the new four-point minimum in Units 117 and 121.
Read on for details about just a few of the more interesting citations and investigations area officers had to deal with in the past week.
ENDANGERED SPECIES — Planning that started in 2007 for dealing with the movement of gray wolves into Washington is inching closer to a conclusion.
The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission has scheduled a special meeting to will hold a special meeting to continue its review of the the state's Final Environmental Impact Statement/Recommended Wolf Conservation and Management Plan, and the public is invited to comment.
According to the agenda released yesterday, the wolf briefing by Fish and Wildlife Department staffers will begin at 9 a.m., Aug. 29, at the Quality Inn & Conference Center, 1700 Canyon Rd. in Ellensburg on Monday, August 29, followed by a public input opportunity.
The public comment opportunity will come at the end of the afternoon portion of the meeting, which begins at 1 p.m.
The Commission plans to hold additional special meetings on Oct. 6 and Nov. 3 in Olympia to continue discussing the FEIS/Plan and hear public comment.
Commission meeting agendas, background materials and additional information will be available for viewing on the Commission’s web page.
Click here to see the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife website dedicated to the plan for dealing with wolves in Washington.
PAY TO PLAY – Washington’s first general hunting-fishing license fee increase in a decade kicks in Sept. 1.
Now’s the time to buy and save on most licenses – but you might want to hold off on buying some youth, senior or disabled licenses, which will decrease in cost. And the endorsement that allows angers to use two rods while fishing some waters will decrease substantially.
All of the new license fee prices are available on the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife website.
But here’s a sampling of increases for resident fees (nonresident increases are much more substantial):
Decreasing: Examples of fees that will go down starting Sept. 1 include:
WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT — Washington Fish and Wildlfie Department Director Phil Anderson is scheduled to discuss legislative proposals for budget cuts and agency mergers during a public meeting tonight starting at 6:30 p.m. at the Inland Northwest Wildlife Council, 6116 N. Market in Spokane.
Deputy Director Joe Stohr and Spokane regional director Steve Pozzanghera likely will join Anderson in explaining how the agency might change under Gov. Chris Gregoire’s budget crisis plan.
Anderson will be meeting with his agency’s regional staff in Spokane on Wednesday.
PUBLIC LANDS — The Washington departments of Natural Resources and Fish and Wildlife swapped thousands of acres in a deal signed today.