Citizens can comment on gray wolf management in Washington during public meetings at seven towns across the state, including Spokane.
The wolves are federally protected as endangered species, but their numbers are growing to the point of being considered for removal from the endangered list.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and an 18-member citizen advisory group are developing a wolf-management plan as wolf sighting reports are becoming more frequent, especially in the northeastern corner of the state.
While the state will not reintroduce wolves, the species is expected to reestablish in Washington on its own as wolf numbers increase in Montana, Idaho and Canada. Wolves were eradicated from Washington by the 1930s.
The eventual wolf-management plan is expected to include gray wolf population objectives, wolf-livestock conflict resolution, wolf-game species interactions, wolf-human interactions and other issues.
Public meetings in this region will run 7 p.m.-9 p.m. as follows:
Tuesday in Clarkston at the Clarkston Center of Walla Walla Community College.
Wednesday in Spokane at Mount Spokane High School.
Aug. 20 in Twisp at the Methow Valley Community Center.
Waterfowl seasons set
Washington’s duck hunting season will run Oct. 13-17 and Oct. 20-Jan. 27, and a special youth hunting weekend is scheduled for Sept. 22-23.
The seasons, which are similar to last year, were set by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission during its Aug. 3-4 meeting in Anacortes.
Goose hunting seasons vary by management areas across the state, but most open Oct. 13 and run into January 2008.
In other action, the commission:
“Restricted access to the southern end of the North Potholes Game Reserve to protect breeding birds and waterfowl habitat.
“Took public comment on proposed public conduct rules for state-managed wildlife lands. The proposal address the use of aircraft, camping, commercial activity, dumping and sanitation, erecting structures, firearms and target shooting, fireworks, land and road closures, livestock, parking, pets, resource removal, vehicle use and other issues.
The commission is scheduled to consider approval of public conduct rules at its Oct. 12-13 meeting in Olympia.
Check it out: The conduct rule proposals are online at http://wdfw.wa.gov/lands/ proposed_wac_232-13.htm.
Snake steelhead making their run
Steelhead anglers can expect another year of good but not outstanding fishing in the Snake River and its tributaries.
Fisheries managers expect the 2007 run of steelhead to be similar in size to runs of the past few years.
“Right now we don’t see anything on the horizon that suggests a dramatic change from the last couple of years,” said Sharon Kiefer, intergovernmental policy coordinator for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game at Boise.
The Technical Advisory Committee, made of state, federal and tribal fisheries managers in the Columbia River Basin, is calling for 282,800 steelhead bound for the Snake and upper Columbia rivers to return to Bonneville Dam.
Kiefer said about 130,000 of those steelhead should return past Lower Granite Dam, 35 miles west of Lewiston on the Snake River. Last year’s early season forecast called for a return of 120,000 to 130,000 steelhead at Lower Granite. The actual return was 148,092.
Recently, steelhead have been passing over Lower Granite at the rate of 50-90 fish a day, which is about twice as many fish over the dam as at the same time last year.
Lewiston Morning Tribune