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Shelton Mason County Journal
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January 2, 2014     Shelton Mason County Journal
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January 2, 2014

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Cougar seasons close in some areas Cougar hm close at dusk for the animal the Washingt( (WDFW) anno Eight of th including Gan 117, 149, 154, 340, 342,346, Those GMU Pend Oreille, STAFF REPORT ews@masoncou nty.com ;s in several areas of the state will Dec. 31 now that harvest guidelines s have been reached in those areas, n Department of Fish and Wildlife anced earlier this week. 49 cougar hunt areas will close, Le Management Units (GMUs) 105, 157, 162, 163, 328, 329, 335, 336, 382, 388, 560, 574, and 578. s are located in portions of Stevens, Walla Walla, Columbia, Garfield, Kittitas, Yakima, Klickitat, and Cowlitz counties. Dave Ware, WDFW Game Division manager, said this is the second year the department has managed cougar hunts under a plan approved by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission in 2012. That plan establishes harvest guidelines for specific areas of the state, based on cougar popu- lations in those areas, Ware said. Under the plan, WDFW can close areas where cougar harvest meets or exceeds guidelines, while continuing to allow for hunting opportunities elsewhere. "The goal is to preserve a variety of cougar age classes in numerous areas throughout the state, particularly older animals which tend to be more effective at maintaining sustainable populations,, Ware said. Last year, hunters harvested 156 cougars state- wide, up from 145 in 2011 and 108 in 2010. Ware said the number of cougars harvested this season is expected to be similar to last year's total. Ware reminds hunters that during the late-sea- son cougar hunt - Jan. 1 through March 31 - other areas of the state could close early. Before going afield, hunters should check WDFW's website at wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/cougar/ or call the cougar hunting hotline 866-364-4868 to check which ar- eas of the state remain open. Any additional closures will be posted on the website and hotline, both of which will be updated weekly. Razor clam tides kick off new .year STAFt news@ma Clam digge new year with clam dig on o started Dec. through Jan. The Washil of Fish and W: proved the dig tests showed to eat. As in prex digs are sche tides• No dig on any beach 1 "Digging ra Year's Day is for a lot of Nq said Dan Ayre manager. "For allowed us to REPORT oncounty.com rs can ring in the an eight-day razor cean beaches that 29 and stretches gton Department ldlife (WDFW) ap- after marine toxin ;he clams are.safe [ous openings, all duled on evening ng will be allowed ,efore noon. zor clams on New t holiday tradition rthwest families, s, WDFW shellfish tunately, the tides :eep that tradition alive this year I Upcoming digs are sched- uled on the following dates, beaches and low tides: Jan. 2, Thursday, 7:15 p.m.; -1.7 feet; Twin Har- bors, Long Beach, Mocrocks Jan. 3, Friday, 8:00 p.m.; -1.4 feet; Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Mocrocks Jan. 4, Saturday, 8:45 p.m.; -0.9 feet; Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Mocrocks, Copalis Jan. 5, Sunday, 9:31 p.m.; -0.2 feet; Twin Harbors Under state law, diggers can take 15 razor clams per day and are required to keep the first 15 they dig. Each digger's clams must be kept in a separate con- tainer• All diggers ages 15 or older must have an applicable 2013-14 fishing license to harvest razor clams on any beach. Licenses, rang- ing from a three-day razor clam license to an annual combina- tion fishing license, are available on WD- FW's website at fishhunt. dfw.wa.gov and from license vendors around the state. STAFF EPORT I news@mast ncounty.com Biologists and Erich S ducted the I eral goose s concentrated efforts in P while Sundst Brock Hoenes mdstrom con- )ecember gen- lrvey. Hoenes his survey cific County, rom primarily surveyed in !Grays Harbor County. Hones observed 4,883 geese while Sundstrom observed 4,74_ geese. The number of each species ob- served is summarized in the table below. Species: White, Dusky, Cackler, Less/Taverner, Western, Aleutian, fronted, Snow, Unident. Hoenes - i, 387, 2, 436, 580, 76, 0, 44i 0, 360, 4 and 883. Sundstrom 683,661, 1, 1, 2, 665, 3, 264 45, 1, 1,661 Willapa  Surveys: Bic spent time summarizing second aerial vey in Willap mary intent o: to document ber of dabbh lapa Bay duri tion south a 1,278, 828, 1, 1,301,4,754, 1,263, 737, 1, and 637. ay Waterfowl logist Hoenes entering and data from the waterfowl sur- t Bay. The pri- 'the surveys is ;he total num- rs using Wil- ]g their migra- ]d to identify Page C-6 - Mastn County Journal I 1 I 1 ! WDFW counts geese Geese like these are counted by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife's biologists. the core use areas. During the Nov. 20 flight, observ- ers estimated 29,000 dab- blers were using Willapa Bay, which represented a more than 50% decline com- pared to the October 29 sur- vey when biologists observed 71,000 dabblers. The results were not surprising howev- - Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014 er because it has been well documented that the number of ducks using Willapa Bay drop precipitously between early and mid-November. GOAL 2: Provide sustain- able fishing, hunting and other wildlife related recre- ational and commercial ex- perinces. Goose check stations: Sundstrom and Scientific Technician Capelli operated the Raymond and Riekko- la goose check stations• At the Raymond check station, Sundstrom reported that four hunters brought in nine geese (three cackler, five Western, one taverner on Wednesday i r and five hunters brought in six geese (five cackler, one greater white-fronted) on Saturday. This brings the to- tal number of geese checked at the Raymond check sta- tion during the 2013-2014 goose season to 114 geese. At the Riekkola check station, Capelli reported that one hunter brought in two geese (one lesser, one taverner) on Wednesday and one hunter brought in four geese (three lesser, one taverner) on Sat- urday. This brings the total number of geese checked at the Riekkola check station during the 2013-2014 season to 183 geese. GOAL 3: Use sound busi- ness practices and deliver high quality customer ser- vice.Wildlife Management Taylor's checkerspot Cap- tive Rearing and Release: Biologist Linders gave a one-hour presentation to the Washington Butterfly As- sociation in Seattle, cover- ing all aspects of the work from the restoration to the reintroductions and includ- ing how the Sustainability in Prisons Project is utilized in many steps along the way. The audience was very at- tentive and enthusiastic and asked many questions across a range of topics•