Tag Archives: whatcom county

$25 Million In Grants Aim To Ease Washington Fish Passage In 20 Counties

THE FOLLOWING IS A JOINT PRESS RELEASE FROM THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE AND THE WASHINGTON RECREATION AND CONSERVATION OFFICE

Migrating fish will soon have access to more than 82 miles of streams in Washington, thanks to $25 million in grants from the Brian Abbott Fish Barrier Removal Board.

THERE’S A LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL FOR FISH PASSAGE, THANKS TO THE AWARDING OF $25 MILLION TO COUNTIES, TRIBES AND OTHER ENTITIES TO REMEDY OLD CULVERTS AND OTHER STREAM CROSSINGS THROUGHOUT WASHINGTON. THIS IS A SKAGIT COUNTY PROJECT THAT’S IN THE DESIGN PHASE AND WILL OPEN 6.31 MILES OF HABITAT FOR E.S.A.-LISTED CHINOOK AND STEELHEAD. (RCO)

The board will fund more than 50 projects in 20 counties to remove fish passage barriers that block salmon and steelhead from swimming upstream to their spawning areas. The most common barriers to fish passage are culverts, which are large pipes or other structures that carry streams under roads. Culverts can be too high for fish to reach, too small to handle high water flows, or too steep for fish to navigate.

“These projects build on previous fish passage investments by the Washington State Department of Transportation, forest land owners, and local governments,” said Tom Jameson, WDFW fish passage manager and chair of the Brian Abbott Fish Barrier Removal Board. “We’re excited that several projects will focus on watersheds that are particularly good habitat for chinook salmon, which are the main food source for southern resident killer whales (orcas). We appreciate the Legislature’s support so we can continue contributing to salmon and orca recovery.”

A LOW-FLOW FISH BARRIER IN LEWIS COUNTY’S SCAMMON CREEK. (RCO)

Created by the Legislature in 2014, the Brian Abbott Fish Barrier Removal Board coordinates the removal of fish passage barriers on state, local, tribal, and private land that block salmon and steelhead access to prime spawning and rearing habitat. Funding comes from the sale of state bonds.

“This board represents an incredible partnership that ultimately helps us open entire watersheds where we can make the biggest impact for fish,” said Kaleen Cottingham, director of the Recreation and Conservation Office, which administers the grants. “A coordinated approach is key to helping fish reach the ocean, return home to spawn, and get to healthy habitats to feed, grow, and transition from saltwater to freshwater.”

ANOTHER FISH BARRIER IN LEWIS COUNTY THAT WILL BE CORRECTED, OPENING UP HABITAT ON THE MIDDLE FORK NEWAUKUM RIVER. (RCO)

Selected projects went through a technical review committee, which evaluated project proposals based on their coordination with nearby fish passage projects, benefit to salmon and steelhead populations listed as threatened or endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act, and cost-effectiveness. The committee also evaluated projects based on the severity of the barrier and its location in the watershed, prioritizing downstream barriers first.

The grant program is administered as a partnership between the board, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office. The board is named after Brian Abbott, who was a life-long fisherman, avid salmon recovery leader, and spearheaded creation of the board while serving as executive coordinator of the Governor’s Salmon Recovery Office.

WALLA WALLA’S TRI-STATE STEELHEADERS SECURED ONE OF THE LARGEST GRANTS AWARDED, NEARLY $1.7 MILLION TO IMPROVE FISH ACCESS ON MILL CREEK. (RCO)

Other board members include representatives from the Washington Departments of Transportation and Natural Resources, Washington State Association of Counties, Association of Washington Cities, the Governor’s Salmon Recovery Office, the Confederated Tribe and Bands of the Yakama Nation, the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, and Council of Regions.

Below is a list of fish passage projects funded in each county. For project details, visit https://rco.wa.gov/documents/press/2019/FBRBGrantsDescriptions2019.pdf.

Asotin County……………………. $445,300
Chelan County…………………… $982,885
Clallam County………………….. $699,859
Clark County……………………… $155,200
Cowlitz County………………… $1,095,293
Grays Harbor County………….. $590,408
Island County…………………….. $544,718
Jefferson County………………… $397,163
King County……………………. $4,053,264
Kitsap County…………………. $2,561,337
Kittitas County…………………. $2,652,910
Lewis County………………….. $1,606,571
Mason County…………………. $1,180,395
Okanogan County……………. $2,265,251
Pierce County……………………… $90,000
Skagit County……………………. $378,500
Snohomish County……………… $653,483
Thurston County……………… $1,700,000
Walla Walla County………….. $1,785,641
Whatcom County……………….. $889,768

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Only 3 Days For Skagit Brant Hunters, But Other Westside Areas Open As Scheduled

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced a restricted, three-day hunting season for brant geese in Skagit County today, while continuing hunts in three other counties where brant counts have been stable.

A BRANT LANDS AMONGST DECOYS SET OFF THE TESORO REFINERY NEAR ANACORTES, IN WESTERN SKAGIT COUNTY, AN IMAGE SUPPLIED TO NORTHWEST SPORTSMAN FOR AN ARTICLE ON THE SPECIES WHICH RAN A COUPLE WINTERS AGO. (MAYNARD AXELSON)

This year’s brant season in Skagit County will occur on Jan. 12, 16, and 19, based on criteria set by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission in April.

Kyle Spragens, WDFW waterfowl section manager, said the reduced schedule was necessary after aerial bird counts conducted in Skagit County indicated numbers fell short of the 6,000 birds required for a full eight-day hunting season for high arctic brant.

Spragens said population surveys conducted over Padilla, Samish, and Fidalgo bays in Skagit County this winter tallied 5,203 birds, triggering this year’s three-day season.

“The number of hunting days is directly related to how many brant are counted during those surveys,” he said. “These low counts require us to prioritize conservation responsibilities for this distinctive, coastal species, while providing harvest opportunity when appropriate.”

Spragens said annual counts in Skagit brant numbers can vary widely, noting that this is the third restricted brant season in the past four years.

Meanwhile, stable populations of brant that do not return to western high arctic breeding regions have allowed for continued hunting opportunities in other parts of the state.  The state has again approved a brant season – Jan. 12, 16, and 19 – in Clallam and Whatcom Counties.

Counts in those two counties have increased in recent years and have remained above the 1,000 brant threshold for the past three years, the state criteria required to consider seasons in these areas.

Also, the traditional 10-day brant season in Pacific County will open Jan. 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20, 22, 24, 26 and 27.

WDFW reminds hunters to familiarize themselves with local regulations and boundaries. Specifically, hunters in Clallam County are advised to consult the closed zones of Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge (https://www.fws.gov/refuge/Dungeness/visit/rules_and_regulations.html) and hunters in Whatcom County are advised to review boundaries relevant to Bellingham and Lummi Bays (https://www.lummi-nsn.gov/Website.php?PageID=39).

Information on brant seasons is available in WDFW’s Migratory Waterfowl and Upland Game Seasons hunting pamphlet at http://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/regulations/. Brant hunters are reminded they must possess a valid migratory bird authorization and brant harvest report card.

Tips Needed In ‘Major’ Whatcom Co. Waterfowl Wastage Case

Washington game wardens are looking for whomever strew more than 60 dead ducks and geese across a rural part of Whatcom County recently, a “major wastage.”

(WDFW)

The mallards, Canadas and other waterfowl were found on and along stretches of Weidkamp and West Badger Roads, which are just west of Lynden and a couple miles south of the US-Canada border.

It’s believed the birds had been shot several days before but were not processed at all.

“None of them were breasted and they appeared to have been dead for several days. The birds were spread out singly. It appears they were thrown from a vehicle traveling up the road,” WDFW Police reported on Facebook this afternoon.

The Northwest Washington Waterfowl Association reported that on  Friday, Nov. 30, one of its members came across a warden collecting the birds.

They were initially spotted by a school bus driver earlier in the day, according to a Bellingham Herald article out this morning.

Anyone with information is being asked to call WDFW’s poaching tip line at (877) 933-9847.

Anonymous texts can also be sent to 847411, entering WDFWTIP and then providing details.

Trout Season Extended At B’ham’s Recently Stocked Padden Lake

THE FOLLOWING IS AN EMERGENCY RULE-CHANGE NOTICE FROM THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

Gamefish season extended at Whatcom County’s Padden Lake

Action:  Extend the fishing season for gamefish at Padden Lake.

TROUT ANGLERS WORK BELLINGHAM’S PADDEN LAKE DURING SPRING. (WDFW)

Effective date:  Nov. 1, 2018, through Jan. 6, 2019.

Species affected:  Trout and other game species.

Location:  Padden Lake (Whatcom County).

Reason for action: The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) stocked 1,100 catchable-size rainbow trout for a Heritage Fishing Day event conducted by the Sportsman’s Alliance Foundation. There are many fish left in the lake and WDFW is expanding the fishery so anglers can enjoy them through the holidays.  

Additional information: Padden Lake will be closed to fishing on Jan. 7, 2019.  The lake will re-open to fishing on the fourth Saturday in April.

No internal combustion motors are allowed on Padden Lake.

Anglers should also be aware that invasive New Zealand mudsnails (https://wdfw.wa.gov/ais/potamopyrgus_antipodarum/) were recently discovered in Padden Lake. To prevent the spread of this prohibited species to other water bodies, WDFW urges anyone coming into contact with Lake Padden to inspect and follow the Clean/Drain/Dry strategy on all clothing, gear, and watercraft. For more details on the prevention methods, visit WDFW’s website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/ais/youcanhelp.html.   

Information contact: Justin Spinelli, Region 4 fisheries biologist, 360-466-4345, ext. 242.