THE FOLLWOING IS A HUNTING RULE CHANGE FROM THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
Action: This emergency rule allows the limited use of electronic calls when hunting lesser snow geese and Ross’ geese in Goose Management Area 1 during Feb. 12-22, 2022 (11 out of 107 total season days) and in Goose Management Area 4 during Feb. 12 – March 2, 2022 (19 out of 107 total season days), bringing state regulation in alignment with federal allowances.
Species affected: Lesser Snow Goose and Ross’ Goose, collectively referred to as “white geese” in the Migratory Waterfowl pamphlet.
Location: Goose Management Area 1 includes Skagit and Whatcom counties, and that portion of Snohomish County west of Interstate 5. Goose Management Area 4 includes Adams, Benton, Chelan, Douglas, Franklin, Grant, Kittitas, Lincoln, Okanogan, Spokane and Walla Walla counties.
Reason for action: The amendment of this rule allows for an extremely limited and targeted use of electronic calls during white goose-only season segments for lesser snow geese and Ross’ geese. The amendment of this rule only impacts the lesser snow goose population that has experienced rapid population growth in the past three years and is now significantly above both established flyway and winter-flock population objectives. For migratory gamebirds, sport harvest allows consumptive use of harvested geese, whereas agricultural depredation permits do not allow for consumptive uses as this is defined as “take” outside of established seasons under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (16 U.S. Code § 704).
Additional information: As a reminder, the use of electronic decoys is illegal under WAC 220-414-090, this emergency rule is only about electronic calls for snow goose hunting. WDFW has proposed this amendment for a permanent rule in the 2022 updates to migratory gamebird hunting season-setting rule making. For more information on this emergency rule visit WDFW’s website<https://wdfw.wa.gov/sites/default/files/about/regulations/filings/2022/wsr_22-03-024.pdf>.