WSR 97-14-097

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

FISH AND WILDLIFE

(Wildlife)

[Filed July 2, 1997, 9:37 a.m.]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 97-10-028.

Title of Rule: To adopt WAC 232-28-421 1997-98 Migratory waterfowl seasons and regulations.

Purpose: Establish WAC 232-28-421 1997-98 Migratory waterfowl seasons and regulations.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 77.12.040.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 77.12.040.

Summary: The WAC specifies legal season dates, bag limits, and open areas to hunt waterfowl for the 1997-98 hunting season.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: Waterfowl seasons and regulations are developed based on cooperative management programs among states of the Pacific Flyway and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, considering population status and other biological parameters.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting and Implementation: Dave Brittell, Assistant Director, Wildlife Management, Olympia, (360) 902-2504; and Enforcement: Ron Swatfigure, Assistant Director, Enforcement, Olympia, (360) 902-2932.

Name of Proponent: Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission, governmental.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: The rule establishes waterfowl seasons and regulations to provide recreational opportunity, control waterfowl damage, and conserve the waterfowl resources of Washington.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: See above.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. This rule does not affect small business.

Section 201, chapter 403, Laws of 1995, does not apply to this rule adoption.

Hearing Location: Red Lion Inn, 802 George Washington Way, Richland, WA 99352, on August 8-9, 1997, at 8:00 a.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Debbie Nelson by July 25, 1997, TDD (360) 902-2207, or (360) 902-2267.

Submit Written Comments to: Evan Jacoby, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, 600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091, FAX (360) 902-2942.

Date of Intended Adoption: August 8, 1997.

July 2, 1997

Dave Brittell

NEW SECTION

WAC 232-28-421 1997-98 Migratory Waterfowl Seasons and Regulations

ducks

Western Washington

Oct. 4, 1997-Jan. 17, 1998

Daily bag limit: 7 ducks--to include not more than 2 hen mallards, not more than 3 pintails, not more than 2 redheads, and not more than 1 canvasback.

Possession limit: 14 ducks--to include not more than 4 hen mallards, not more than 6 pintails, not more than 4 redheads, and not more than 2 canvasbacks.

Special youth hunting day open only to hunters 15 years of age or under (must be accompanied by an adult at least 18 years old who is not hunting).

Sept. 27, 1997

Eastern Washington

Oct. 4, 1997-Jan. 17, 1998

Daily bag limit: 7 ducks--to include not more than 2 hen mallards, not more than 3 pintails, not more than 2 redheads, and not more than 1 canvasback.

Possession limit: 14 ducks--to include not more than 4 hen mallards, not more than 6 pintails, not more than 4 redheads, and not more than 2 canvasbacks.

Special youth hunting day open only to hunters 15 years of age or under (must be accompanied by an adult at least 18 years old who is not hunting).

Sept. 27, 1997

coot (Mudhen)

Same areas, dates (including Youth Hunting Day), and shooting hours as the general duck season.

Daily bag limit: 25 coots.

Possession limit: 25 coots.

common snipe

Same areas, dates (except Youth Hunting Day), and shooting hours as the general duck season.

Daily bag limit: 8 snipe.

Possession limit: 16 snipe.

geese (except Brant and Aleutian Canada Geese)

western washington

Western Washington Goose Management Area 1

Island, Skagit, Snohomish counties

Oct. 11-Jan. 4, 1998

Daily bag limit: 3 geese.

Possession limit: 6 geese.

written authorization required to hunt snow geese. All persons hunting snow geese in this season are required to obtain a written authorization and Harvest Report from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Hunters who held a 1996 authorization and returned the Harvest Report prior to the deadline will be mailed a 1997 authorization in early October. Hunters who did not possess a 1996 authorization must fill out an application (available at Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Olympia and regional offices). Application forms must be delivered to a Department office no later than September 25 or postmarked on or before September 25 in order for applicants to be mailed a 1997 authorization before the season starts. No applications will be accepted after October 31, 1997. Immediately after taking a snow goose into possession, hunters must record in ink the information required on the Harvest Report. Return of the Harvest Report is mandatory. Those hunters not returning the Harvest Report to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife by January 15, 1998 will be ineligible to participate in the 1998 snow goose season.

Western Washington Goose Management Area 2

Pacific, Wahkiakum, Cowlitz, and Clark counties, except the area of Clark County south of the Washougal River.

Open in Cowlitz County south of the Kalama River and Clark County (see exception above), except on the following dates from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.:

Nov. 22, 24, 26, 28, 30, 1997

Dec. 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 26, 28, 30, 1997

Jan. 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 1998

Open in Cowlitz county north of the Kalama River, Pacific, and Wahkiakum counties on the following dates from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.:

Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays only, Nov. 22, 1997-Jan. 18, 1998.

Bag limits for all of Western Washington Goose Management Area 2:

Daily bag limit: 4 geese, to include not more than 3 Canada geese, not more than 1 dusky Canada goose, and not more than 3 white geese (snow, Ross', blue).

Possession limit: 8 geese, to include not more than 6 Canada geese, not more than 1 dusky Canada goose, and not more than 6 white geese (snow, Ross', blue).

Season limit: 1 dusky Canada goose.

A dusky Canada goose is defined as a dark-breasted Canada goose with a culmen (bill) length of 40-50 mm.

The Canada goose season for Western Washington Goose Management Area 2 will be closed early if dusky Canada goose harvests exceed area quotas which collectively total 67 geese. The Fish and Wildlife Commission has authorized the Director to implement emergency area closures in accordance with the following quotas: a total of 67 duskys, to be distributed 18 for Clark County private lands, 10 for Ridgefield NWR, 19 for Cowlitz County south of the Kalama River, 10 for Cowlitz County north of the Kalama River and Wahkiakum County, and 10 for Pacific County.

Hunting is only permitted by written authorization from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Hunters who maintained a valid 1996 written authorization will be mailed a 1997 authorization card prior to the 1997 season. New hunters and those who did not maintain a valid 1996 authorization must review goose identification training materials and demonstrate adequate performance on a goose identification test to receive written authorization. Information on training materials and testing dates/locations is available at the Olympia and regional offices.

With written authorization, hunters will receive a Harvest Report. Hunters must carry the authorization card and Harvest Report while hunting. Immediately after taking a Canada goose (dusky, lesser/Taverner, cackling, or other subspecies) into possession, hunters must record in ink the information required on the Harvest Report. Hunters must go directly to the nearest check station and have geese tagged when leaving a hunt site, before 6:00 p.m. If a hunter takes the season bag limit of one dusky Canada goose or does not comply with requirements listed above regarding checking of birds and recording harvest on the Harvest Report, written authorization will be revoked and the hunter will not be able to hunt in Western Washington Goose Management Area 2 for the remainder of the season and the Special Late Canada Goose Season. It is unlawful to fail to comply with all provisions listed above for Western Washington Goose Management Area 2.

Western Washington Goose Management Area 2

Special Late Canada Goose Season

Open to Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Advanced Hunter Education (AHE) program graduates possessing a valid 1997 southwest Washington Canada goose hunting authorization. Hunters qualifying for the season will be notified of available hunting dates and selected at random for participation. Depending on the number of AHE hunters available, additional authorized non-AHE hunters may be selected at random from applicants (applications will be available in early January 1998). AHE hunters will be given priority in assigning hunt days.

Open in Agricultural Goose Damage Areas in Western Washington Goose Management Area 2 on selected dates within the following period from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.:

January 24-March 10, 1998

Daily bag limit: 3 Canada geese, to include not more than 1 dusky Canada goose.

Possession limit: 6 Canada geese, to include not more than 1 dusky Canada goose.

Season limit: 1 dusky Canada goose.

A dusky Canada goose is defined as a dark-breasted Canada goose with a culmen (bill) length of 40-50 mm.

The Special Late Canada Goose Season will be closed by emergency action if the harvest of dusky Canada geese exceeds 5. Hunting is only permitted by written authorization from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Hunters who maintained a valid 1996 written authorization will be mailed a 1997 authorization card prior to the 1997 season. New hunters and those who did not maintain a valid 1996 authorization must review goose identification training materials and demonstrate adequate performance on a goose identification test to receive written authorization. Information on training materials and testing dates/locations is available at the Olympia and Regional offices.

With written authorization, hunters will receive a Special Late Canada Goose Season authorization card and Harvest Report. Hunters must carry the authorization card and Harvest Report while hunting. Immediately after taking a Canada goose (dusky, lesser/Taverner, or other subspecies) into possession, hunters must record in ink the information required on the Harvest Report. Hunters must go directly to the nearest check station and have geese tagged when leaving a hunt site, before 6:00 p.m. If a hunter takes the season bag limit of one dusky Canada goose or does not comply with requirements listed above regarding checking of birds and recording harvest on the Harvest Report, written authorization will be revoked and the hunter will not be able to hunt in the Special Late Canada Goose Season for the remainder of the season. It is unlawful to fail to comply with all requirements listed above for the Special Late Canada Goose Season.

Western Washington Goose Management Area 3

Includes all parts of western Washington not included in Western Washington Goose Management Areas 1 and 2.

Oct. 11, 1997-Jan. 18, 1998

Daily bag limit: 4 geese, to include not more than 3 white geese (snow, Ross', blue).

Possession limit: 8 geese, to include not more than 6 white geese (snow, Ross', blue).

eastern washington

Eastern Washington Goose Management Area 1

Okanogan, Douglas, Kittitas, Grant, Adams, Franklin, Benton, Lincoln, Spokane, and Walla Walla counties.

Saturdays, Sundays, and Wednesdays only, from Oct. 11, 1997-Jan. 11, 1998, Nov. 11, 27, 28, 1997, and every day Jan. 12-18, 1998.

Eastern Washington Goose Management Area 2

Includes all other parts of eastern Washington not included in Eastern Washington Goose Management Area 1.

Every day, from Oct. 11, 1997-Jan. 18, 1998.

Bag limits for all Eastern Washington Goose Management Areas:

Daily bag limit: 4 geese, to include not more than 3 white geese (snow, Ross', blue).

Possession limit: 8 geese, to include not more than 6 white geese (snow, Ross', blue).

brant

Open in Skagit and Pacific counties only

In 1997, the brant wintering population in northern Puget Sound remained significantly below objective levels. If the 1997-98 pre-season wintering population in northern Puget Sound is below 6,000, the brant season in Skagit County will be closed.

Open in Skagit county on the following dates:

Jan. 10, 11, 14, 17, 18, 1998

Open in Pacific county on the following dates:

Jan. 3, 4, 10, 17, 18, 1998

written authorization required: All hunters participating in this season are required to obtain a written authorization and Harvest Report from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Hunters who held a 1996 authorization and returned the Harvest Report prior to the deadline will be mailed a 1997 authorization in early December. Hunters who did not possess a 1996 authorization must fill out an application (available at Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife regional offices). Application forms must be delivered to a Department office no later than 5:00 p.m. on November 10 or postmarked on or before November 10, after which applicants will be mailed a 1997 authorization in early December. Late applications will not be accepted. Immediately after taking a brant into possession, hunters must record in ink the information required on the Harvest Report. Return of the Harvest Report is mandatory. Those hunters not returning the Harvest Report to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife by January 15, 1998 will be ineligible to participate in the 1998 brant season.

Bag limits for Skagit and Pacific counties:

Daily bag limit: 2 brant.

Possession limit: 4 brant.

aleutian canada geese and swans

Season closed statewide.

falconry seasons

A falconry license and a current hunting license are required for hunting with a raptor. In addition, an Eastern Washington Upland Bird Permit or a Western Washington Upland Bird Permit is required to hunt pheasant, quail, and partridge; and federal and state waterfowl stamps are required to hunt waterfowl. A 1998 hunting license, 1998 falconry license, and a 1998 Eastern or Western Washington Upland Bird Permit are required to hunt pheasant, partridge, and grouse after December 31.

ducks and coots (Falconry)

(Bag limits include geese, snipe, and mourning doves.)

Western Washington

Sept. 27, 1997, Oct. 4, 1997-Jan. 17, 1998

Daily bag limit: 3, straight or mixed bag with geese, snipe, and mourning doves during established seasons.

Possession limit: 6, straight or mixed bag with geese, snipe, and mourning doves during established seasons.

Eastern Washington

Sept. 27, 1997, Oct. 4, 1997-Jan. 17, 1998

Daily bag limit: 3, straight or mixed bag with geese, snipe, and mourning doves during established seasons.

Possession limit: 6, straight or mixed bag with geese, snipe, and mourning doves during established seasons.

geese (Falconry)

(Bag limits include ducks, coot, snipe, and mourning doves.)

Oct. 11, 1997-Jan. 18, 1998, statewide, except:

Nov. 22, 1997-Jan. 18, 1998 and Jan. 24-Mar. 10, 1998 in Western Washington Goose Management Area 2.

Daily bag limit: 3, straight or mixed bag with ducks, coot, snipe, and mourning doves during established seasons.

Possession limit: 6, straight or mixed bag with ducks, coot, snipe, and mourning doves during established seasons.

snipe (Falconry)

(Bag limits include ducks, coots, geese, and mourning doves.)

Sept. 27, 1997, Oct. 4, 1997-Jan. 17, 1998, statewide

Daily bag limit: 3, straight or mixed bag with ducks, coots, geese and mourning doves during established seasons.

Possession limit: 6, straight or mixed bag with ducks, coots, geese and mourning doves during established seasons.

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