Walleye on the hook

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Walleye anglers have been fishing along the Alder Street Fill this past week to week and a half. Many have been successful. Anglers heading for their vehicles have been seen carrying stringers of two to five fish. Good luck.

New hunting seasons/rules set

The Fish and Wildlife Commission adopted new hunting regulations through 2020 for deer, elk, waterfowl and other game species at a public meeting last weekend.

The changes include: Waterfowl: The limit for pintail ducks was increased to two birds a day in all general waterfowl seasons, due to improved conditions in their breeding areas. In addition, special seasons for hunters under age 16 will be staggered to allow an individual hunter to participate in youth hunts on both sides of the state. The special youth hunt is set for Sept. 22-23 in western Washington, followed by a youth hunt Sept. 29-30 in eastern Washington.

Dennis note: Great news. Increasing hunting opportunities for our youth is a super idea.

White-tailed deer: Hunters will be allowed to take antlerless white-tailed deer in game management units 101-121 in northeast Washington. Special permits will be available to seniors and hunters using modern firearms, while other hunters can take antlerless deer during general hunting seasons.

Dennis note: This is as clear as mud. We will need to wait until the regulations are out to clarify this change.

Elk: The early general bowhunting season for antlerless elk in the Yakima and Colockum elk herds has been reduced to six days from 13. This change, as with previous permit reductions for hunts with modern firearms and muzzleloaders, is designed to meet and sustain population objectives for those herds. The season for bull elk is not affected by this change.

The commission also approved a proposal to allow hunters to use primers designed for use in modern cartridges during muzzleloader seasons.

In other business, the commission directed Fish and Wildlife to begin developing new rules for suction dredge mining to provide additional protection for fish. The department currently regulates suction dredge mining in and near state waters the same way it regulates gold panning and other small-scale prospecting and mining activities.

Jeff Davis, assistant director of Fish and Wildlife’s Habitat Program, said the department plans to meet with interested parties to discuss potential changes starting next month.

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