Firsthand report next week
This piece is written on Wednesday, Sept. 5. Tomorrow, Sept. 6, will be my first day in the field hunting in the Davenport area.
The plan is to stop by a friend’s farm near Hartline. There a hunting partner and I will hunt pigeons and Eurasian Collared Doves. When a message was sent about a day for the hunt, here was her reply:
“Thursday sounds good Dennis, or Friday after 10:00 am. Pie and ice cream will be ready!! Pigeons are waiting!! Kerpow!! Reduction plan in progress!! Yay!! See you then!”
How can a hunter pass on such an opportunity?
So, the plan is to arrive around 8 a.m., hunt birds, eat pie and ice cream, then head north to check on turkey. The rifle will be in the Death Ram, in case we encounter a bear or cougar. Then we will stop by the farm again, after giving the birds a chance to settle down, to shoot some and see if there is any pie and ice cream left.
Atlantic salmon again swim in Puget Sound
Fish and Wildlife has approved a private company to plant juvenile Atlantic salmon in existing net-pens in Puget Sound. This is not new, as the company has raised these salmon before. And there was a time when the nets of the facility ruptured and the salmon escaped. It was then open season on Atlantic Salmon.
There are two ways to look at this. If some of the salmon escape, there will be more angling opportunities for Washington fishers. However, if these salmon cause disease in our native runs, we have a serious problem.
Here is some more info about the plan:
Earlier this year, state lawmakers passed legislation to phase out Atlantic salmon net pen operations in Puget Sound as soon as 2022. Cooke, the private company, is continuing its operations in the meantime.
On Aug. 2, Cooke submitted applications to move a total of 800,000 1-year-old Atlantic salmon from its Scatter Creek facility in Rochester to two different net pen locations in Puget Sound.
Both WDFW and Cooke tested samples of the fish, which met the state’s health requirements, including testing negative for all forms of a fish virus.
Cooke typically transports fish eggs from an Iceland facility to Scatter Creek, where the eggs grow into smolts before being moved to net pens. In May, an exotic strain of a virus was detected in a different batch of smolts. Fish and Wildlife denied the company’s request to transfer those fish into net pens.
The state also requires that Cooke leave its net pens empty for at least 30 days before transferring fish there.
Is net-pen salmon farming good for our state? As mentioned, maybe or maybe not. If disease-free fish are grown in the nets, great, as this brings money into the state in a farming operation. Plus, if the fish escape, but don’t bother our existing salmon runs, there will be more fishing opportunities.