Elite Refuge Member
- Jul 16, 2001
- Reaction score
- Richland, WA
A lot of it comes down to data. And actionable data. For years we have sided with the consumptive user and not the resources for who gets the benefit of the doubt. We may see that change here shortly.
Sea ducks have been relatively stable for the last 13 years. Working off a harvest management plan at 5% of winter index and 3 year average. We have now seen this huge pressure increase based on covid plus H41 & Social media. not sure how anyone could have planned for that but it certainly happened quickly. Maybe we should have got to it for this current season(21/22) but it has to be data based at that data wasn't available.
In speaking about change, so much comes back to the data. And we as hunters are our own worst enemy. We have a ~50% return on harvest cards. How do we account for 2000 missing harvest reports? One of the topics for this upcoming meeting is what do we do about that? Should we make hunters go through more steps to secure a card every year? (We have lot of issued cards that say they didn't hunt) There are issues with vendors, duplicate cards, people gaming the system etc. Do we need a greater impact than $10 for not reporting? There is a bill to make the penalty $20 but my guess is that won't fix our data issue.
On the snow goose front. It's bigger than just the snows. Loss of lessers, tavs, cacklers etc... It's recognized and studies are already in the works on pacific flyway geese.
For the current season setting and feedback that has to be done by the middle of March and there will be no data that moves the needle on snows. Wdfw can move quickly on the seaducks though.
As far as a conservation season my understanding is no, pacific flyway won't get one until it impacts the wrangle island breeding grounds. It doesn't sound like that's going to happen any time soon.
I just wonder what data they used to bump the limits and seasons up? In the last 30 years limits have only gone up and season lengths have only gone up. Except a few things like HarliS and Scaup. Yet as you go around birds numbers are fewer and fewer eVery year. I will say I thought lessers Canadas were up slightly this year over last few years.
The minute the state wants to reduce limits or days all hell breaks lose. They are talking about going to three geese on west side and lots of people are complaining.
Outside of this topic I am guessing turkeys are going to be next to take a dive like all other wildlife in this state. The state keeps adding fall tags, added a week to youth season. Added a tag in spokane county. Give it three years turkey numbers will be down but they won’t change anything back.