A package of 13 land acquisition projects proposed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is available for review and the agency is inviting public comment through the end of January.
Four locales targeted for possible purchases by the department's executive team are west of the Cascades the remaining nine are scattered throughout Eastern Washington from the Kettle River to the Blue Mountains.
The timetable for executing these purchases is between 2015-to-2017 and the department will make these deals with willing landowners using state and federal grant capital, not operating funds.
Among the 13 possible areas of focus for purchases on the two-year program is the lower Skagit River Valley where the agency is still looking to buy land to replace the upland habitat lost to hunters when a significant chunk of the Skagit Wildlife Area's Headquarters Unit converted back to intertidal habitat for juvenile spring chinook salmon when sea and river dikes were dismantled.
Commitments were made at the time to replace these original Pittman-Robertson (federal guns and ammo excise tax) purchases when they were flooded four years ago, but to-date the 250 acres of dry ground on or near marine shorelines in Skagit County have not been bought.
To view this and the other proposals, log onto the Web portal page for the purchase proposals via wdfw.wa.gov/lands/acquisitions/.
Besides the interactive map on the web page through which viewers can get detailed overview information for each area, including justifications for acquiring property, there is an e-mail address link that allows you to instantly post your opinions to department officials.
The first of 2014's outdoors shows gets underway Wednesday when the Washington Sportsmen's Show opens its doors in Puyallup at the Western Washington Fairgrounds. The show will run until Sunday, Jan. 26, with the following provisions:
Hours: Weekdays, noon-8 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Gate admission: Adults, $12; youth (ages 6-16), $5 and kids (5 and under), free; Save $3 with online purchase or get a $2 discount coupon at: otshows.com/shows/wss/attendees/discount_coupon.htm.
Highlights: Many hunting and fishing seminars every day, Head and Horns competitions, indoor steelhead river, camp cooking demonstrations and survival training.
Organizer on line at: thesportshows.com/wss/ (O'Loughlin Trade Shows)
WINTER-RUN STEELHEAD HATCHERY WATCH
As of Thursday, Jan. 16, Western Washington state and cooperative hatcheries have reported the following hatchery winter steelhead returns and egg-takes. The deadline for obtaining adult fish to spawn is Friday, Jan. 31. There are also comparisons to this time last year for reference.
Maritime Heritage Center Hatchery (Whatcom Creek): 16 adults, no eggs taken. Same time in 2012: one adult.
Kendall Creek Hatchery (North Fork Nooksack River): 116 adults with 132,000 eggs taken, goal is 190,000 eggs. Kendall Hatchery also reports an addition eight female steelhead for a potential egg take in hand of 166,000. Same time in 2012: 61 adults, 60,000 eggs taken.
Marblemount Hatchery (Cascade River (Skagit)): 52 adults with 123,143 eggs taken, goal is 275,000 eggs. Same time in 2012: 140 adults, 259,000 eggs taken.