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Disabled getting more chances to hunt and fish

4:00 pm July 25th, 2012

HOOK AND FUR
By Bob Brown
Opportunities for the disabled to hunt and fish were limited not too long ago, but those opportunities have grown over the last few years as states have begun to recognize the needs of those with mobility disabilities.

According to a U. S. Census an estimated 36 million Americans currently have a disability. Of that number, 108,000 have disability status with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

With more people staying active later in life, helping hunters and anglers to enjoy outdoor recreational activities, even if they have mobility issues seems like a common sense approach to helping them achieve that goal.

To that end, the WDFW has been noted for originating programs designed to accommodate the needs of those sportsmen. Typical of those programs is the department’s 2012 Road Access Entry Program and Drawing. A cooperative effort between the WDFW, Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Forest Service, the Wildlife Recreation and Conservation Office, private timber companies and hunters with disabilities, the program’s purpose is to give hunters with mobility disabilities a chance at drawing an access permit into areas with fewer barriers. This is not the same as a special permit drawing for a deer, elk, doe or cow tag and there is no requirement to buy a license and tag to apply for entry permits.

Applicants only need to be a WDFW registered disabled hunter and have a Disabled Hunter Wild ID number (This number is on the orange placard). Applicants are required to fill out an official WDFW application form for deer and or/elk and return it by mail or online by July 31 to Dolores Noyes, ADA Access Program Manager, WDFW, 600 Capital Way N., Olympia, WA 98501-1091. To submit an application online, go to wdfw.wa.gov/accessibility/entry-form.html. Only one application per hunter is allowed.

Hunters who submit more than one entry will not be able to participate in the drawing and their entry forms will be destroyed. Disabled hunters should read where the Road Access Areas are located and apply only for those areas they would actually travel to. If applying for elk, the west side and east side elk tags are different and successful applicants must hunt in compliance with their tags and equipment. Hunters who have been drawn will be notified no later than August 31, 2012.

For more information, contact Noyes at (360)-902-2349. For questions regarding DNR lands contact (360) 902-1375.

Salmon conservation website, sockeye count

In salmon news:
• Anyone interested in salmon conservation efforts can now find that information on a new WDFW website called the Salmon Conservation Reporting Engine (SCoRE). The program consolidates current information about state salmon populations, hatchery production, conservation guidelines, tracking on –going efforts to recover at-risk salmon stocks and other aspects of salmon management.  SCoRE will outline major recovery initiatives under way to restore salmon habitat, restructuring hatchery operations and redesigning fisheries to conserve wild runs. While focusing on those department’s efforts, the website will also provides information about an array of local and regional organizations, tribal governments and volunteer groups involved in the state-wide effort. Readers will be able to link directly to salmon recovery efforts in their area, and statewide information such as the annual State of the Salmon Report. “Our goal is to make this information as easy to access as possible.” said Sara LaBorde, special assistant to the WDFW director. “With SCoRE, people can switch from an overview of statewide habit-restoration efforts to spawning date of a specific salmon run with a few mouse clicks”. • Sockeye have been passing over Bonneville Dam by the thousands. By the Fourth of July, the count reached 460,000 fish and six days later the run reached half-million. With more than 10,000 sockeye passing over the dam every day, fish managers believe the run is on its way to its highest count since 1938.

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