State’s youth hunter education options change
Youth hoping to participate in fall hunting opportunities should take note of changes to hunter education licensing.
New hunters should complete hunter education now to make sure they are eligible to hunt later.
In response to COVID-19 and associated public health measures, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife moved to an all-online course during the past two years.
On June 1, Fish and Wildlife increased the minimum age to take that course from 9 to 18. Students younger than 18 can complete the online course, but they must attend a field skills evaluation before they can become certified.
Traditional classroom courses also will be available. There is no minimum age to take a course with an instructor-led component.
All hunters born after Jan. 1, 1972, must complete a hunter education course to buy a hunting license.
The hunter education deferral is another option for students 10 and older who want to try hunting before completing a hunter education course. The deferral allows a person to go hunting with an experienced hunter for one year before completing hunter education.
For more information, visit wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/requirements/hunting-clinics.
World’s largest ‘fish’
STUNG TRENG, Cambodia — Fishers in northern Cambodia, working with an international team of scientists, discovered a 661-pound giant freshwater stingray near a remote island in the Mekong River.
The size of the endangered fish, whose weight was confirmed by scientists as twice that of an average lowland gorilla, makes it larger than the 646-pound Mekong giant catfish caught in Thailand in 2005, which was the previous record-holder for largest freshwater fish on Earth.
The record-breaking stingray, which measured more than 13 feet from snout to tail, was hooked by a fisher from Koh Preah island south of the town of Stung Treng, in the Mekong River as it runs through northern Cambodia.
Recognizing the importance of his catch, the angler quickly contacted a team from the USAID-funded Wonders of the Mekong research project to help release the ray, an endangered species, back into the river.
The huge ray was fitted with an acoustic tag, technology that will enable biologists to learn more about the secretive creature’s elusive behavior, a first for a stingray in Cambodia.
Clammers take survey
Washington razor clam diggers have been invited to participate in a survey concerning the potential for an app-based harmful algae bloom forecasting tool.
The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is surveying members of the shellfishing and outdoor recreation community to gauge interest in such a tool and estimate the potential benefits if the technology were developed.
You must be 18 years of age or older to participate in this study.
To participate, visit survey.alchemer.com/s3/6908328/WHOI-HAB-Survey.