OUTDOORS: Three-day brant hunting season starts Saturday in Clallam County

Apply for Puget Sound Recreational Crab and Shrimp Advisory Council

WHILE BRANT NUMBERS continue to decline in Skagit County, a three-day opening for the smaller goose species will be held in Clallam County for the third straight year after an absence of decades.

The three-day brant hunting season in Clallam County will run Saturday, Wednesday and again Saturday, Jan. 23.

Whatcom County and Skagit County also will open for brant on those days, while Pacific County is open Saturday and Sunday and again Jan. 19, 21, 23, 24, 26, 28, 30 and 31.

“Brant are a goose that eats eelgrass along saltwater shorelines,” said Quilcene’s Ward Norden, a former fisheries biologist and owner of Snapper Tackle Co.

In and around Dungeness Bay is the spot to find brant locally.

Hunters in Clallam County are advised to consult the closed zones of Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge at tinyurl.com/PDN-RefugeRules.

“There are sizable flocks that come onto Oak Bay [in closed to brant hunting Jefferson County] to feed on the eelgrass there,” Norden said.

Eating that tender eel grass ensures brants work well as table fare.

“They are a quite tasty bird. They are about two-thirds the size of a regular migrating Canada goose or half the size of the Great Basin Canadas that live around here all year,” Norden said.

The adult has a gray belly and breast, white rump and black neck and head with a thin white necklace and no chin-strap.

Norden said hunters need to keep an eye on the tide tables.

“To hunt them you have to watch the tide tables carefully and hunt when the eelgrass is most accessible for the birds at low tide, setting up your decoys about a couple hours before low tide,” he said.

Brant hunters must possess a valid migratory bird authorization and brant harvest report card.

For more information, visit wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/regulations.

Volunteer applicants are sought to advise Fish and Wildlife on Puget Sound recreational crab and shrimp fishing issues.

The Recreational Crab and Shrimp Advisory Committee (RCSAC) provides a communication link between department staff and recreational crabbers and shrimpers.

Committee members provide insight, recommendations and advice to the Puget Sound crustacean program staff regarding potential management actions, harvest seasons, regulations, education and outreach opportunities and stakeholder communication.

Selection criteria includes: experience in the recreational crab and shrimp fishery; ability to address issues in a thoughtful and productive manner; willingness to engage; ability to communicate with fishery managers and others; and for their ability to contribute diverse perspectives.

Anyone can apply, including those who may require reasonable accommodations to participate as an advisory committee member.

Those interested should review the WDFW Recreational Crab and Shrimp Advisory Committee webpage and the advisory group handbook.

Applications are due by 5 p.m. Thursday.

An online application form with requested information is located on the Crab and Shrimp advisory website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/about/advisory/psrcsac. A downloadable application also is available.

Applications may also be submitted by email to Don Velasquez at [email protected] or by mail Attn: Crustacean Manager, 375 Hudson St., Port Townsend, WA 98368.

Applicants should be available for advisory committee meetings twice per year.

Additional conference call meetings may also be held to discuss in-season management issues. Advisors will be expected to become or remain informed on the issues and to provide objective assessments, based on experience and first-hand information about the fisheries, harvest-allocation and conservation issues.

Virtual meetings via Microsoft Teams will be used at least through June 2021 and may continue to be an option for future meetings.

The group will be comprised of 10-12 individuals. New advisory appointments will be for two-year terms to begin on Feb. 15. Applicants will be notified of appointments by Feb. 1.

For more information, call Katelyn Bosley at 360-302-3030, ext. 319.

Report crab catch

All Puget Sound marine areas are now closed to recreational crab fishing, and sport crabbers will have through Feb. 1 to report their results for the winter season.

The reporting rate from the recent summer 2020 season dropped relative to previous years, the department reported.

Sport crabbers who fail to submit a winter catch report will receive a $10 fine when they purchase their 2021 crab endorsement.

The department’s online reporting system is available through Feb.1 at https://fish hunt.dfw.wa.gov/.

Crabbers also may send their catch record cards to WDFW by mail at WDFW CRC Unit, PO Box 43142, Olympia, WA 98504-3142.

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Sports reporter Michael Carman can be contacted at 360-406-0674 or [email protected] peninsuladaily news.com.

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