Cougars

Pictured here is a screenshot of a roughly five-minute video showing cougars exploring the bank of the Cowlitz River. The entire video can be found at cowlitzriverlive.com. 

This month the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is seeking public comments on proposed recommendations to cougar management guidelines regarding recreational harvest, also offering a digital open house on the proposals Thursday, Feb. 13.

The department announced that now through Feb. 26 it was accepting comments in order to help finalize hunting rules and regulations proposed for the upcoming 2020-2021 hunting season. The proposals are available on the department's website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/regulations/season-setting.

The department is proposing four options including maintaining the current harvest guideline but using a median number instead of mean average to calculate density, changing count methods or increasing guideline numbers in areas that historically see higher harvest and conflict, the announcement stated.

The department has videos on both the proposed options (at youtu.be/8G_naHin_ys) and current management practices (at youtu.be/slfoanRAK9s).

From 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Feb. 13 the department is planning a digital open house about proposed changes, led by WDFW’s wildlife program director and its game division manager, the announcement stated. The open house will be available at player.invintus.com/?clientID=2836755451&eventID=2020021000.

"If you're interested in how cougars are hunted in Washington and would like to provide input on the 2020-2021 hunting season, please take time to watch our videos or attend our digital open house," Anis Aoude, WDFW Game Division Manager Anis Aoude stated in the announcement. "We need your input to provide our (Fish and Wildlife) Commission with the best information about the public's desires for cougar harvest management."

The commission will also accept public comments at its March 13-14 meeting in Kennewick, the announcement noted. Final action by the Commission is scheduled at a public meeting April 10-11 in Olympia.

— The Reflector

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