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Hunting in Washington: Invasive Species to Washington and Its Rules for Hunting Them

By    |   Tuesday, 09 June 2015 12:05 PM

Washington, like many other states across the country,  is no stranger to having an invasive species problem. The state has its own rules and regulations when it comes to hunting such animals.

Exotic pets that are released into the wild are one of the number one causes of the rise in invasive species across the country.

In an effort to deal with the problem, the Washington Invasive Species Council (WISC) spearheads educational efforts on dealing with invasives and curbing their presence in the state.

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Here is a look at some of the invasive species that appear in Washington state:

1. Feral Swine
Feral swine, also known as wild hogs, are destructive creatures. These animals destroy habitat and prey upon other species. Though native to Europe and Asia, these hogs have been discovered in Washington.

While the species isn't running rampant in the state – only one has been reported in recent years – the WISC notes they are prolific breeders and it would take no time for their population to boom in the right conditions.

Hunters encountering these swine should make note of it and report it to the state authorities immediately. In terms of hunting, there are currently no hunting regulations regarding feral swine. If the invasive grows in population, it is expected the council will implement an emergency protocol to curb the species presence.

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2. Bullfrogs
As one of the largest species in North America, bullfrogs are found in a number of freshwater habitats. The landscape of Washington has proven to be a fruitful breeding ground for bullfrogs, enough to place them on the invasive species list.

Bullfrogs pose a threat to a number of other species, including tree frogs, small birds and young snakes. Hunters may take the bullfrog by arrow or angling. Bullfrog season is year-round with no bag limit in place.

No hunting license is required to take bullfrogs. Transporting live bullfrogs is illegal and can lead to felony charges.

3. Aquatic Invasive Species
In the water of Washington state, zebra mussels and quagga mussels are another invasive species causing havoc in the state. As they have spread throughout the U.S., these mussels have caused ecological damage in the nation's waterways amount to billions of dollars.

In area waterways like Puget Sound, a number of other invasive species have been found. These include Asian clams, cordgrasses, oyster drills, Red Swamp crayfish, and New Zealand mudsnails.

This article is for information only. Please check current regulations before hunting.

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Washington, like many other states across the country, is no stranger to having an invasive species problem. The state has its own rules and regulations when it comes to hunting such animals.
hunting in washington, invasive species, rules
Tuesday, 09 June 2015 12:05 PM
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