Douglas County Commissioners restricted firearm discharges from the middle of the Columbia River to a line 50 feet east of the Loop Trail in an area between the City of East Wenatchee and the Odabashian Bridge.
Hunters could shoot from land west of the ordinary high water mark, such as tree trunks along Porters Pond shown here. They could shoot south across the pond where I saw a couple walking with their dog.
Safety of people and homes along the Loop Trail was the key issue. Janet Crouse of East Wenatchee testified, “We saw camouflaged boats real close to shore in Porters Pond with their decoys.” “It’s a safety issue,” said Renee Harnack, East Wenatchee, whose backyard faces the trail.
Opponents said there’ve been no accidents and wildfowl need to be controlled. “Porters Pond is the quintessential place,” said Rylan Weythman of Cashmere. “It’s practical, shallow water, kind of a gem, a safe place for hunting.”
Jim Brown, Regional Director of Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife entered a letter into the record warning commissioners that hunting was opened up partly to reduce complaints about Canadian Geese populations.
The Commissioners believed more safety was needed with increasing development expected. Dale Snyder said, “I’m an NRA member and I know there are few fowl and wildlife places left, but parks like Porters Pond were opened without any development.” Ken Stanton said, “This is no longer a rural area. You can’t tell me all hunters are responsible.” Steve Jenkins told the Wenatchee World he doesn’t believe hunting on Porters Pond controls Canadian Geese populations in other urban parks. “It’s illegal to shoot in the park, so how does that work?”