REGION 5 WILDLIFE AREAS
Fire: Wildlife Area Assistant Manager Hauswald noticed smoke near the
Erwin O. Reiger Memorial Highway on August 3rd. Hauswald traveled to the scene,
found a small fire on the roadside burning into some adjoining county park land
and called for firefighters. Being familiar with the site he was able to help
the firefighters find access into the field and provide landowner information.
The fire was quickly supressed and was out by that afternoon and is under investigation.
A few acres of grass and brush was burned including an area surrounding some
Mt. St. Helens House
Natural Resources Committee Tour: Acting Program Manager Calkins, District
Biologist Miller, Deputy Assistant Director Pozzanghera and Legislative Liason
Davis accompanied State House Natural Resources Committee Members on a tour
of the Mt. St. Helens Wildlife Area on August 3rd. Calkins described the area
history, and ongoing management programs and discussed some of the issues WDFW
faces on the site with forage maintenence and erosion. The group discussed the
draft plans for both the Wildlife Area and the Mt. St. Helens Elk herd which
were recently reviewed by the public. Later in the day the group heard a presentation
from Weyerhaeuser employees and had an opportunity to visit a thinning operation
and replanted clearcut in the tree farm. Elk habitat issues, seedling damage
and hunter access were all discussed. This was a great opportunity to discuss
agency programs and local issues with the legislators and we thank them for
attending the tour.
Monitoring: Productivity surveys have been completed for this year's
statewide peregrine falcon monitoring effort. These surveys are part of ongoing
monitoring of peregrine falcons by both Washington State and the US Fish and
Wildlife Service. Birds have been reported at several of the known historic
sites and final efforts were focused on determining if occupied sites have produced
young. Of seven territories currently being monitored in the Columbia River
Gorge, four have young, two have failed and one is unoccupied.
WILDLIFE RELATED EDUCATION - PUBLIC OUTREACH
Clark County Fair: Region 5 Staff from Wildlife, Customer Service, Northern Pikeminnow and Fisheries
Management Programs all participated in development and set-up of the annual
WDFW Clark County Fair booth. The Fair runs for 10 days surrounding the second
week of August. Hundreds of visitors stop at the WDFW booth each year. At this
year's booth, emphasis has been placed on wildlife and fish education for youths.
The booth features a written / visual wildlife and fish identification quiz
developed by retired Regional Wildlife Program Manager Dobler.
Eagle Plans: Biologists in District 10 are working on several eagle plans at this time in
both all counties of District 10.
Western pond turtle: Biologist Anderson reports that the majority of field work is completed
for this years western pond turtle project. A total of 24 bullfrog egg masses
were removed from the Klickitat County ponds this year. This is in comparison
to 187 egg masses removed during our initial efforts to reduce the population
ten years ago.
Butterfly Movement: Biologist Anderson reports that thousands of California Tortoiseshell butterflies
are currently moving through the south side of the Mount Adams area in the South
Cascades. Most butterflies currently are being see between 2500-3000 ft. This
butterfly can be absent from our area for several years, subsequently building
up in mass numbers when conditions are right. This appears to be a year with
a substantial movement.
Region 5 Deer Herd
Composition Surveys: Black-tail and mule deer herd composition surveys
are underway in Region 5. The surveys are conducted annually during the period
beginning August 15 and continuing through September 30th. Wildlife Program
Staff along with volunteers will actively conduct surveys as well as documenting
any deer seen during other work (or play) activities. Any Region 5 staff member
who that is interested is encouraged to collect this data as well.
Please contact Biologist
Holman for a copy of the survey form and further information. At last, be aware
that it is extremely important to classify all deer observed, i.e. don't just
mention the big bucks or healthy does with two nice fawns. Thanks in advance
to anybody who helps Wildlife Program out with this important part of our deer
management efforts in Region 5.
survey: The third year of surveying mineral springs along the Newaukum
River for band-tailed pigoens was completed by Wildlife Biologist Woodin. During
the past three years, the high count of pigeons went from 634 to 67 to 335.
The first year of this survey
(2004) was a very dry year, and it was believed that pigeons were concentrating
at sites with a more permanent water source. In 2005, numbers were likely more
closer to an average year. Then in 2006, a new observation station was located
that afforded a much better overview of the entire springs area.
These mineral springs counts
give WDFW an index of pigeon abundance and are useful in keeping track of Band-tailed
pigeons. See image at right for a look at a silhouette of one of these native
birds of Western Wasnington.
Inspection: District Wildlife Biologist Miller and Survey Biologist
Woodin met with the applicants for a shooting preserve in Lewis County. This
new landowner/operator is developing a high quality dog training and shooting
preserve facility to conduct field/hunt trials. Facilities may in time reduce
the need for WDFW owned lands to fulfill this function for hunting dog enthusiasts
as well as providing some upland game hunting opportunities. Owner was encouraged
to be diligent in releasing only birds that had clean medical histories during
this time of bird flu concern.
Elk Flight Planning: Biologists from District 9 and 10 have cooperatively worked to develop a elk
herd comp plan that will sample populations in lowland and coastal areas this
fall. Planning will also provide some funding for late winter elk surveys in
areas where fall flights have failed to provide adequate sample sizes for population
REGION 5 WILDLIFE AREAS
Area - Wildlife Management Coordinating Committee (WMCC) meeting: CWA
staff attended the annual WMCC meeting held at the Cowlitz Wildlife Area Office.
Attendees included representatives from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,
Tacoma Power, and Department of Fish and Wildlife. Topics included current and
planned acquisitions, the abandonment plan (RMAP) for the 410 road on the south
shore of Riffe Lake, Trail construction activities and a synopsis of current
and ongoing CWA management activities. The committee also discussed timber-thinning
needs on Peterman Ridge, the remaining acreage within the Green Diamond Resource
Company’s timber reserves and the status of the Peterman Ridge RMAP work.
The meeting culminated in a site visit to the location of the new low water
boat ramp located on the northeast shore of Riffe Lake near Taidnapam Park.
The ramp was built near a known migration route for young Western toads moving
into upland habitat. Tacoma Power will be monitoring the site to establish where
the young toads are leaving the water, what direction their travel routes take
them and if there is a need for additional mitigation activities to minimize
/ prevent human caused mortality.
Area - Swofford Pond Shore Parking Site Repair: Assistant Manager Vanderlip
and Natural Resource Technician Morris repaired holes in parking areas of the
popular fishing sites along the north shore of Swofford Pond. One hole in particular
known to occasionally devour small cars was filled with approximately 14 yards
of 3” crushed rock.
Area - Swofford Pond Shore Parking Site Repair: Assistant Manager Vanderlip
and Natural Resource Technician Morris enhanced the parking area of the Brim
Bar access site. This is not an official WDFW access site but rather a popular
and historic bank fishing location along the Cowlitz River of the Wildlife Area.
The area receives high use and during the winter causing erosion, rutting of
the surface, and runoff into an adjacent pond. The project consisted of filling
a rather large depression with 3” crushed rock and then surfacing the
parking area with 5/8 minus rock.
aquatic harvester used to reduce non-native and invasive aquatic weeds
Area - Swofford Pond Aquatic Weed Harvest: Tacoma Power has contracted
with a private vendor to reduce the amount of non-native and invasive aquatic
weeds growing in Swofford Pond. The majority of the weeds harvested include
Eurasian water-milfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum) and Watershield (Brasenia
schreberi), which have been choking off boating lanes and access to bank
fisherman over the past couple of years compelling the pubic to complain. Approximately
4 acres was cut to include those areas around the boat ramp, along the north
shore bank access, and the heavy concentrations on the south shore for boater
access. The aquatic harvester is a specialized barge with a cycle-bar mower
mounted at the leading edge of a conveyor deck that can cut to depths up to
5 and a half feet. The aquatic plants are stored on the barge and when full,
moved to shore and off-loaded on to a waiting trailer to be disposed in a local
- Riffe Lake Water Levels: Tacoma Power updates lake levels and other
recreation information on its toll-free Fishing and Recreation Line every weekday
Monitoring Training: Region 5 wildlife staff have all recieved training
to take part in the agencies plan to monitor for HPH5N1 avian influenza virus.
Within the region staff will be collecting fecal samples from areas with high
use by cackling Canada geese and gathering samples from hunter killed cacklers
at check stations. Staff will also be responding to reprted sick or dead birds
after calls are screened by agency veterinary staff.
Status Reports: All biologists in the region have been working on game status and trend
reports for 2006. Each report summarizes survey, harvest, population trend and
other information for individual species. After a program review by Olympia
game staff these reports are included in the Statewide Game Status and Trend
Reports that are available to the public through the agency