Southwest - Region 5
Guy Norman

Regional Director

2108 Grand Boulevard
Vancouver, WA 98661

Office Hours: Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
excluding legal holidays

Telephone (360) 696-6211
Fax (360) 906-6776

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Southwest Washington Wildlife Reports Archives
August 2006

August 7, 2006


Vancouver Lowlands 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 commercial beehives.

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.


Peregrine Falcon 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.


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.

August 14, 2006


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.

California Tortoiseshell butterfly
California Tortoiseshell butterfly

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.

Band-tail pigeon
Band-tail pigeon

Band-tailed pigeon 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.

Shooting Preserve 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 modeling

August 21, 2006


Cowlitz Wildlife 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.

Cowlitz Wildlife 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.

Cowlitz Wildlife 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.

An aquatic harvester used to reduce non-native and invasive aquatic weeds.
An aquatic harvester used to reduce non-native and invasive aquatic weeds
An aquatic harvester used to reduce non-native and invasive aquatic weeds

Cowlitz Wildlife 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 field.

Recreation Information - Riffe Lake Water Levels: Tacoma Power updates lake levels and other recreation information on its toll-free Fishing and Recreation Line every weekday at 1-888-502-8690.


Avian Influenza 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 website.