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
June 2007

June 4, 2007

Click Chart to enlarge
Date Pond Turtles Captured Painted Turtles Captured Total Captures Temperature
5/22/07 3 3 6 71
5/23/07 15 16 31 78
5/24/07 16 24 40 81
5/25/07 25 30 55 82
5/26/07 6 13 19 82
5/27/07 9 13 22 66
5/28/07 4 13 17 75
5/29/07 18 33 51 84
5/30/07 19 27 46 90
5/31/07 22 24 46 93
SUM 137 196 333 NA
Turtle Captures: Pierce NWR 2007


Klickitat Wildlife Area:
Acting Wildlife Area Manager VanLeuven conducted a mourning dove survey on May 22. Only 4 doves were recorded; logging activity and road construction interfered with hearing the birds to a moderate degree. Monitoring the grazing effort continues as well as working with the Washington Conservation Corp, including marking and piling suitable burning locations.


Western Pond Turtle Project: Biologists Holman and Anderson conducted a 10-day turtle trapping effort at the Pierce Ranch Unit of the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge during the final days of May. A total of 333 turtle captures were recorded during the period. The effort was undertaken as a portion of WDFW's on-going monitoring and management of this introduced population of western pond turtles. Annual survival and growth rates of the introduced pond turtles as well as population estimation of the extant painted turtles are generated from this study. To date survivorship among the introduced pond turtles has been approximately 90% and individuals from the initial releases are approaching maturity (approximately age 10).

Twenty-three traps set in two bodies of water were checked daily by boat during the effort. Thanks to Fisheries Biologist Groesbeck, Acting Klickitat Wildlife Area Manager VanLeuven, Customer Service Specialist Gonzalez as well as volunteers Renan, Williams, and Ralston for all of their valuable participation in the task. Please see the attached figure illustrating the number of individual turtles captured each day, by species. Note that many individuals are captured on more than one occasion.

June 11, 2007


Western Pond Turtles: As of this week we have located 10 western pond turtle at Sondino Ponds in Klickitat County. This is a great start for this year’s "head start" program, ensuring that we will have adequate turtles to release in 2008. In addition, Frank Slavens submitted an ALEA proposal to continue volunteer help with all aspects of our field efforts. He just received notice that the proposal was funded for the next two years. This is great news and will guarantee that our volunteers have some financial support as well as providing funds to purchase important equipment like radio transmitters.

Two bald eagle chicks in their nest.
Proposed eagle habitat.
Proposed eagle habitat.
Bald Eagle Surveys

North American Wetlands Conservation Act Grants Program (NAWCA): Biologist Anderson is currently working with a group of biologists that are working on a NAWCA proposal for wetland enhancement in Klickitat County. The group met this week to conduct a site visit at one of the proposed meadow developments and to continue with proposal development. Several sites are being considered with an emphasis on sandhill crane and waterfowl conservation.

Bald Eagle Surveys: Biologist Holman participated in a helicopter survey of Bald Eagle territories in the Lower Columbia River from Interstate 5 to the River's mouth. The Oregon and Washington sides of the River were investigated, along with the various islands over the course of the two-day effort. Eagles occupy much of the suitable habitat on both sides of the River. Approximately 125 nesting territories are located along the 107-mile course of this portion of the Columbia. Initial results indicate good production of chicks again this year.

This survey is a joint effort between Oregon State University, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, WDFW, and the Army Corps of Engineers. The survey is coordinated by Oregon State University and OSU's Frank Isaacs is the lead on the survey effort and maintains the data related to this important eagle population. Thanks to technician Ridenour who provided "flight following" for the Washington portion of the survey and volunteer Cliff Holman who provided ground transportation.

Please see the image at right of two bald eagle chicks in their nest in the Whipple Creek greenway in Clark County. Also shown are images of the riparian forest (including an eagle territory), wetlands, and agricultural habitats proposed for development by the Port of Vancouver. A railroad terminal, new rail lines, ship terminals, automobile staging areas, grain elevators and various other "improvements" are proposed for this important wildlife and fish habitat. District Wildlife Biologist Anderson has the WDFW lead on appropriate mitigation related to the bald eagles at this location. Regional Habitat Program Manager Rymer has the primary WDFW role in appropriately mitigating for the loss of habitat for other species (mainly salmonids, songbirds, waterfowl, and cranes).


Mount Saint Helens Elk Management / Private Lands Access: Discussions continue among Regional Wildlife Program Staff, Weyerhaeuser representatives, and several volunteer organizations to coordinate and implement the on-going effort to facilitate additional hunting access onto Weyerhaeuser lands in Southwest Washington. Region 5 has hired a coordinator to act as liaison between the Agency, Weyco, and the volunteer groups.

June 18, 2007


Cowlitz Wildlife Area:
Kiona Wetland Planting: Wildlife Area staff and a local contractor were finally able to plant 6,000 trees and shrubs on a wetland project due to dryer weather. Species planted on the Kiona Unit included Pacific willow, Oregon ash, and red alder for future wetland/riparian habitat improvements.

Citizen Advisory Group (CAG) Meeting: Wildlife Area staff conducted a CAG meeting to advise members of wildlife area activities. This meeting included comments on the Cowlitz Wildlife Area annual management plan update, the draft land use WAC, current management activities, and issues or concerns citizens may have for the wildlife area.

2007 Annual Management Plan Update: The annual update for the 2006 Cowlitz Wildlife Area Management plan has been submitted to Olympia. The update includes comments from the local area CAG, summary of 2006 performance activities, and next year’s planned activities.

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.


Peregrine Falcon Monitoring: Biologist Holman assisted U.S. Forest Service Biologist Wainwright with an investigation of a possible new peregrine falcon eyrie in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Wainwright had observed a pair of the falcons on a prior visit to the cliff complex and suspected nesting. Occupation of the site and nesting behavior, including prey exchange and nest defense, were observed on the outing. Rainy, foggy weather and the size of the cliff precluded observation of the nesting ledge or young. Additional visits will be conducted to determine scrape location and number of young. Peregrine falcons are currently listed as "State Sensitive" and are considered a "Species of Concern" by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

People, Economics, and Forest Carnivore Management Workshop: Wildlife Program Manager Jonker attended the Carnivore Workshop hosted by the U.S. Forest Service and Yellowstone Association Institute. Course topics included Socio-economics, policy, and politics; Carnivore habitat, biology, and management; Highways and wildlife implications; Carnivore planning, assessments, and conservation; Recovery and management of forest carnivores; and the Future for forest carnivores - interagency coordination and wildlife genetics. The workshop was a valuable opportunity to gain a better understanding of carnivore conservation as well as meet new colleagues to discuss issues and solutions to carnivore conservation research and management.

June 25, 2007


Bald Eagle Sites: Biologist Holman visited Battle Ground Lake State Park to determine the nesting outcome for the eagle pair that resides at the Lake. While observing one of the adult eagles, interesting acts of predation were observed. The eagle not only took full advantage of the supply of WDFW-planted rainbow trout, but also captured and consumed mallard ducklings as well. The hunting eagle carried the fish back to the nest and perched to eat the two young ducks. Fisherman and other Park visitors enjoyed the display put on by the bird.

Several years ago fishing and swimming were temporarily disallowed at the popular Park due to the presence of bacteria in the Lake. Dirty diapers near the swimming area were implicated during the event. Some also suspected that the presence of a large numbers of tame or semi-tame, domestic, and semi-domestic ducks also played a part in the spread of the bacteria. The bald eagle pair has subsequently occupied the Park with the Lake as their favored hunting territory. Waterfowl numbers have been reduced at the Park. Two adult Canada geese with two remaining juveniles from their brood along with two mallard hens were the only waterfowl observed on the site visit.

National Scenic Area Trails: Biologist Anderson met with the Director of the Friends of the Gorge to discuss proposals for a variety of hiking trails in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. At issue are the trail locations in relation to sensitive wildlife sites throughout the Gorge. Included in the discussion were proposals at Beacon Rock State Park, Cape Horn, The Hatchery, and the Syncline. Although most people agree that these trails would improve recreational opportunity in the Gorge, a few sites have wildlife issues that need to be addressed.


Pheasant Release Site Fence Project: Wildlife Management staff and local volunteers built 3 fence styles on the Woodland pheasant release site. Last fall the farmers leasing the land were upset by the behavior of hunters with regards to vandalism of the gates that limit cattle movement. The new styles will allow hunters to move between fields without disturbing the gates and hopefully eliminate the leaseholder from having to chase his cattle back to where they belong. The Woodland site is the only remaining pheasant release site in Cowlitz County and staff were happy to work with the landowner to reduce problems. Special thanks to Brian Calkins and Darren Hauswald for assisting with this weekend effort and for their help overseeing the volunteer group effort. Vancouver Wildlife League also provided volunteers.

Motorboat Operator Instructor Certification Course (MOICC) Training: District Wildlife biologist Miller completed the Motorboat Operator Instructor Certification Course in Olympia. The 5-day class covered all the basics for boat operation that will be included in future classes for WDFW employees. A total of 24 instructors have been certified and will begin teaching classes this summer across the state. This training is intended to bring all employees who operate boats up to a basic skill level. Specialized training for moving water, fan boats, and other specialized operations will follow in the years to come.