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
REGION 5 WILDLIFE AREAS
Klickitat Wildlife Area:
Mourning Dove Call Count Survey: Manager VanLeuven
completed a mourning dove call count survey from BZ Corner to Glenwood. Manager
VanLeuven heard only 3 doves during the survey (no visual observations) and
also saw 1 foraging sandhill crane during the survey. GPS coordinates were recorded
for all listening stops on the dove survey route and current descriptions of
the stops were written and sent to survey coordinator Kraege.
Western Pond Turtle Management: Biologist Holman concluded the 14-day
western pond turtle capture effort at the Pierce Ranch Unit of the Ridgefield
National Wildlife Refuge. Forty-one traps were set in 4 different water-bodies
in an attempt to capture as large a portion of the Refuge's pond turtle population
as possible. Extremely high Columbia River water and cool, rainy weather complicated
the capture effort. A total of 130 western pond turtle captures have been recorded
encompassing 55 different individual turtles. Sixty-nine incidental captures
of painted turtles have been recorded as well. Thanks to Fisheries Biologist
Groesbeck, Wildlife Biologist Prince, Priority Habitats and Species Biologist
Azerrad, Technician Ridenour, Customer Service Specialist Gonzalez, and Volunteer
Renan for their help during the project.
Sixty-six species of wildlife
were incidentally observed and identified during the project. The combination
of aquatic, wetland, riparian forest, mixed conifer-deciduous forest and meadow
habitat provide habitat to a wide range of wildlife. Species observed include:
Western pond turtle, western painted turtle, elk, black-tailed deer, coyote,
otter, beaver, nutria, rabbit, wood duck, mallard, common merganser, great blue
heron, osprey, bald eagle, red-tailed hawk, turkey vulture, red-winged blackbird,
American goldfinch, California quail, American robin, starling, downy woodpecker,
stellar's jay, crow, tree frog, chinook salmon, carp, catfish, sunfish (spp.),
Canada geese, cormorant, bobcat, scrub jay, garter snake, pileated woodpecker,
yellow warbler, hooded merganser, flicker, raven, Western tanager, barn swallow,
tree swallow, band-tailed pigeon, spotted towhee, song sparrow, yellow-breasted
chat, warbling vireo, swainson's thrush, common yellowthroat, Brewer's blackbird,
cedar waxwing, peregrine falcon, purple finch, black-headed grosbeak, spotted
sandpiper, rufous hummingbird, willow flycatcher, marsh wren, raccoon, Western
wood pewee, black-capped chickadee, hairy woodpecker, meadow vole and Townsend's
mole. Special thanks to Volunteer Renan for her ability to identify the wide
variety of avian species present on the Refuge.
Plans: Region 5 Wildlife Areas are targeted for species and land management
activity inventories this year as part of the statewide multi-year Habitat Conservation
Plan effort. Olympia and Regional staff from Wildlife, Habitat, Fish, and Enforcement
met to provide input and discuss the goals of the effort for the Cowlitz, Mt.
St. Helens, Shillapoo, and Klickitat Wildlife Areas. The HCP will guide long-term
conservation and protection of species and will ensure compliance with the Endangered
Trout Lake Elk: Biologist Anderson is currently assisting the Enforcement
Division with an elk damage issue in Klickitat County. Elk are currently impacting
agricultural fields that were the first areas in the Trout Lake valley to open
this spring from heavy snow pack. Several options are being considered to keep
elk off high valued fields, including hazing, fencing, landowner access permits,
and habitat manipulation.
Hoof Rot in Elk: District Wildlife Biologist Miller drafted a Protocol and Activity description
for the exam of elk in Region 5 that are exhibiting signs of hoof rot. Reports
have become numerous in recent years about sick and limping elk in the lower
Cowltiz River Valley. Livestock owners are concerned about spread to their animals
and hunters are worried about elk they see and harvest. Washington State University
vet school personnel and WDFW veterinarian are interested in collecting sick
elk to determine the cause of the condition and collecting apparently healthy
elk to determine if the condition exists in most all animals.
3-Year package meeting: District Wildlife Biologist Miller met with Detachment 4 Fish & Wildlife
Officers to introduce new Survey Biologist Prince and discuss management proposals
for the upcoming 3-year package. Most of the discussions centered on the problem
of urban elk in the Longview area and season strategies to try to reduce the
herd in GMU 504 Stella. A scoping document was submitted to Wildlife Program
Manager Jonker for inclusion in the public meeting process.
Commission Meeting: Wildlife Program Manager Jonker presented an overview of the Mt. St. Helens
elk herd preliminary 2007 harvest data to the Commission. In addition, she provided
an overview of the successful implementation of the cooperative Land Access
Program with Weyerhaeuser and many volunteer organizations to provide additional
weekday motorized access to the majority of Weyerhaeuser St. Helens Tree Farm
during the special elk permit seasons. Forester LaFountaine from Weyerhaeuser
and Co-founders Eaton and Schelcht of the South West Washing Land Access Coalition
also provided testimony regarding the collaborative effort. We would like to
thank everyone for their cooperation, patience, creativity, and all their amazing
hard work at accomplishing a safe and successful first year: Weyerhaeuser, South
West Land Access Coalition, Cowltiz Game and Anglers, Eyes In The Woods, WA
State Archer Association, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Yacolt Burn Sportsmen
Club, Vancouver Wildlife League, WA State Bowhunters, and WDFW staff.
Windpower Development: Biologist Anderson is currently assisting the
habitat division with review and comment on new proposals for windpower in eastern
Klickitat County. In the most recent development proposals, ferruginous hawks
appear to be the raptor species of most concern to WDFW. Wind turbines are currently
proposed within a ferruginous hawk nest territory raising concerns about the
long term viability of this pair.
REGION 5 WILDLIFE AREAS
Shillapoo Wildlife Area:
Manager Hauswald and Technician Babcock have been busy with several activities
on the Wildlife Area. These include weed and blackberry spraying on the North
Unit, fence repairs on the Vancouver Lake and South Units, and installation
of tree protectors and mats on hundreds of trees planted earlier in the year.
Regular visits are also made to structures that control water levels in managed
wetlands to assure they are clear of debris and to check for beaver and nutria
damage to flashboards.
Wildlife Area Manager Calkins
set up a new methodology to illustrate the effectiveness of grazing in managing
winter waterfowl pastures. This technique uses a visual metering target to illustrate
vegetative density and height. For an example, see photos at right. Each square
on the board is one foot. Ideally by the end of the grazing period, almost all
of the board will be visible. The grazing objective for these pastures is to
reduce vegetative height to 6 inches or less to foster use by Canada Geese.
Klickitat Wildlife Area:
Boulder Placement: Manager VanLeuven requested assistance from WDFW Engineering
Division in implementing a boulder placement project along Grayback and Sheep
Canyon Roads. Approximately 350 boulders were placed along the road to better
define the edge of the road and encourage drivers to stay on the road with their
vehicles. The engineering staff were flexible in scheduling this project, accomplished
the job quickly and with care, and the project turned out well.
350 boulders were placed along the road of the Klickitat Wildlife Area to
better define the edge of the road and encourage drivers to stay on the
road with their vehicles.
VanLeuven checked on the cooperative effort between a neighbor and WDFW on installing
a common boundary fence. The fence was built according to our specifications
and is a very professional-looking job. The materials/labor agreement between
WDFW and the neighbor was beneficial to both parties.
Dark Goose Brood survey: District 10 personnel, along with volunteer
Jarvis, completed a survey for dark goose broods in the vicinity of Miller Sands
Island. This survey was combined with a streaked horn lark survey to save on
boat fuel. Approximately 35-40 broods of dark geese were observed. A multi agency
effort is planned to capture and mark these birds in July.
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
This survey is a joint effort
between Oregon State University, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, WDFW,
and the Corps of Engineers. The survey is coordinated by Oregon State University
and OSU's Frank Isaacs had the lead on the survey effort and maintains the data
related to this important eagle population.
is evaluating the potential issues associated with windpower and the protection
of ferruginous hawk nesting sites.
Anderson has been working with the habitat and research divisions to evaluate
proposed windpower projects in Klickitat County. Several projects have already
been built and several more are being planned in the last remaining quality
shrub steppe habitat in Klickitat County. The most recent planned development
is located in a high concentration area of ferruginous hawk territories, a state
WDFW is trying to evaluate
the potential issues associated with windpower and the protection of ferruginous
hawk nesting sites. The attached photo was taken near an active ferruginous
hawk nest located in the middle of a proposed wind farm. An adult ferruginous
hawk was killed last year at the wind farm seen in the photo.
During dark goose banding surveys, the crew at Miller Sands was surprised to
see a flock of 19 white pelicans at the downstream end of Miller Sands spit
this week. White pelicans are rarely seen in the summer in western Washington
and this sighting compliments others reported to WDFW recently.
REGION 5 WILDLIFE AREAS
Cowlitz Wildlife Area:
Vegetation Control: Assistant Manager Vanderlip
has made several herbicide applications. Species targeted included Japanese
knotweed, blackberry, and Canada thistle. The knotweed is located on the Spears
unit and is composed of two very large, well-developed stands. The stands were
partially cut to facilitate access and then the foliage and cane hollows sprayed.
Approximately 3 acres of blackberry on the Davis Lake Units were sprayed and
isolated scotch broom plants on the Spears unit were sprayed as well. The Japanese
knotweed population on the Mossyrock unit was checked and a few plants were
observed. They will be treated in the near future.
Moist Soil Management: CWA staff has started manipulation of the water levels on the Mossyrock ponds
to prepare for this year’s activity, which include riser and dike maintenance.
- 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.
2009-2011 Three-Year Hunting Season Setting Process: Regional Wildlife
Biologists along with Regional Program Manager Jonker conducted reviews of various
proposals associated with the current hunting season setting process. A number
of issues were presented by Olympia Game Management Staff for Regional review.
Topics of discussion included allocation of both deer and elk hunting opportunities
among the three user groups (Modern Firearm, Archery, and Muzzleloader), timing
of seasons, and deer population objectives. Public input related to the various
topics will be gathered through a statewide Internet survey, public meetings,
and direct correspondence with WDFW Staff.
Private Lands Access: Biologist Anderson met with a private landowner in Klickitat County to review
their current agreement with WDFW for hunter access. Riparian habitat plantings
were evaluated and a review of hunter access issues was discussed. The agreement
seems to be working well and WDFW agreed to look further into renewal of the
existing CRP contract.
St. Helens Land Access
Program: Volunteer organization leaders, Weyerhaeuser staff, and Region
5 WDFW staff met to debrief on last year’s Land Access Program and initiate
the upcoming effort to provide additional weekday motorized access to the northern
portion of the St. Helens Tree farm during special elk permit seasons. Lesson
learned from last year were reviewed and discussions were productive on implementing
this year’s program. A new volunteer sign-up database is being developed
that will become accessible on WDFW’s website soon. Once again we would
like to thank all the participants for their contribution and we look forward
to implementing another safe and successful year.
G-MAP: Region 5 Wildlife
Program Manager Jonker and Deputy Assistant Director of the Wildlife Program
Pozzanghera presented an update for the Government Management, Accountability,
and Performance session on the management of the Mt. St. Helens Elk Herd. Updates
on action items included the increase in special elk permit numbers, population
monitoring, land access program, elk habitat restoration efforts, etc.
Western Pond Turtles: Biologist Slavens reports that we now have identified 18 nest sites at our ponds
in Klickitat County. There are an additional 14 female turtles with working
transmitters that can still nest this season. This year is shaping up to be
one of our most successful seasons at identifying turtle nests for the "head
start" program on record.
oaks found on the Klickitat Wildlife Area.
REGION 5 WILDLIFE AREAS
Klickitat Wildlife Area:
Range Transects: Wildlife Area Manager VanLeuven
and retired WA Manager Morrison located old range transect markers that were
established in 1952. The original iron stakes at all 5 sites were located and
recorded using GPS. Very large oak trees by Klickitat County standards were
observed at one of the transect locations. Many thanks to retired Manager Morrison
for his assistance, which was crucial in finding these old transects for future
collection of a new set of range data.
Hazard Tree Removal: Manager VanLeuven checked on the progress of the hazard tree removal project
at the Canyon Creek Loop Campground. Trees and snags were identified for retention
due to good nest habitat and cut trees that had fungal fruiting bodies on the
trunk were left to decay onsite. Other trees identified for removal are being
removed using a rubber-tracked log loader; this will cause less soil disturbance
than other kinds of equipment and offers better control in moving logs around
trees and other features that should not be damaged. Limbs have been stacked
for disposal by chipping later in the summer. All work has been conducted in
a way that avoids injuring green trees and large shrubs. The crew worked carefully
around an active kestrel nest. Snags that could possibly hit the nest tree were
cut down in sections, to minimize the risk to the nest tree. The crew was excited
to report that the kestrel nestling fledged on Wednesday, and it successfully
returned to the nest cavity after a couple short flights. Logs are stacked neatly
along the access road for removal as soon as the log loader arrives.
Landowner Access: Biologist Anderson met with Biologist Hand from Region 3 to discuss landowner
contracts in Klickitat County. Biologist Hand has a history of working with
many of these people and provided valuable insight into CRP and hunter access
issues. In addition, Hand did a site visit and provided recommendations regarding
an ongoing elk damage issue in the Trout Lake Valley. We thank Region 3 for
providing Hand’s time for a day assisting Biologist Anderson.
|There are many aspects of golf course management that provide habitat
suitable for turtles (i.e., ponds, sand, short grass, etc.).
Western Pond Turtles: We now have 22 western pond turtles nests located
in Klickitat County ponds this year. Nesting is slowing down some but we still
anticipate a few double clutches for females that have already nested early
in the year. We are currently working with both the Oregon and Woodland Park
Zoos for release of 2007 turtles later in July. Biologist Anderson was contacted
by Skamania Lodge golf course to assist them with their Audubon "green"
certification". This program encourages golf courses to do water quality
programs as well as wildlife projects to improve golf course "habitat".
Skamania Lodge has two beautiful ponds that currently have a good population
of western painted turtles. We discussed the potential of releasing western
pond turtles in the future and the Lodge is very interested in the concept.
There are many aspects of golf course management that provide habitat suitable
for turtles (i.e., ponds, sand, short grass, etc.). WDFW would only consider
this concept after we met population and habitat goals at existing sites in
the Columbia River Gorge.
Wildlife Areas Habitat
Conservation Plan (HCP) Development: Regional wildlife biologists met with
HCP coordinator Dobler to discuss species-specific presence/absence on local
wildlife areas. The Shillapoo and St. Helens wildlife areas, including all satellite
units to each of the areas, were examined. Suitable habitat for species of conservation
concern, including Federal and State listed species, is found on the majority
of the wildlife area units.