WDFW LogoWashington Department of Fish & Wildlife
  HELP | EMPLOYMENT | NEWS | CONTACT  
WDFW LogoAbout WDFW

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
TeamVancouver@dfw.wa.gov

Click here
for Directions

 

Southwest Washington Wildlife Reports Archives
February 2009

February 23, 2009

A fire on the Klickitat Wildlife Area
A fire on the Klickitat Wildlife Area was located about 800 feet lower in elevation, and was about 1/10 acre in size. The fire posed very little risk to resources and by the next day DNR presumed the fire was out.

DIVERSITY DIVISION

Klickitat Wildlife Area: Response to Fire Report: Wildlife Area Manager VanLeuven was contacted by Department of Natural Resources staff regarding a plume of smoke rising from the east side of the Klickitat River Canyon in T5N R14E S6. Manager VanLeuven assisted with investigating the fire report and observed the fire from the top of the ridge between Sheep Canyon and the Klickitat River. The fire was located about 800 feet lower in elevation, to the west, and was about 1/10 acre in size. The fire posed very little risk to resources and by the next day DNR presumed the fire was out.

Wind Power: District Biologist Anderson participated in the review and EIS meeting for the proposed Windy 2 wind power project in Klickitat County. Of primary concern with this project is the proximity of this new project to an established golden eagle territory. Jim Watson, with the research division, has provided comprehensive field data on local home range use of the area by the golden eagle pair. It is obvious from his work that additional wind turbines placed in this area will increase the probability of turbine/eagle interactions in the future. Multiple wind turbine facilities are being proposed in Klickitat County and the challenge is to determine what the cumulative impacts will be on wildlife communities once the facilities are in operation.

Colombian white Tailed Deer FLIR: Information was received this week on the results of recent FLIR surveys on the islands of the lower river. Noteworthy were the 30 deer in the Willow Grove area, 6 on Fisher Island, and 110 on Puget Island. Willow Grove/Fisher Island has been the site of previous efforts to relocate CWTD. The Puget Island number is encouraging because the next re-location project will use Puget Island as a source for deer to be transplanted to Cottonwood Island near Kelso. The refuge mainland had very poor numbers and USFWS is discussing strategies to boost that population.

GAME DIVISION

St Helens Elk Study: Region 5 staff Prince, Holman, Calkins, Miller, and Jonker assisted the Deer and Elk Specialist McCorquodale and WDFW Veterinarian Mansfield in the capture and radio collaring of 55 elk in the western portion of the St Helens herd. A total of 55 elk were outfitted with radio collars to help with a new population estimation technique that involves re-sighting the elk in spring surveys. Forty-four cows and 11 bull elk were captured and released alive.

St Helens Elk Study St Helens Elk Study St Helens Elk Study St Helens Elk Study
Region 5 staff Prince, Holman, Calkins, Miller, and Jonker assisted the Deer and Elk Specialist McCorquodale and WDFW Veterinarian Mansfield in the capture and radio collaring of 55 elk in the western portion of the St Helens herd.

In addition to the radio collar effort, body condition and pregnancy status were documented for females. Some very preliminary observations suggest that cows on the St Helens mudflow that are not pregnant but were lactating (from last year) have a very low body fat percentage. Cows that are not lactating and are pregnant have a very good body condition for this time of year. In the industrial forest areas nearby non-pregnant, lactating females had 1-2 % body fat, which is very poor. The non-lactating, pregnant females had an 8-9 % body fat, which is adequate. This pregnant versus non-pregnant variation may suggest an every other year breeding cycle, which is well documented in the Pacific North West.

Five GPS radio collars were installed in the effort. These collars will provide detailed habitat information by recording locations several times during the day and storing the data in the collar. The data will be retrieved next year by catching the elk again and downloading the information.

Our project would not have been successful without the skill of our pilot, Jess Hagerman, and the efforts of John and Rachael Cook with the body condition and pregnancy examinations.

Winter Conditions

District 10, including Mt. St. Helens Wildlife Area:

  • Past Weather: Weather conditions in November and early December were extremely mild and warm. It was not until mid-December that we experienced our first winter storms, which resulted in very cold temperatures and near record snowfall in some areas. Snow depths varied between drainages. For example, snow depths in the Lewis drainage were much deeper than in the adjacent Toutle watershed. The series of storms lasted over a week but conditions have since moderated. Warm temperatures and heavy rains occurred during the first part of January causing rapid snow melt in the South Cascades; raising some streams above flood stage and causing some erosion of forage areas on the Wildlife Area. The remainder of January was relatively dry with moderate to cool temperatures and only minor snow amounts. Temperatures during the first half of February ranged from near record highs to near record lows, but only moderate precipitation fell with moderate snow amounts. The past week has been mild and warm.
  • Short-term forecast: Forecast for the South Washington Cascades is for some rain though the week with snow levels ranging from 2,500 to 6,000 feet. Temperatures should range from the mid 30's to mid-40's which is within the normal range.
  • The 6-10 day outlook for Washington is for below normal temperatures and above normal precipitation.
  • The 8-14 day outlook for Washington is for below normal temperatures and above normal precipitation.
  • Long-term forecast: The National Weather Service long-range outlook maps issued on February 19th, show below average temperatures and equal chances of above or below normal precipitation for March. The March-May outlook map also suggests below average temperatures but equal chances of above or below precipitation.
  • Habitat: Slopes below 2000 feet are mostly snow free, South slopes to higher elevations.
  • Snowtel Sites: Spirit Lake (3,120 feet): 1.3 in.; June Lake (3,340 feet): 77.1 in.; Sheep Canyon (4,030 feet): 69.0 in.; Pepper Creek (2,140 feet): 35.6 in. Depth has decreased at all sites over the past week. Snowpack is below average for these locations.
  • Snow Parks: Skate Creek (1,500 feet): 10"; Johnson Creek (2400 ft): No report (closed); Wakepish (2,800 feet): No report (closed); Cougar (2,200 feet): 36"; Marble Mountain (2,700 feet): 48".
  • Animal Concentrations: No surveys since 334 elk were observed on the Wildlife Area during a survey on February 2nd. No reports of unusual concentrations of animals have been received in other areas.
  • Animal Condition: The majority of the animals observed appear to be in good condition, with a few animals that appeared thin and/or have rough pelage. We have not yet seen any animals in an obvious state of physical distress.
  • Mortality: None reported this week.
  • Public Contacts: None received this week

District 9:

  • Past Weather: Weather has been cold at night, but daytime temperatures have been warm and snow is melting at elevations below 5,000 ft. Temperatures for February are above normal and snow pack is well below normal for this time of year.
  • Winter Severity: The south facing slopes at the Klickitat Wildlife Area continue to be open and forage habitat is available. There is still little concern for the severity of this year's winter conditions in Skamania County and the western portion of Klickitat County. The eastern portions of Klickitat County have had lower snow fall accumulation this winter and deer are reported in good condition.
  • Habitat: Habitat is open and some green up is seen on south facing slopes and forage habitat has increased for big game.
  • Animal Concentrations: No unusual concentrations seen due to inclement conditions.
  • Animal Condition: Animals appear to be in good condition.
  • Mortality: None documented or reported at this time.
  • Public Contacts: None received this week.

February 17, 2009

DIVERSITY DIVISION

Shillapoo Wildlife Area: Tree and Shrub Plantings: Wildlife Area Assistant Manager Hauswald and Technician Fox have been planting trees and shrubs at several riparian and oak habitat restoration sites within the Shillapoo Wildlife Area. The effort is funded by Bonneville Power through their wildlife mitigation program for the dams on the Columbia River. Tree and shrub species being planted include snowberry, wild rose, red-osier dogwood, western crab apple, Oregon ash, Oregon white oak, hawthorne, blue elderberry, black cottonwood, and serviceberry.

Wetland Development: Biologist Anderson met with a consultant at Beacon Rock State Park (BRSP) to review plans for evaluation of a wetland enhancement project. The initial steps will be to install piezeometers at the site for one year of ground water monitoring prior to a full site evaluation. The state park has agreed to consider this project in order to increase habitat for the western pond turtle.

GAME DIVISION

RMEF Grants: Wildlife Area Manager Calkins has received notice that the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has funded two grants for elk forage enhancement work on the Mt. St. Helens Wildlife Area. Each grant is in the amount of $5,000. The grant funds will be used to purchase materials needed to increase production of some of the existing forage producing areas and to rehabilitate one forage site that has declined in production. The work will begin this spring and continue through late fall. Both grants were, in part, possible due to the work of Volunteer Mike Braaten who has received separate grants from WDFW for similar work that provided a portion of the funding needed to match the Elk Foundation's investment in the projects.

image image
A first-time goose hunter with a very nice western Canada goose and a check-station table with the day's harvest from a successful party.

SW Washington Canada Goose Season Area 2A: The Canada goose hunting season in Area 2A concluded on January 25. The 2008-09 hunt offered average success per hunter among those checking geese at check stations, although overall hunting effort and harvest is considerably higher than that of recent years. Collectively the State-operated hunter check stations located at Vancouver, Ridgefield Marina, Woodland, and Cathlamet, along with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service station at Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge reported a total of 1409 hunters having harvested a total of 2826 geese. This makes an average of 2.0 birds per hunter among those who brought geese to the check stations. The total harvest of geese is somewhat higher than the 2007-08 season. However, this number is inflated by the fact that snow and greater white-fronted geese are now included in the tally, where they weren't in years prior.

See photos at right of a first-time goose hunter with a very nice western Canada goose and a check-station table with the day's harvest from a successful party. Those interested in participating in the Area 2A goose hunt during 2009-10 are encouraged to review the special requirements that are detailed in the Waterfowl Hunting Pamphlet. The special seasons in 2A are designed to protect populations of the dusky Canada goose. During the 2008-09 season, the dusky Canada goose made up approximately 1.5% of the total harvest and the federally allocated harvest quota was not reached. This allowed WDFW to continue the season through the scheduled end of the hunt period. Thanks to all the waterfowl hunters for their participation in the complex season.

image
Multiple staff members from the Wildlife Program in Region 5 participated in helicopter safety training this week.

Training: Multiple staff members from the Wildlife Program in Region 5 participated in helicopter safety training this week. The course covered standard operating procedures for wildlife surveys and for capture efforts. The participants that will be involved in next week*s Mt. St. Helen's elk captures also took part in a field exercise. The field exercise provided staff with the opportunity to practice the proper loading and off-loading techniques when the ship is in a toe-in landing mode. Unconventional landing positions are common in wildlife capture operations and will likely be used in the captures next week. Region 5 would like to thank deer and elk specialist McCorquodale for putting on the training session as well as thank pilot Hagerman for his exceptional piloting skills that are a critical element for these types of techniques.

Winter Conditions

District 10, including Mt. St. Helens Wildlife Area:

  • Past Weather: Weather conditions in November and early December were extremely mild and warm. It was not until mid-December that we experienced our first winter storms, which resulted in very cold temperatures and near record snowfall in some areas. Snow depths varied between drainages. For example, snow depths in the Lewis drainage were much deeper than in the adjacent Toutle watershed. The series of storms lasted over a week but conditions have since moderated. Warm temperatures and heavy rains occurred during the first part of January causing rapid snow melt in the South Cascades; raising some streams above flood stage and causing some erosion of forage areas on the Wildlife Area. The remainder of January was relatively dry with moderate to cool temperatures and only minor snow amounts. Temperatures during the first half of February ranged from near record highs to near record lows, but only moderate precipitation fell with moderate snow amounts.
  • Short-term forecast: Forecast for the South Washington Cascades is for mixed rain and snow though the week, with sun breaks and snow levels ranging from 1,500 to 3,000 feet. Temperatures should range from the low 30's to mid-40*s, which is within the normal range.
  • The 6-10 day outlook for Washington is for below normal temperatures and near normal precipitation. The 8-14 day outlook for Washington is for below normal temperatures and near normal precipitation.
  • Long-term forecast: No Change. The National Weather Service long-range outlook maps issued on January 15th show below average temperatures and above average precipitation for February. The Feb-April outlook map also suggests below average temperatures but normal precipitation. The Mar-May map shows equal chances of either above or below normal temperature and precipitation.
  • Habitat: Snowfall amounts at low elevations were minor this week probably not limiting forage availability. Assuming the forecast is correct this should remain true for the near term.
  • Snow Depths: Snowtel Sites: Spirit Lake (3,120 feet): 4.5 in.; June Lake (3,340 feet): 80.4 in.; Sheep Canyon (4,030 feet): 71.7 in.; Pepper Creek (2,140 feet): 38.6 in. Depth has increased at all sites over the past week. Snowpack is near average for these locations.
  • Snow Parks: Skate Creek (1,500 feet): 10"; Johnson Creek (2400 ft): No report (closed); Wakepish (2,800 feet): No report (closed); Cougar (2,200 feet): 4' + 6" new snow; Marble Mountain (2,700 feet): 5'+ 12" new snow.
  • Animal Concentrations: No surveys since 334 elk were observed on the Wildlife Area during a survey on February 2nd. No reports of unusual concentrations of animals have been received in other areas.
  • Animal Condition: No new observations. The majority of the animals observed appear to be in good condition, with a few animals that appeared thin and/or had rough pelage. We have not yet seen any animals in an obvious state of physical distress.
  • Mortality: An individual called inquiring about the date the Wildlife Area would open to the public. He indicated that he had found winterkills above SR 504 in the Margaret GMU. He did not provide a number.
  • Public Contacts: None received this week

District 9:

  • Past Weather: Weather changed back to more normal winter conditions with new snow down to 500 ft. Temperatures have been colder but snow pack is well below normal for this time of year.
  • Winter Severity: No Change. The south facing slopes at the Klickitat Wildlife Area are open and forage habitat is available. There is little concern for the severity of this year's winter conditions in Skamania County and the western portion of Klickitat County. The eastern portions of Klickitat County have had lower snow fall accumulation this winter and deer are in good condition.
  • Habitat: Habitat is open and some green up is seen on south facing slopes and forage habitat has increased for big game.
  • Animal Concentrations: No unusual concentrations seen due to inclement conditions. Several deer have been seen crossing state road 141 and this is an indication that conditions have opened up and animals are moving about more freely.
  • Animal Condition: Animals appear to be in good condition.
  • Mortality: None documented or reported at this time.
  • Public Contacts: None received this week.

February 9, 2008

DIVERSITY DIVISION

Western Pond Turtle: Biologist Anderson completed BPA requirements for the 2009-2010 western pond turtle contract with Bonneville Power Administration. This year (starting March 1) we will be working with a budget of $ 89,000 to implement another year of turtle conservation in the Columbia River Gorge.

Sandhill Cranes: Biologist Anderson completed sandhill crane nesting and banding protocol documents. These reports outline the protocol used for monitoring the sandhill crane population in Klickitat County.

Peregrine Falcon: Biologist Prince and District Biologist Miller evaluated a cliff along the Columbia River in order to make recommendations to a local timber company for management of a peregrine falcon site this week. Although fog did not allow for a clear view of the cliff, one falcon was seen and calls were heard while observing the site. A little up the river another site was confirmed. Toward the end of last nesting season, a falcon was heard at the cliff, but no birds were seen. This week, two birds were seen at the cliff and they were displaying territorial behavior. A GPS point was taken and the information will be entered into the database for long-term monitoring. Additional visits to the first site will be made during this nesting season to confirm nesting activity.

GAME DIVISION

Mt. St. Helens Monthly Elk Count: Biologist Prince conducted the fourth mudflow elk count of the winter this week. Three hundred and thirty-four elk were seen on the mudflow during the count. The mudflow was almost entirely free of snow and forage is still available. The count of 334 if still below the approximately 400 animal carrying capacity, and winter conditions have remained mild. The next count will take place at the beginning of next month, unless a drastic change in conditions warrants a second count in February.

Mt. St. Helens Elk study: A meeting of the State Deer and Elk Specialist and Region 5 staff was held this week to finalize details of an upcoming capture of elk in the St Helens herd. Radio collars will be installed on numerous elk in 5 Game Management Units in February to facilitate a mark/re-sight population estimate program. Aircraft safety training is scheduled and surveys for resighting have been scheduled for March. Some of the collars will be GPS collars that record the animals* location and will produce fine-grained data on habitat use and movements. At the time of capture, body condition information will be gathered to help biologists understand elk health in the St Helens herd.

Elk Hoof Rot project: Plans are being finalized to collect elk in Region 5 to determine the cause of the hoof rot that is being observed in elk, particularly in Cowlitz and Lewis Counties. WDFW will work with landowners experiencing damage to collect and necropsy elk for pathology examination by WSU vet school. WDFW staff veterinarian and vet tech will be assisting as well as Law Enforcement officers and biologists.

Winter Conditions

District 10, including Mt. St. Helens Wildlife Area:

  • Past Weather: Weather conditions in November and early December were extremely mild and warm. It was not until mid-December that we experienced our first winter storms, which resulted in very cold temperatures and near record snowfall in some areas. Snow depths varied between drainages. For example, snow depths in the Lewis drainage were much deeper than in the adjacent Toutle watershed. The series of storms lasted over a week but conditions have since moderated. Warm temperatures and heavy rains occurred during the first part of January causing rapid snow melt in the South Cascades; raising some streams above flood stage and causing some erosion of forage areas on the Wildlife Area. We have seen relatively dry conditions since with moderate to cool temperatures and only minor snow amounts. Rivers are back to normal flows.
  • Short-term forecast: Forecast for the South Washington Cascades is for mixed rain and snow though the week, with snow levels ranging from 1,500 to 3,000 feet. Temperatures should range from the high 20's to mid-40s, which is a bit cool but close to the normal range.
  • The 6-10 day outlook for Washington is for below normal temperatures and below normal precipitation. The 8-14 day outlook for Washington is for below normal temperatures and below normal precipitation.
  • Long-term forecast: No Change. The National Weather Service long-range outlook maps issued on January 15th show below average temperatures and above average precipitation for February. The Feb-April outlook map also suggests below average temperatures but normal precipitation. The Mar-May map shows equal chances of either above or below normal temperature and precipitation.
  • Habitat: Areas below 2500 feet are currently snow free, which may change in the week ahead. The western end of the wildlife area was visited this week to begin tree grass planting near the river. A surprising amount of green forage remains available on the site. It also appeared that the recent warmer weather may have allowed some growth by grasses. There is also a lot of matted grass covering much of the green material due to the heavy snows early in the winter. This should not limit forage availability and may act as mulch keeping the soil warmer creating better growing conditions as spring approaches.
  • Snow Depths: Snowtel Sites: Spirit Lake (3,120 feet): 4.0 in.; June Lake (3,340 feet): 69.6 in.; Sheep Canyon (4,030 feet): 64.9 in.; Pepper Creek (2,140 feet): 35.8 in. Depth has decreased at all sites over the past week. Snowpack is near average for these locations.
  • Snow Parks: Skate Creek (1,500 feet): No report; Johnson Creek (2400 ft): No report; Wakepish (2,800 feet): No report; Cougar (2,200 feet): 4' + 3" new snow; Marble Mountain (2,700 feet 5'+ 5" new snow.
  • Animal Concentrations: 334 elk were observed on the Wildlife Area during a survey on February 2nd. No reports of unusual concentrations of animals have been received in other areas.
  • Animal Condition: The majority of the animals observed appear to be in good condition, with a few animals that appeared thin and/or had rough pelage. We have not yet seen any animals in an obvious state of physical distress.
  • Mortality: None reported.
  • Public Contacts: Program Manager Jonker was contacted by the owner of EcoPark resort on SR 504 with concerns about apparent disease in elk he is feeding on the property. Disease spread due to concentrating animals has always been a concern of WDFW with regard to feeding big game animals and one of the reasons we discourage the practice by private individuals.

District 9:

  • Past Weather: Weather has continued to moderate and snow is melting at elevations below 5000 ft. Temperatures are above normal and snow pack is below normal.
  • Winter Severity: The south facing slopes at the Klickitat Wildlife Area are open and forage habitat is available. There is little concern for the severity of this year's winter conditions in Skamania County and the western portion of Klickitat County. The eastern portions of Klickitat County have had lower snow fall accumulation this winter and deer are in good condition.
  • Habitat: Habitat is open and some green up is seen on south facing slopes and forage habitat has increased for big game.
  • Animal Concentrations: No unusual concentrations seen due to inclement conditions.
  • Animal Condition: Animals appear to be in good condition.
  • Mortality: None documented or reported at this time.
  • Public Contacts: None received this week.

February 2, 2009

REGION 5 WILDLIFE AREAS

Klickitat Wildlife Area: Enforcement activities: Manager VanLeuven received a call from a Klickitat Wildlife Area neighbor who heard rifle shots near his house and thought it came from KWA property. The neighbor provided the license number to Manager VanLeuven who notified Officer Vance. WDFW Law Enforcement officers met the vehicle on Highway 142 and documented illegal take. Manager VanLeueven and Law Enforcement Officers appreciate the KWA neighbor's initiative in helping WDFW.

DIVERSITY DIVISION

Priority Habitats and Species Updates: Regional PHS Biologist Labbe facilitated a mapping update and information gathering session for Clark, Skamania, and Klickitat Counties. Wildlife Area Managers Calkins and VanLeuven along with Biologist Holman represented the Wildlife Program during the all-day session. Fish and Wildlife Officers Meyers, Hart, Vance, and Bolton participated as well. Additionally, local Staff from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, Department of Natural Resources, and the Columbia Land Trust participated in the effort. Good progress was made during the effort to identify, shrub-steppe, riparian zones, important waterfowl areas, oak habitat, western pond turtle habitat, deer winter range, non-forested balds, aspen stands, westside prairie, etc.

Western Pond Turtle: Biologists Anderson and Holman completed the final annual report to Bonneville Power Administration for western pond turtle project activities during 2007 and 2008. Biologist Anderson also started developing the budget and proposal for the next contract year - 2009-2010. In addition, Endangered Species Coordinator Allen, Program Manager Jonker, and Biologist Anderson submitted a proposal to BPA for continuation of the Western Pond Turtle project for 2010-2018 funding.

Peregrine Falcon: Biologist Prince made a site visit this week to a Peregrine Falcon site along the Columbia River in Wahkiakum County. The visit was to assess the conditions surrounding the site and provide the landowner with mitigation recommendations for an upcoming timber cutting. The fog prevented the cliff from being seen, but later visits by land or from the river in the spring will determine if the site is active and what type of protections it will need to stay viable.

image
A luncheon was held to thank all who participated in the St. Helens Land Access Program.

GAME DIVISION

St. Helens Land Access Program: A luncheon was held to thank all who participated in the St. Helens Land Access Program, which is a cooperative effort between WDFW, Weyerhaeuser, and several volunteer organizations to facilitate additional motorized access to the northern portion of the St. Helens Tree Farm during special elk permit seasons. Wildlife Program Manager Jonker provided a summary presentation of this year's program and then opened the floor to a productive discussion including program highlights, insights, questions, suggestions, and ideas to improve the program. We would like to thank all the volunteers, Weyerhaeuser staff, and WDFW staff for making this another safe and successful year. Representative Ed Orcutt joined the luncheon and thanked everyone for all their hard work.

Winter Conditions

District 10, including Mt. St. Helens Wildlife Area:

  • Past Weather: Weather conditions in November and early December were extremely mild and warm. It was not until mid-December that we experienced our first winter storms, which resulted in very cold temperatures and near record snowfall in some areas. Snow depths varied between drainages. For example, snow depths in the Lewis drainage were much deeper than in the adjacent Toutle watershed. The series of storms lasted over a week but conditions have since moderated. Warm temperatures and heavy rains occurred during the first part of January causing rapid snow melt in the South Cascades; raising some streams above flood stage and causing some erosion of forage areas on the Wildlife Area. We have seen dry conditions since with moderate to cool temperatures and only minor snow amounts. Rivers are back to normal flows.
  • Short-term forecast: Forecast for the South Washington Cascades is for seasonable conditions through the end of next week, including some snowfall in relatively minor amounts primarily above 2500 feet. Moderate levels of precipitation mixed with clear skies are expected with snow levels ranging from below 1,500 to above 6,000 feet. Temperatures should range from the low 30's to the low-50's, which is near average.
  • The 6-10 day outlook for Washington is for near normal temperatures and near normal precipitation. The 8-14 day outlook for Washington is for near normal temperatures and near normal precipitation.
  • Long-term forecast: No Change. The National Weather Service long-range outlook maps issued on January 15th show below average temperatures and above average precipitation for February. The Feb-April outlook map also suggests below average temperatures but normal precipitation. The Mar-May map shows equal chances of either above or below normal temperature and precipitation.
  • Habitat: No observations on the Wildlife Area this week. Based on an observation on 01/23, there is still forage available on the wildlife area. Although some snow fell this week, the amounts were minor.
  • Snow Depths: Snowtel Sites: Spirit Lake (3,120 feet): 7.9 in.; June Lake (3,340 feet): 73.0 in.; Sheep Canyon (4,030 feet): 67.9 in.; Pepper Creek (2,140 feet): 17.7in. Depth has increased at the first three sites but decreased at the Pepper Creek location by about 18 inches.
  • Snow Parks: Skate Creek (1,500 feet): No report; Johnson Creek (2400 ft): No report; Wakepish (2,800 feet): No report; Cougar (2,200 feet): 4' + 3" new snow; Marble Mountain (2,700 feet 5'+ 6" new snow.
  • Animal Concentrations: No formal surveys since 270 elk were observed on the Wildlife Area during a count on 01/09. No reports of unusual concentrations of animals have been received in other areas. A survey on the Wildlife Area is planned for next week.
  • Animal Condition: While on the Wildlife Area on 01/23, the majority of the animals observed appeared to be in good condition, with a few animals that appeared thin and/or had rough pelage.
  • Mortality: None reported.
  • Public Contacts: No new contacts to report.

District 9:

  • Past Weather: The high temperature was 42o; the low temperature was -7o. Approximately 2 inches of snow fell early in the week. By Thursday most of the new snow had melted away.
  • Snow Depth: South-facing hillsides are free of snow on the Klickitat Wildlife Area and most other areas have patches of snow interspersed with bare ground. Average maximum snow depth is 4 inches; many areas have thinner snow cover. The remaining snow has become quite dense, but does not have a crust.
  • Habitat: Approximately three fourths of the forage is now exposed as the snow has been melting on the Wildlife Area. South Cascades snow pack melting below 3500'.
  • Animal Concentrations: None observed. However, more road kills are being seen as animals move about more freely.
  • Animal Condition: Appear in good condition.
  • Mortality: Roadkill only on Highway 141.
  • Public Contacts: Received a report of shooting on the Klickitat Wildlife Area. WDFW Law Enforcement officers were notified and responded to the incident.