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

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Southwest Washington Wildlife Reports Archives
November 2009

November 30, 2009

REGION 5 WILDLIFE AREAS

Klickitat Wildlife Area
Pheasant Release: Seventy pheasants were released on the Hatchery Unit, 45 at the Gun Club property, and 30 at the Finn Ridge Road site with very nice weather and the birds were able to disperse under good conditions.

Spring Creek Planting: Wildlife Area Manager Van Leuven met the Goldendale chapter of Trout Unlimited for annual tree and shrub planting along Spring Creek on the Goldendale Hatchery Unit. Part of the objective is to increase shade on the creek, so the plants were placed on the south side stream. The group brought 20 ponderosa pines, 6 mockorange shrubs, 2 Douglas hawthorn shrubs, and 2 creek dogwoods, plus planting tools. All of these native plants looked healthy and should grow well. We all enjoyed the outing.

GAME DIVISION

Pheasant Release Site Car Counts: Shillapoo Wildlife Area Assistant Manager Hauswald and Technician Fox conducted the final car count on Pheasant Release Sites in Woodland Bottoms and the Shillapoo Wildlife Area on November 21st. Eleven cars were present at Woodland and one hundred and eleven at Shillapoo. The car counts here and at other release sites are used as part of the system to allocate birds among the sites in subsequent years.

2010 Big-Game Season Setting: Wildlife Program Manager Jonker and all Regional Biologists worked to develop big game seasons for the 2010 season. Specifically, antlerless permit levels for deer and elk were identified, damage hunts were modified, and season dates were adjusted for annual variations of the calendar. More importantly, delineations of hunts and tag numbers for the various hunter categories i.e. Youth, Senior, Hunters with Disabilities, Quality Hunts, Master Hunters, etc., were allocated.

St. Helens Elk Herd Management: Regional Wildlife Biologists, Customer Service, Staff, and volunteers have continued to spend considerable time collecting organs, tissue, and data associated with the body condition evaluation of the Mt. St. Helens elk population. Those elk hunters who have received antlerless elk permits for several Game Management Units within the herd area have been asked to collect the following: incisors, heart including pericardium, both kidneys, and a small portion of the liver. The samples will be pooled into geographic areas and evaluations will be made to determine, age, body condition, and analyze trace minerals. Thanks to all the antlerless elk hunters who have done their part to help WDFW in this important effort.

November 23, 2009

REGION 5 WILDLIFE AREAS

Klickitat Wildlife Area
Maintenance: Wildlife Area Manager Van Leuven repaired fence around perennial ponds and fixed part of the property line fence along the Sheep Canyon Rd. Van Leuven chipped several piles of limbs and replaced posted signs: "Seasonal Road Closure" sign on the Soda Springs Unit and 3 "Safety Zone" signs on the Sondino Unit near residences. Manager Van Leuven also assisted residents in retrieving hounds that had been lost for several days.

GAME DIVISION

Elk Season: Biologist Anderson reports that elk harvest in the south Cascades was lower than normal this year during the modern firearm season. Although weather conditions were ideal for tracking and locating elk, lower than expected numbers of elk were reported to be harvested in the Lewis River, Wind River, and West Klickitat units. An increase in cow permits over the past 3 years and sever winters are considered some of the reasons for a reduced herd size and harvest in these units.

DIVERSITY DIVISION

Western Pond Turtles: Biologists Anderson and Holman met with Frank and Kate Slavens to discuss the western pond turtle data base and data entry needs for 2009. The Slavens are in the process of reducing their time in working on the western pond turtle project, and plans are being developed for that transition. The Slavens have worked on the western pond turtle project for over 20 years and their gradual retirement from the western pond turtle project will be a major change for WDFW – their dedication and commitment to the western pond turtle project is very much appreciated.

November 17, 2009

Elk organ collection
The largest buck seen so far this year was taken by Deb Ross of Woodland.

GAME DIVISION

St. Helens Elk Herd Management: Regional Wildlife Biologists, Customer Service, Staff, and volunteers spent considerable time collecting organs, tissue, and data associated with the body condition evaluation of the Mt. St. Helens elk population. Those elk hunters who have received antlerless elk permits for several Game Management Units within the herd area are being asked to collect the following: incisors, heart including pericardium, both kidneys, and a small portion of the liver. The samples will be pooled into geographic areas and evaluations will be made to determine, age, body condition, and analyze trace minerals. Thanks to all the antlerless elk hunters who have done their part to help WDFW in this important effort.

SW Washington Goose Season: Training of new employees took place this week and staff participated from WDFW Waterfowl Program, Region 5, and USFWS. Employees that operate checks stations were instructed on proper technique for identifying geese to subspecies and how to operate the check stations. Many thanks to Mikal Moore of the Waterfowl Program for her assistance and expertise. Her presentation was very helpful in implementing this training.

Opening day for the goose season found many hunters in the fields and generally the harvest was good. Approximately 200 geese were checked on the opening weekend of goose season with the Cackler being the most common bird harvested. The limit of 2 Cacklers per day did reduce the overall harvest as many hunters commented they did see many other birds flying. No Dusky geese were checked.

Goose training Goose training Goose Training
Employees that operate checks stations were instructed on proper technique for identifying geese to subspecies and how to operate the check stations.

November 9, 2009

REGION 5 WILDLIFE AREAS

Klickitat Wildlife Area
Pheasant Release: Wildlife Area Manager Van Leuven worked with District Biologist Anderson to organize the pheasant release this week. Two high school students from Glenwood assisted Manager Van Leuven in picking up the pheasants in Goldendale and releasing them at the Hatchery Unit. Five additional volunteers assisted by either releasing birds or transporting them to Goldendale from a pick-up point in Toppenish. Volunteer involvement in this release was key and the release would not have been possible without their assistance. The activity went well with 70 pheasants placed at the Hatchery Unit, 50 at the Gun Club property, and 25 at the Finn Ridge Road site. No problems were reported.

GAME DIVISION

Landowner Meeting: District 10 biologists, Regional Program Manager, and Law Enforcement staff meet with landowners regarding the August elk hunts with Master Hunters in the Boistfort area. Landowners were very vocal in their sentiments about the hunts and the MH program. Their input will be used to develop future hunt strategies to help with elk damage in the Boistfort area.

Elk Parts collection: Both District 9 and 10 biologists organized elk organ collection stations as part of the Mt St Helens elk study being conducted in Region 5. This effort is being conducted to provide information on elk body condition. Eleven collection sites are available to hunters with antler less permits who received a package with instructions, diagrams, and bags to submit internal organs and teeth from harvested elk in selected units. Hunter participation is voluntary and we appreciate the assistance with this effort.

In addition, Biologist Anderson was contacted by numerous elk hunters requesting information on population status and hunting prospects for the south end of Region 5. Early feedback coming from hunter camps indicates a high turnout for the Lewis River and West Klickitat units. Heavy snow fall came into the south Cascades on Friday morning at 3000 ft. elevation, which had hunters concerned about access to their favorite camping locations.

November 2, 2009

REGION 5 WILDLIFE AREAS

Shillapoo Wildlife Area
Waterfowl Hunter Surveys: As part of the ongoing survey to measure hunter success and satisfaction in the field, this week four waterfowl hunters who had completed their trip for the day were interviewed. All four hunters were on the South Unit and took 15 ducks in a total of 9 hours hunted. Hunters are asked to rate their hunts on a scale of 1 to 5. Two of the hunters were quite pleased with their hunts and rated their experiences as 5’s while the other two rated their hunts as a 1 and a 2 noting only a few birds flying that day and a conflict with another hunter during their hunt. The survey effort this year is intended to get a better sense of waterfowl hunters’ success and satisfaction on the Wildlife Area and will culminate with a mail survey at the end of the season to gather their opinions on a variety of topics concerning waterfowl hunting management on the area.

BPA Cost Share Documentation: Wildlife Area Manager Calkins documented cost share information for Federal Fiscal Year 2009 into BPA’s PISCES contract management system. The information includes the value of non BPA contributions to management of the Shillapoo Wildlife Area. Cost share items this year included both cash and in-kind items provided by WDFW as well as other organizations including volunteer groups.

Cowlitz Wildlife Area
Spears Unit Abandoned Vehicle Removal: After a long process with the help of our Law Enforcement personnel and a lot of persistence, the three abandoned vehicles on the Spears Unit were finally removed. These vehicles had no ownership records or VIN numbers with which to track down the owners, so it was necessary to bring in the Lewis County code Enforcement Officer to verify that the vehicles were abandoned. A Junk Vehicle Verification Affidavit form was issued for each vehicle and then notarized / validated by the Department of Licensing. Only then could we contact a hulk hauler to remove the vehicles. The Verification form serves as the title so the cars can be sold as as scrap.

Spears Unit Unlawful Dumping: A very large dumpsite was discovered on the Spears Unit, while the abandoned vehicles mentioned above were being removed. The volume of trash would have filled the bed of a full size truck and contained household garbage. CWA staff systematically searched the garbage for about an hour looking for identifying information. The individuals who dumped the trash worked very hard to disguise their identities cutting names of receipts and avoiding placing mail items in the trash. However, persistence again paid off and the incriminating evidence has been forwarded to Enforcement.

Brim Bar Unit: CWA staff met with the Lower Columbia fish recovery biologist, Cowlitz tribe, WDFW Habitat Program biologist, Tacoma Power and Inter-fluve engineer on the 90 percent as-built of the Brim Bar Side channel design. This is a Cowlitz Tribe fish recovery project, which includes new spawning channels, woody debris placement, and engineered log jams. The project is located on the Wildlife Area Brim Bar Unit.

Klickitat Wildlife Area
Town Meeting: Wildlife Area Manager Van Leuven was invited to attend an informal meeting with the mayor of Goldendale, a reporter from the Goldendale Sentinel, and a number of city residents. Residents of Goldendale have been openly discussing the presence/problem of deer within the city, and people are sharply divided on what should be done, if anything. Some people enjoy the deer and feed them while others are angry with the deer eating garden plants, and many people are concerned about the traffic hazard they present. Officer Bolton has discussed this issue with the city several times. Manager Van Leuven shared observations with the group regarding a study of suburban deer in Clark County, provided the group with copies of the "Wildlife Feeding . . . Just Say No!" handout, and requested the public library to add the two books by Russell Link: Living with Wildlife in the Pacific Northwest and Landscaping for Wildlife in the Pacific Northwest to their collection.

Seasonal Closure: As part of the Wildlife Area management plan for seasonal closures beginning November 1, Wildlife Area manager Van Leuven closed the gates on South Breaks Road, Old Headquarters Road, and Anderson Road on the Wildlife Area.

DIVERSITY DIVISION

Wolf Public Meeting: Region 5 staff attended the Vancouver public meeting on the draft wolf management and conservation plan. Approximately 75 members of the public were in attendance and several gave verbal testimony for and against the draft plan. This meeting is part of a series of 12 public meetings held throughout the state for public input regarding the draft plan. The draft plan is open to public comment until January 8, 2010 and it is available on the WDFW website.

Columbia White Tail Deer Relocation: Region 5 staff worked with the WDFW vet to finalize a deer handling protocol for the upcoming relocation of deer in the spring of 2010. A new process for handling the deer is being developed to improve animal care and survival. Ear tags were also ordered for the deer to keep track of individuals during the transplant and release