Search News Releases

Search mode:
"and" "or"
Search in:
Recent News Releases
(Last 30 days)
All News Releases
Emergency Fishing Rule Changes
Sport Fishing Rule Changes
Fish and Shellfish Health Advisories & Closures
Marine Biotoxin Bulletin
Beach closures due to red tide and other marine toxins
Local Fish Consumption Advisories
Health advisories due to contaminants
Fish Facts for Healthy Nutrition
Information on mercury, PCBs and other contaminants in fish
News Releases Archive
2017
Jan  Feb  Mar  Apr 
May  Jun  Jul  Aug 
Sep  Oct  Nov  Dec 
2016
Jan  Feb  Mar  Apr 
May  Jun  Jul  Aug 
Sep  Oct  Nov  Dec 
2015
Jan  Feb  Mar  Apr 
May  Jun  Jul  Aug 
Sep  Oct  Nov  Dec 
MORE ARCHIVES...
 

WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE     Print Version
NEWS RELEASE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

ARCHIVED NEWS RELEASE
This document is provided for archival purposes only.
Archived documents do not reflect current WDFW regulations or policy and may contain factual inaccuracies.

  Digg it!  StumbleUpon  Reddit

December 03, 2015
Contact: WDFW, Gerry Hayes, (360) 902-2371;
National Park Service, Kathy Steichen, (360) 569-6562;
Conservation Northwest, Chase Gunnell, (206) 465-8591

WDFW, partners reintroduce fishers into south Cascades

WDFW, partners reintroduce fishers into south Cascades

OLYMPIA – Biologists today released seven fishers into Washington’s south Cascades mountains, where the reclusive, cat-sized mammal hasn’t been seen for more than 70 years.

The fisher is one of the larger members of the weasel family, which includes otters, badgers and wolverines. Fishers were eliminated from Washington by the mid-1900s through over-trapping and have been listed as a state-endangered species since 1998.

Today’s reintroduction was made possible through collaboration between the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), the National Park Service (NPS), Conservation Northwest and myriad other partners. These organizations previously worked together from 2008 to 2010 to release 90 fishers in Olympic National Park, where the species is now widely distributed and successfully reproducing. 

“We’re excited to begin releasing fishers to another area of Washington where they lived historically,” said Penny Becker, wildlife diversity division manager for WDFW. “With abundant habitat, we think they’ll do well here.”

The fishers released today were captured in central British Columbia, similar to those released in Olympic National Park. Each of the three males and four females was confirmed to be in good health and equipped with a radio transmitter to allow biologists to track the animal’s movements.

The department and NPS will coordinate the monitoring of all fishers. Conservation Northwest will support ongoing fisher monitoring in the area with volunteers and remote cameras through its Citizen Wildlife Monitoring Project. Updates about the released fishers will be posted on WDFW’s webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/fisher/reintroduction_cascades.html.

Over the next two to three years, approximately 80 fishers will be released in the south Cascades on federal lands, including at Mount Rainier National Park. Releases in the north Cascades are scheduled tentatively for 2017 or 2018.

“It’s thrilling to see these animals back in the south Cascades,” said Randy King, superintendent for Mount Rainier National Park. “We’re looking forward to the first release in Mount Rainier National Park.”

Fishers are native to the forests of Washington, including the Cascade mountain range. This elusive carnivore preys on various small mammals – mountain beavers, squirrels and snowshoe hares – and is one of the few predators of porcupines.

“With fishers returning to the Cascades, we’re restoring an important piece of the ecosystem and our shared natural heritage,” said Mitch Friedman, executive director of Conservation Northwest. “That’s something all Washingtonians should be proud of.”

Re-establishing viable populations of fishers in the Olympic and Cascade mountain ranges are important steps to downlisting the species in Washington state. 

The state recovery plan and the implementation plan for the Cascade fisher reintroductions can be found on WDFW’s webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/fisher/reintroduction_cascades.html.

Sources of funding for the reintroductions include the National Park Service, Conservation Northwest, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, state wildlife grants, Washington state personalized license plates, and funds from other partners.

More information about fishers and photos from today’s release are available on WDFW’s webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/fisher/reintroduction_cascades.html.