Habitat - Wildlife Area Management
Date Published: November 2006
Number of Pages: 118
Author(s): Dale Swedberg
Purchased in 1974, with Pittman-Robertson Federal Aid funds, the 260-acre Driscoll Island Wildlife Area became the focal point of Canada goose management in the Oroville area. The primary objective was to provide goose nesting and foraging habitat. In order to provide better goose foraging habitat the island needed to be grazed because the Canada geese prefer short grasses for foraging and to watch for approaching predators. Additionally, by providing grazed grass pastures next to the rivers, the Canada geese would be lured onto the island for foraging rather than private property in the area. In addition to goose habitat management, other activities include the management for upland game birds by planting grain crops and fencing riparian areas to protect the trees and shrubs, needed for cover, from livestock use. Also wildlife-oriented recreation such as hunting and fishing were further reasons for the purchase. In 2006 Eyhott Island was purchased with federal grant funding - Okanogan Similkameen Conservation Corridor Project and added to the Driscoll Island Wildlife Area. Eyhott Island is immediately south of Driscoll Island separated by a narrow channel connecting the east and west river channels bordering the two islands. Having virtually the same vegetation types and topography as Driscoll Island, plans are to manage Eyhott Island virtually the same as Driscoll Island.
Since the arrival of Europeans, Driscoll and Eyhott Islands have been farmed and/or grazed. Prior to the Europeans, the islands were inhabited by Native Americans for camping and gathering of such foods as freshwater mussels and fish. Dan Driscoll first settled on Driscoll Island in 1869; in fact one of the cabins he built is still standing on the island.
After purchasing Driscoll Island in 1974, WDFW continued grazing on the island to maintain short grazed grasses for Canada geese forage. Additionally farming of grains was continued to provide feed for upland game birds. Presently only farming for alfalfa and grass hay production occurs. Livestock grazing has been discontinued since 2001.
The primary management concerns and public issues identified in the Driscoll â€“ Eyhott Islands Wildlife Area Plan are:
- Continue to work towards getting a bridge constructed to Driscoll Island for easier administrative and public access
- Continue aggressive weed control
- Complete GIS project for Driscoll Island and add Eyhott Island, develop a Geodatabase for both
- Assess shrub survival planted for WHIP project and replace shrubs that died
- Check and maintain shrub watering system
- Remove all old scrap iron and metal
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. 2006. Driscoll Island Wildlife Area Management Plan. Wildlife Management Program, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Olympia. 118 pp.
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