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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
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Southwest Washington Wildlife Reports Archives
October 2006

October 1, 2006

REGION 5 WILDLIFE AREAS

Progress on Shillapoo Projects: It has been a busy summer and fall for Assistant Manager Hauswald and technicians Boylan and Ridenour. Field mowing conducted to maintain Canada Goose winter habitat is nearing completion. Wetland basins have also been either mowed or disced to prepare them for wintering birds and as part of a program to control reed canary grass and reestablish native plants. We have also been contracting labor crews from the Larch Mt. correction facility to remove large thickets of blackberry along Lower River Road and Lake River to make way for future enhancement work. We are also working on replacing fencing in some locations along Lower River Road. As the fences are replaced they will be moved back from the edge of the roadway. This is being done because the fences were essentially on the edge of the pavement and were often clipped by passing vehicles on the narrow road. Moving the fences back should also allow for some limited shoulder parking in a few areas providing some relief when parking areas overflow particularly in the spring during popular fishing seasons.

DIVERSITY DIVISION

Western Pond Turtle: This seasons field activities are coming to an end as we have collected 56 juvenile turtles through the head start program. Drought conditions are believed to be a factor in the success of several nests.

We are currently working with the Bonneville Power Administration to determine if funding will be available for fiscal 2007. Current indications are that this will be the final year of BPA funding and funding levels will be reduced from past years.

Bald Eagle Management: WDFW received a draft bald eagle management plan for the Columbia Gateway project that is being proposed by the Port of Vancouver. The bald eagle plan is directly tied to a broader mitigation plan that is being negotiated between WDFW, private conservation groups and the Port.

GAME DIVISION

Region 5 Deer Herd Composition Surveys: Black-tail and mule deer herd composition surveys have been completed in Region 5. The surveys are conducted annually during the period beginning August 15 and continuing through September 30th. These data are used to estimate the annual ratio of fawns to does throughout the Region. This productivity data is then used as one of the inputs into the Region's Sex - Age - Kill method of population estimation.

Wildlife Program Staff along with volunteers actively conduct surveys as well as documenting any deer seen during other work (or play) activities during this time period. Please submit records of any deer observations that may have been made to Biologist Holman, at the Region 5 office. Summaries of this year's effort will be included in future reports. Thanks to all those that helped out with the deer surveys, especially the members of the Yacolt Burn Sportsman's Club.

Pheasant Opener: Acting Program Manager Calkins and Technician Boylan surveyed the usage levels at the Woodland Bottoms and Shillapoo release sites on opening day of the Western Washington Pheasant season. Car counts are used as an index of hunter numbers that are evaluated to determine the future allocation of birds between the sites. Boylan tallied a total of 129 cars at Shillapoo 76 of which were at the South Unit and 53 at the Vancouver Lake unit. Boylan heard complaints from a few hunters that others had started hunting a few minutes early which is a common complaint at Pheasant release sites. Calkins found 23 cars at the Woodland Bottoms site. At this location birds could be seen walking through the fields as the hunters worked the brush lines. Also, cattle were present on part of the site and we recommend that hunters avoid the cattle pasture area until the herd is removed. Two hunters in this area had their hunt disrupted when their dog became interested in the cows two of which chased the dog off.

October 9, 2006

REGION 5 WILDLIFE AREAS

Shillapoo Watchable Wildllife: Flocks of Sandhill Cranes using the wildlife area have now been joined by Canada Geese beginning to arrive in large numbers. Widgeon and Shovelers have been spotted in the area indicating that migrating ducks are begining to arrive from the North. Those seeking to view the birds should be aware that the upland bird season is open and they are advised to wear blaze orange clothing as is required for hunters.

GAME DIVISION

Vancouver Wildlife League Presentation: Acting Program Manager Calkins spoke to the Vancouver Wildlife League on October 4th. Topics discussed included changes to deer hunting seasons particularly in the Glenwood and Battle Ground game management units; Hunter access program legislation the agency is proposing to the legislature and ongoing management programs in the Shillapoo Wildlife Area. Several of the group members are not pleased with the changes in the Battle Ground unit and concern was also voiced toward the new firearm restriction in the Trout Lake area and separation of the Deer and Elk muzzleloader seasons in the West Klickitat GMU.

The " Dusky" goose test.
The " Dusky" goose test was administered in Longview and 24 people attended to take the test.

SW Washington Goose Test: The " Dusky" goose test was administered in Longview and 24 people attended to take the test. One father/son team was disappointed to learn that the process involved home study and viewing a video before taking the test. The process for hunting geese in Zone 2a and 2b is outlined on pages 11 and 12 of the 2006-07 Migratory Waterfowl and Upland Game Seasons. All hunters must complete the test and have permit in hand before hunting in these zones. Permit holders from 2005 that did not get their permit invalidated will receive a permit in the mail. This hunt program has reduced the harvest of the Dusky Canada goose and permitted liberal harvest of other goose sub species.

October 16, 2006

REGION 5 WILDLIFE AREAS

Proud young hunter with his buck.
Proud young hunter with his buck.

Klickitat Wildlife Area:
Deer Opening Weekend:
District Biologists Miller and Anderson and Acting Wildlife Area Manager Van Lueven contacted hunters on the Wildlife Area to insure that people were aware of the regulation change and the fire restriction. 143 hunters were contacted and all were aware of the regulation change, thanks to a great effort by the District 9 staff , local newspapers and Olympia/Vancouver staff help. Only one hunter was unhappy with the new regs. Three bucks and one doe were checked during the weekend - a low harvest rate. It will take a year or two of the new regulations to see the improvement in buck numbers and harvest is weighed heavily on resident animals during opening weekend. Of the deer examined, three were yearlings and one was 2.5 years old when harvested. The number of 3 point bucks available to hunters will likely increase as deer from nearby areas migrate to the Wildlife Area.

DIVERSITY DIVISION

Ridgefield Birdfest: District Biologist Anderson and Acting Program Manager Calkins staffed the WDFW booth at the Ridgefield Birdfest event on Saturday and Sunday. The event highlights the importance of the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge and Wildlife to the community. Anderson and Calkins fielded questions on a wide variety of topics.

GAME DIVISION

Yacolt Check Station: Biologist Holman and Volunteers Lisa Renan and John Arnold representing Eyes In The Woods staffed a check station near Yacolt. A total of 727 hunter checks were made with 12 bucks being checked. Overall Deer harvest for opening weekend appears to be down due to very dry conditions on Saturday which turned to extremely wet conditions on Sunday.

SCIENCE DIVISION

Dead Bird Responses: Biologist Holman responded to two reports of dead waterfowl in the Vancouver Area. These included one call about a mallard near the Vancouver Mall and the other was a report of dead goose on Vancouver Lake. The birds were collected and will be submitted to the USFWS lab to determine the cause of death which includes testing for avian influenza viruses.

October 30, 2006

GAME DIVISION

Elk Composition Surveys
Elk Composition Surveys:
WDFW biologist Woodin tracking the flight and entering data into a laptop computer during one of the flights.

Elk Composition Surveys: Regional Wildlife Staff conducted aerial elk composition surveys over the Siouxon (572), Yale (554), Toutle (556) and Margaret (524) Game Management Units on the 5th and 6th of September. The Ryderwood (530) and Coweeman (550) Game Management Units were surveyed later after the early archery season. Weather conditions were generally suitable with limited fog and calm - moderate winds during the three survey flights except during the Ryderwood flight when extremely warm conditions may have resulted in fewer total elk seen which can be expected as the elk keep to forested habitat once the sun rises.

Results of these surveys will be included with additional data and used as a portion of the inputs into the Region's Sex - Age -Kill model of elk population estimation. Results of the surveys are as follows:

Yale 40 bulls / 20 calves per 100 cow elk N=16
Siouxon 23 Bulls / 26 calves per 100 cow elk N=58
Toutle 28 Bulls / 33 calves per 100 cow elk N=266
Margaret 44 bulls/ 26 calves per 100 cows N=358
Ryderwood 29 bulls/ 41 calves per 100 cows N=87
Coweeman 34 bulls/ 53 calves per 100 cows N=171
Elk Composition Surveys