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Viewing category: Bandon Marsh NWR
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July 3, 2015
Northwest Youth Corps Improving Habitat at Bandon Marsh
Ten young adults from Coos Bay and two crew leaders were hired through the Northwest Youth Corps to work at Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge on habitat improvement projects. The crew will work a total of five weeks this summer at the Refuge. Northwest Youth Corps programs combine education and job skill training with outdoor adventure for ages 16 to 19. With the guidance of experienced field staff, youth crew members work on conservation, reforestation, and recreation projects, while developing leadership skills and learning how to work as a team. The Corps crew at Bandon Marsh Refuge has been pulling invasive plants on the Refuge and hand digging new tidal channels within the
Ni-les’tun Unit. The channels will both reduce mosquito habitat and improve the overall function of the marsh as a fish nursery and as habitat for shorebirds and waterfowl.

“The Northwest Youth Corps is doing a great job helping us maintain valuable wildlife habitat, and even learning about wildlife management,” says Bill Bridgeland, Refuge Biologist.

In addition to monitoring for mosquitoes and providing treatment when necessary, Refuge staff is continuing to dig new tidal channels to reduce mosquito production on the marsh. Over the past three weeks, over 2,000 feet of new tidal channels have been dug using the Refuge’s excavator.

Refuge staff have been invited and will provide an update on marsh improvement efforts to control mosquito production during the next Coos County Vector Assessment and Control Advisory Committee meeting. The Vector Committee meeting will be held at the Ni-les’tun unit overlook on the Bandon Marsh Refuge on July 16 at 5:30 PM and it is open to the public.

For updates on the Integrated Marsh Management Approach at Bandon Marsh Refuge:

Coos County Health and Wellness – Public Health division:
Posted by the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex Staff at 3:25 PM
June 2, 2015
Low Numbers of Mosquitos at Bandon Marsh Wildlife Refuge
Bandon, Ore. – In April, monitoring began for mosquito larvae in the Ni-les’tun Unit of the Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge. Monitoring has detected very few saltmarsh mosquito larvae within the marsh compared to last year. The low number of mosquitoes this year is a direct result of the intensive efforts last year to kill larvae before they could develop into adults and fly off and the excavation of almost 23 miles of new tidal channels that drained most of mosquito breeding habitat. Monitoring will continue throughout the summer to identify if there is mosquito breeding habitat that requires larvicide treatment.

“We fully expect to see further declines in mosquito numbers as we dig additional channels this summer to drain remaining mosquito habitat,” says Eric Mruz, Bandon Marsh Refuge Manager. “These additional channels will also improve tidal exchange within the marsh, advancing the restoration process by improving habitat for other species dependent on the tidal marsh.”

Funded by the Service and under contract with Coos Health and Wellness, Vector Disease Control International (VDCI) is conducting the monitoring and larvicide treatments. As was done in 2014, when larvae reach a predetermined threshold density they are treated with the larvicide Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis, or Bti, by hand or backpack spreader. Bti is a naturally derived larvicide that kills mosquito larvae but is non-toxic to bees, moths, butterflies, fish, mammals, and birds when applied.

VDCI conducts weekly monitoring of adult mosquitoes by setting specially designed traps in seven locations in and near the refuge. After three trapping nights, only a single adult saltmarsh mosquito has been captured, along with larger numbers of other mosquito species that do not breed in saltmarsh. Last year in May, traps set in the same locations captured up to 160 saltmarsh mosquitoes in one trap set for one night. The most abundant adult mosquitos captured this season are a species of forest-breeding mosquito typical to the area, and not the aggressive saltmarsh species.

Saltmarsh mosquito eggs are stimulated to hatch when they are inundated by semi-monthly high tides, and there have been three hatches so far this season, each of which was treated with Bti by VDCI technicians. The most recent treatment covered an estimated 13 acres of widely scattered ponds with low densities of larvae. This compares to the maximum of over 250 acres needing treatment last year.

In addition to monitoring and treatment, channel digging continues to be a priority for reducing mosquito production on the marsh. As the monitoring reveals where mosquito breeding pools still occur, channels will be designed and excavated to drain those pools when practical, further reducing the capacity of the marsh to support saltmarsh mosquitoes. Hand digging of additional channels has been ongoing this spring. Machine excavation of additional drainage channels will begin the second week of June.

Refuge Manager Eric Mruz or other refuge staff will be joining the refuge friends group, Shoreline Education for Awareness, at a booth at the Bandon farmer’s market the first Friday of every month and welcomes questions about the Refuge.

Posted by the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex Staff at 9:56 AM
March 23, 2015
Coquille Point South Stairway OPEN to Public
The stairway leading from the Coquille Point parking lot down to Bandon Beach has been reopened to the public after being closed since October 2014. The stairs were closed after concerns were raised about their structural stability due to geologic shifting and instability of the headland. The closure of this popular stairway, which is regularly used by local residents and visitors, was necessary to ensure visitor safety.

Following the closure, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) awarded a contract to a structural engineering firm to inspect the stairway and provide a report outlining long term options for repair or replacement. The report, received yesterday, concluded that there was no evidence of imminent large-scale slope instability that would cause sudden failure of the stairway. However, it is anticipated that the slopes and staircase will continue to be subject to slow, long-term creep and shifting. Reopening of the stairs was determined to be safe at this time.

The Service is evaluating the long term options provided by the engineering firm and has made it a top priority to move forward with repairs or replacement.

The Coquille Point headland and the adjacent rocks and islands are part of Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge, which provides habitat for coastal and marine wildlife.
Posted by the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex Staff at 10:07 AM
February 12, 2015
Update on Mosquito Management for 2015 at Bandon Marsh
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Coos County Public Health will continue to implement their Mosquito Management Plan for salt marsh mosquitoes at the restored Ni’les-tun Unit of the Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge in 2015. Monitoring for mosquito larvae is planned to begin in April depending on weather conditions, before the date when larvae begin appearing. As was done last year, if larvae reach a predetermined threshold density they will be treated with the larvicide Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis, or Bti, by hand or backpack spreader. Bti is a naturally derived larvicide that kills mosquito larvae but is non-toxic to bees, moths, butterflies, fish, mammals, and birds when applied. It was used last year to prevent twelve separate salt marsh mosquito flyoffs.
Additionally, the Service will monitor the effectiveness of the 80,000 linear feet of new tidal channels that were dug in 2014 to drain about 80% of all the mosquito breeding pools inadvertently created during marsh restoration. Based on monitoring results, the Service will dig additional channels as needed to drain more mosquito breeding pools.
“The goal is to eliminate the vast majority of the pools that produce mosquitoes so future larvicide application will no longer be necessary,” said Acting Project Leader Rebecca Chuck.
Last year, monitoring for mosquito larvae and adults continued into October. The plan for 2015 is to again track active mosquitoes until the end of the breeding season. Mosquito eggs currently dormant in the marsh are expected to start hatching around mid-April.
“Because of the Bti treatments and breeding habitat reduction that occurred last year, we expect only a small fraction of last year’s numbers of mosquitoes to hatch this year,” said Chuck.
The Service has provided funding to Coos County Public Health for monitoring and application of larvicide. The County issued a request for proposals from mosquito control companies to provide monitoring and treatment for mosquitoes on the Refuge. The deadline for proposal submission is 2/26/2015 at 2 pm. The County expects to award a contract in March. That contractor will work closely with Coos County Public Health and new Bandon Marsh Refuge Manager Eric Mruz to implement this year’s plan.
For updates on the Integrated Marsh Management Approach at Bandon Marsh Refuge:
Coos County Public Health:
Posted by the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex Staff at 9:43 AM
September 30, 2014
Service Expands Waterfowl Hunting at Bandon Marsh NWR
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is expanding opportunities to hunt waterfowl on Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge). Waterfowl hunting has been offered on a portion of Bandon Marsh Refuge since it was established in 1983, but now the opportunity for the public to hunt waterfowl on the Refuge is being expanded to include an additional 286 acres on the Ni-les'tun Unit. "An expanded hunting program provides a quality wildlife-dependent opportunity and helps fulfill refuge objectives developed as part of the Bandon Marsh Refuge 15-year Management Plan," stated Roy Lowe, Project Leader for the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex. Lowe further stated that "Bandon Marsh Refuge is currently one of the only available public waterfowl hunting lands within the Coquille River watershed and provides hunters with an opportunity to harvest geese, ducks, and coots."

The portion of the Bandon Marsh Refuge west of Highway 101 (Bandon Marsh Unit) and outside of Bandon city limits will continue to be open for waterfowl hunting seven days a week during all authorized waterfowl seasons. Hunters will access lands west of Highway 101 by using the Refuge’s paved public parking lot located on the west side of Riverside Drive. They may also access the area by boat during higher tides from the Coquille River. Hunters should be aware that the southern 1/3 of this part of the Refuge is closed to hunting because it falls within the city limits of Bandon. The southern boundary of the public hunting area is posted with "Public Hunting Area" signs.

The latest expansion of the waterfowl hunting program occurs on refuge lands located east of U.S. Highway 101 known as the Ni-les'tun Unit. Waterfowl hunting will be allowed on 286 acres of restored tidal marsh. Hunters will be able to access the area by foot from the refuge’s parking lot along North Bank Lane and by boat from the Coquille River east of the mouth of Fahys Creek. In accordance with state waterfowl seasons, goose, duck and coot hunting in the Ni-les’tun Unit will open on October 11, 2014 and will be permitted on the unit three days per week: Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday. Goose hunting on the Bandon Marsh Unit will open October 4, and duck and coot hunting on October 11, 2014. A previous version of the news release stated an incorrect opening date for waterfowl hunting seasons. Hunters can access the unit two hours before sunrise and remain up to one hour after sunset.

State hunting license requirements apply for all waterfowl hunting on the Refuge. Refuge regulations prohibit the construction of permanent blinds on any portion of the Refuge; however, hunters may use portable blinds or build temporary blinds from on-site dead vegetation or driftwood. Temporary blinds and decoys must be removed from the Refuge following each day's hunt, and only federally approved non-toxic shot may be transported and used on the Refuge. The 2014-2015 Oregon Game Bird Regulations for waterfowl hunting can be reviewed at For more information or a map of the areas open to hunting, visit the Bandon Marsh Refuge website ( or call the Refuge at 541-867-4550.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit
Posted by the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex Staff at 11:14 AM
July 8, 2014
Construction to reduce mosquito habitat moving forward

July 7, 2014

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: Megan Nagel, 503-231-6123,
Ducks Unlimited: Devin Blankenship, 916-890-3607,

Construction to Reduce Mosquito Breeding Habitat Moving Forward at Bandon Marsh

Bandon, Ore. – Ducks Unlimited and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will begin work to add tidal channels to drain mosquito breeding habitat at Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge on July 15. This work is part of Service’s Integrated Marsh Management Approach to control mosquitoes at the refuge through long-term habitat modification and mosquito control treatments.

Ducks Unlimited awarded a contract to Magnus Pacific to construct 46,000 linear feet of new tidal channels on the Ni-les'tun Unit of the Refuge beginning this month. Small channels up to two feet wide by two feet deep will drain breeding pools that salt marsh mosquitoes require to breed. This will also improve tidal flow within the marsh. Excavation equipment to be used will be specialized to allow operation on soft marsh surfaces without causing significant damage or creating new depressions.

"Improving tidal flow throughout the restored tidal marsh in the Ni-les'tun Unit of the Refuge will greatly reduce mosquito breeding habitat while improving fish and wildlife habitat," said Refuge Project Leader Roy Lowe.

Ducks Unlimited has been working closely with Refuge staff to design and engineer the new channel system, with funds provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board. Construction is scheduled to be completed by mid-September. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will continue to work with Coos County Public Health to monitor and control mosquitoes on Bandon Marsh using the larvicide Bti until permanent habitat modifications are completed and are properly functioning.

More information on the Integrated Marsh Management Approach can be found on the refuge’s mosquito web page
Posted by the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex Staff at 11:45 AM
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Site last updated March 8, 2011