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 in Category: Bandon Marsh NWR
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 in Category: Bandon Marsh NWR
April 28, 2015
Paddle Nestucca Bay Refuge
Interested in getting on the water this summer? We’re launching an inaugural series of four guided paddle trips at Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge, near Pacific City. From the Little Nestucca River to the bay, expansive mudflats surrounding the refuge’s Two Rivers Peninsula offer plenty to see from a kayak or canoe.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service invites you to explore Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge with a series of four guided canoe and kayak trips from June to September. These roughly two-hour trips are free and will take visitors through the heart of Nestucca Bay, all the while learning about its wildlife and natural history. Specifically the trip takes you through refuge wetlands into Nestucca Bay, passing alongside the spruce- and alder-covered Two Rivers Peninsula. As the Little Nestucca winds toward the bay, Cape Kiwanda and Haystack Rock materialize in the distance. Participants must provide their own canoe or kayak for each trip. During the summer, this area often has unpredictable winds and waves. For this reason we do not recommend this paddle trip for beginners; experience is strongly recommended. For your safety, please dress appropriately for paddling in all weather conditions. Wearing a personal flotation device (PFD) is mandatory.
For more information or to register for a trip contact Peter Pearsall: firstname.lastname@example.org, 541-270-0610. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service can provide binoculars, field guides, and PFDs to use during the trip if needed. Trips are limited in size, and scheduled on a first-come first-serve basis; therefore, you must call or email ahead to make a reservation. Please include the amount of boats in your party when making the reservation. Once you are registered, we will send out additional details via email. All trips will launch within 15 minutes of the time listed. Visit our website www.fws.gov/oregoncoast for updates and space availability.
Sat. June 6 5-7 PM
Fri. June 26 9-11 AM
Thurs. July 23 6:30-8:30 PM
Wed. Sept. 23 9:30-11:30 AM
Posted by the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex Staff at 11:12 AM in Category: Nestucca Bay NWR
April 23, 2015
Paddle Trips Announced for 2015
Paddling the Siletz Bay National Wildlife Refuge
Interested in getting on the water this summer? The sinuous channels and tidal sloughs at Siletz Bay National Wildlife Refuge are a great place to experience nature from a kayak or canoe. Multiple launch sites throughout the Siletz Bay area allow access to the refuge, including a public beach in the Historic Taft District and the privately owned Coyote Rock RV Resort and Marina.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service invites you to explore Siletz Bay National Wildlife Refuge with a series of twelve guided paddle trips from June through September. These roughly two-hour trips will take visitors through the heart of Siletz Bay Refuge, all the while learning about its wildlife and natural history.
Participants must provide their own canoe or kayak for each trip. During the summer, the area of Siletz River nearest the mouth of the bay often has unpredictable winds and waves. For this reason we do not recommend this paddle trip for beginners; experience is strongly recommended. For your safety, please dress appropriately for paddling in all weather conditions. Wearing a personal flotation device (PFD) is mandatory.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service can provide binoculars, field guides, and PFDs to use during the trip if needed. Trips are limited in size, and scheduled on a first-come first-serve basis; therefore, you must call or e-mail ahead to make a reservation. Please include the amount of boats in your party when making the reservation. Once you are registered, we will send out additional information regarding the trips. All trips will launch within 15 minutes of the time listed. Visit our website events calendar www.fws.gov/oregoncoast for updates and space availability.
Siletz Bay is one of numerous estuaries located along the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway. On either side of Highway 101, starched skeleton trees jut forth from the estuary and are reminiscent of a time when the salt marsh was diked for pasture. Osprey, Red-tailed Hawk, and occasionally Bald Eagle can be seen roosting at the top of these snags. A variety of estuarine-dependent birds including Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, and some species of waterfowl can be seen foraging in the tidally influenced waters. Songbird choruses accompany paddlers throughout their trip, including Purple Martin, Song Sparrow, Marsh and Pacific Wren, Pacific-slope Flycatcher, and Cedar Waxwing.
For 10 years, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has offered interpretive-guided canoe and kayak tours during summer months on the Siletz Bay Refuge. For more information about the paddle route on the Siletz Bay or to make a reservation contact Peter Pearsall: email@example.com, 541-270-0610.
Wed. June 10 8-10 AM
Thurs. June 11 9-11 AM
Tues. July 7 6-8 PM
Fri. July 10 9-11 AM
Tues. July 21 5:30-7:30 PM
Wed. July 22 6-8 PM
Wed. Aug 5 5:30-7:30 PM
Thurs. Aug. 6 6:30-8:30 PM
Sat. Aug. 8 9-11 AM
Fri. Aug. 21 6-8 PM
Sun. Sept. 20 6-8 PM
Tues. Sept. 22 9-11 AM
Posted by the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex Staff at 9:29 AM in Category: Siletz Bay NWR
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 in Category: Bandon Marsh NWR
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: www.fws.gov/oregoncoast/bandonmarsh/Mosquito.html.
Coos County Public Health:
Posted by the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex Staff at 9:43 AM in Category: Bandon Marsh NWR
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