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September 30, 2014
Service Opens Duck Hunting at Nestucca Bay NWR
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is providing an opportunity for hunters to harvest ducks and coots on a portion of Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge). "Duck hunting has been not been offered on any part of Nestucca Bay Refuge since it was established in 1991, but now we are opening 141 acres to this wildlife-dependent opportunity which helps fulfill refuge objectives developed as part of the Nestucca Bay Refuge Comprehensive Conservation Plan," stated Roy Lowe, Project Leader for the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex.

Specifically, the Service will begin allowing hunting of ducks and coots on October 11, 2014 on 108 acres of Brooten Marsh and 33 acres at the mouth of Little Nestucca River of the Nestucca Bay Refuge. A previous version of the news release stated an incorrect opening date for duck hunting season. The Service will allow hunting on these refuge lands seven days per week in accordance with State and Federal regulations. Hunters can access refuge lands two hours before sunrise and up to one hour after sunset. Goose hunting will remain closed on all lands within Nestucca Bay Refuge to provide sanctuary for wintering Canada geese.

Brooten Marsh is a salt marsh located where the Nestucca River joins the Little Nestucca River. Hunters can access the area either by boat or walking in from a pull-out along Brooten Road near the southeast corner of the marsh. Access to the mouth of the Little Nestucca River is only possible by boat.

State hunting license requirements apply to duck and coot 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 can be reviewed at www.dfw.state.or.us/resources/hunting/waterfowl. For more information or to view a map of the areas open to hunting, visit the Nestucca Bay Refuge website (www.fws.gov/oregoncoast/nestuccabay/index.htm) or call the Refuge Manager 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 www.fws.gov.
Posted by the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex Staff at 11:19 AM in Category: Nestucca Bay NWR

Service Opens Waterfowl Hunting at Siletz Bay NWR
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is providing an opportunity for hunters to harvest waterfowl on a portion of Siletz Bay National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge). "Waterfowl hunting has been not been offered on any part of Siletz Bay Refuge since it was established in 1991, but now we are opening 199 acres to this wildlife-dependent opportunity which helps fulfill refuge objectives developed as part of the Siletz Bay Refuge Comprehensive Conservation Plan," stated Roy Lowe, Project Leader for the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex.

Specifically, the Service will begin allowing hunting of ducks, geese and coots October seven days per week on refuge-owned lands that are west of Highway 101. These lands consist of 80 acres of salt marsh where the Siletz River empties into the bay. All waterfowl hunting will follow state seasons, with duck and coot season beginning October 11 and goose hunting on October 18. A previous version of the news release stated an incorrect opening date for waterfowl hunting seasons. Waterfowl hunting has occurred on the state-owned tidelands of Siletz Bay west of U.S Highway 101 for many decades. The tidelands are managed by the Oregon Division of State Lands and are legally open to hunting so long as the hunter remains 200 yards or more from the shoreline/road. The Service has established a 100-yard safety zone to prohibit hunting on refuge property that extends westward from the refuge property line on the west side of the housing development of Siletz Keys.

The Service will allow the hunting of waterfowl three days per week on 119 acres of refuge lands that are east of Highway 101 and south of Millport Slough. Specifically, hunters will be allowed to hunt ducks, geese, and coots on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday. Hunters accessing lands east of U.S. Highway 101 and south of Millport Slough will access the site by using a small parking area and trail located on South Millport Slough Road or by boat. In the future, the existing parking area and trail will be improved by the Service to support waterfowl hunting. To minimize potential conflict between refuge users and reduce associated safety issues, lands south of Millport Slough that are open to waterfowl hunting will remain closed to wildlife observation, photography, and interpretation. Hunters accessing lands west of U.S. Highway 101 via foot will be directed to use caution since no parking or official access point will be provided by the Refuge.

State hunting license requirements apply to waterfowl and coot 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. Hunters can access refuge lands two hours before sunrise and up to one hour after sunset. The 2014-2015 Oregon Game Bird Regulations can be reviewed at www.dfw.state.or.us/resources/hunting/waterfowl. For more information or to view a map of the areas open to hunting visit the Siletz Bay Refuge website (www.fws.gov/oregoncoast/siletzbay/index.htm) or call the Refuge Manager 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 www.fws.gov.
Posted by the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex Staff at 11:16 AM in Category: Siletz Bay NWR

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 www.dfw.state.or.us/resources/hunting/waterfowl. For more information or a map of the areas open to hunting, visit the Bandon Marsh Refuge website (www.fws.gov/oregoncoast/bandonmarsh/index.htm) 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 www.fws.gov.
Posted by the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex Staff at 11:14 AM in Category: Bandon Marsh NWR
August 8, 2014
Coquille Point South Stair to Temporarily Re-open August 8
Coquille Point South Stairway to Re-open Temporarily Following Structural Engineering Report

Bandon, Ore. – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service re-opened the south staircase at Coquille Point today following the advice of a structural engineering firm. The stairway was closed July 23 after an inspection revealed that the stairs had suffered further structural problems as a result of geologic shifting on the point. During the two week closure, the path and second set of stairs on the north end of Coquille Point at the end of 8th street remained open, allowing Coquille Point visitors to access the beach. A thorough inspection on July 31 by a structural engineering firm hired by the USFWS has determined that the staircase can be re-opened for the remainder of the summer unless significant movement is detected.

Visible, weatherproof movement indicators will be installed across all joints on the stairs and monitored for movement on a weekly basis and after any measurable rain event. Movement of any joints more than 1/4" will require permanent closure of the stairs. The stairs must also be closed prior to any "significant" forecasted rain event. On November 1st, the stairs will be closed indefinitely until a more detailed structural and geotechnical investigation is conducted and a long term maintenance or replacement plan is developed.

“The safety of refuge visitors and employees continues to be our top priority,” said Roy Lowe, Project Leader for the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex which manages Coquille Point. “We are very sorry for the inconvenience this closure has created for visitors to Coquille Point. I can assure visitors that we will seek expertise and funding to either repair or replace the stairs so we can continue to give visitors easy access to the beach.”

Posted by the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex Staff at 11:28 AM in Category: Oregon Islands NWR
July 23, 2014
Coquille Point stairway requires immediate closure
Bandon, Ore. – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has closed the south staircase at Coquille Point due to public safety concerns, effective immediately. After inspection and consultation with engineers, the Service has concluded the stairs have suffered structural problems as a result of geologic shifting on the point. A path and second set of stairs on the north end of Coquille Point at the end of 8th street will remain open, allowing Coquille Point visitors to access the beach.

“The safety of refuge visitors and employees is our top priority. Consequently, a determination from engineers that the stairs have additional structural concerns requires us to close them to ensure the continued safety of everyone visiting Coquille Point” said Roy Lowe, Project Leader for the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex which manages Coquille Point.

The USFWS is obtaining the services of a structural engineering firm to inspect the staircase within the next week and provide the USFWS with an evaluation on whether a temporary fix is possible in order to retain safe use of the stairs through the end of October. The USFWS will also begin evaluating options for a long term fix through repairs or replacement.

“We are very sorry for the inconvenience this will create for visitors to Coquille Point,” said Roy Lowe. “I can assure visitors that we will seek expertise and funding to either repair or replace the stairs and once again give visitors an easy way to access the beach.”

These stairs have provided visitors with access to Bandon Beach and rocky intertidal areas at the base of Elephant Rock since their construction in 1998. Coquille Point is managed as part of Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge. It is a spectacular place to observe seabirds and harbor seals. The point overlooks a series of coastal rocks of every shape and size that provide habitat for Common Murre, Tufted Puffin, Western Gull and Brandt's Cormorant as well as Harbor seal and rocky intertidal invertebrates. A paved trail winds over the headland and features new interpretive panels that share stories about the area's wildlife.
Posted by the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex Staff at 5:38 PM in Category: Oregon Islands NWR
July 8, 2014
Construction to reduce mosquito habitat moving forward
JOINT MEDIA RELEASE

July 7, 2014

Contacts:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: Megan Nagel, 503-231-6123, megan_nagel@fws.gov
Ducks Unlimited: Devin Blankenship, 916-890-3607, dblankenship@ducks.org

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 www.fws.gov/oregoncoast/bandonmarsh/Mosquito.html.
Posted by the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex Staff at 11:45 AM in Category: Bandon Marsh NWR
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Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex, 2127 SE Marine Science Drive, Newport, OR, 97365
Phone: 541-867-4550. Email: Oregoncoast@fws.gov.
 
Site last updated March 8, 2011