National Wildlife Refuge
|Voice of America Road
3 miles north of U.S. Hwy 101
West of Sequim, WA
Phone Number: 360-457-8451
|Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
Continued . . . On the bluffs above the Spit, coniferous forests host black-tailed deer, songbirds, and raptors. Tree snags are convenient lookouts for bald eagles.
A line of driftwood above the high-water mark stabilizes the spit and provides shelter for shorebirds, as well as perches where peregrine falcons can scan for prey. On the ocean side of the spit, dunlin and sanderlings probe the sandy beaches for invertebrates. Harbor seals rest and nurse their pups at the tip of Dungeness Spit. Graveyard Spit is protected as a Research Natural Area.
Nutrient-rich sediments accumulate in the quiet waters of Dungeness harbor, on the lee side of Dungeness Spit. Although the mud appears lifeless, millions of worms, clams, and crustaceans burrow beneath its surface. When low tide exposes the mud, shorebirds such as dunlin, sandpipers, and whimbrels eagerly probe for this hidden bounty.
Protected from heavy surf and fertilized by nutrients washing down from the land, Dungeness Bay and Harbor teem with fish and invertebrate life. Eelgrass beds in the Bay provide food for black brant and are a nursery for young Dungeness crab, flounder, salmon, steel head, and cutthroat trout. In winter, flocks of waterfowl, loons, and grebes find food and shelter here.
Marine mammals and birds forage in the deep waters off Dungeness Spit. Harbor seals, pigeion guilllemots, and rhinocerous auklets dive for small fish, while orcas hunt salmon, herring, and seals.
The eelgrass beds in Dungeness Bay and Harbor are a nursery for young salmon, steelhead, and cutthroat trout that hatched and spent their early lives in the Dungeness River, as well as for Dungeness crab. Common saltwater fish found on the refuge include starry flounder, English sole, sculpins, and surf smelt.
Dungeness Harbor's tideflats are rich in clams. Butter, Washington, softshell, and horse clams are some common varieties.
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