In 2009, the Washington State Legislature approved over $11 million to protect 1,290 acres of state-owned land around Tarboo-Dabob Bay. Dabob Bay is identified as one of the least developed coastal embayments remaining in Puget Sound, and is recognized as a high priority for conservation by many in the Puget Sound conservation community.
Over the past 8 years, the Northwest Watershed Institute has led 34 state, federal, tribal, and local non-profit and business organizations in protecting and restoring over 800 acres of important fish and wildlife habitat along Tarboo Creek and Tarboo-Dabob Bay. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Puget Sound Coastal and Partners for Fish and Wildlife programs have participated in the effort.
In 2009, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources Natural Heritage Program recognized this effort by expanding the boundaries of the Dabob Bay Natural Area to include the surrounding watershed, totaling 6,284 acres. Although this is a big accomplishment, there is still conservation work to do in the watershed with willing and interested landowners.
Listen here for a recent example of restoration and conservation efforts along the shoreline of Dabob Bay.
For more information about this project, please visit the Dabob Bay Natural Area website.
USFWS Puget Sound Coastal Program and Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program: http://www.fws.gov/wafwo/WPR.html
USFWS Helps Remove Fish Barriers on the Wishkah River
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works in close partnershp with the Washington State Family Forest Fish Passage Program to restore riparian and aquatic habitat at a variety of sites in the State of Washington, and in particular the Chehalis River Basin. Check out the video to learn more about how the Service's National Fish Passage Program, Washington FFFPP, and local landowners recently collaborated to remove a barrier to fish passage and reopen access to nearly half a mile of high-quality habitat on a tributary of the Wishkah River for the benefit of Chinook, coho, and chum salmon as well as steelhead and resident cutthroat trout.
Lake Sammamish Kokanee Fry Release
On April 18, 2011, our office participated in the celebratory release of young kokanee salmon into Lake Sammamish tributaries. These fish, along with 14,000 more to be released in coming weeks, were successfully raised with the assistance of our partners at Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Quilcene National Fish Hatchery, King County, the Cities of Redmond, Bellevue, Sammamish, and Issaqauh, Trout Unlimited, and the Snoqualmie Tribe in an effort to protect this native fish population from extinction.
Surveying for Oregon Spotted Frogs in Western Washington
Love is in the air this time of year for many species of frogs around western Washington. With cool spring rain, male frogs find suitable areas for attracting a female mate, then use a unique call to attract females to the area. Many species of frogs will return to the water body where they were born to find a suitable mate.
Here in western Washington, several different kinds of frogs are found, including Pacific tree frogs and red-legged frogs. One species of special concern to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) biologists is the Oregon spotted frog. Once widespread, this frog species may have been lost from at least 90 percent of its former range. Causes for the decline in frog populations include loss of habitat, non-native plant invasions, and the introduction of exotic predators such as bullfrogs.
Around this time each year, USFWS biologists travel to the three areas in western Washington where Oregon spotted frogs are still known to persist. A survey of the area is performed to count the number of frog egg masses. When an egg mass is found, it is marked and monitored as it develops. Eggs typically hatch in 3 weeks and, once hatched, the young tadpoles graze on bacteria, algae, and plant tissue in the water. By monitoring the egg masses, biologists can keep a close eye on the status of these populations.
Females deposit egg masses in shallow, often temporary, pools no more than 6 inches deep. Sometimes, though, the frogs choose areas where the water level drops, leaving the eggs high and dry. As you can see from the picture below, several Oregon spotted frog pairs chose the same area to lay their eggs. This large mass, which contained 16 individual egg masses, was found in an area where the water level had dropped. With careful and gentle hands, the eggs were moved by one of our biologists into an area that contained a bit more water. There the eggs will be able to develop and, in a couple of weeks, little tadpoles will hatch out and begin to feed.