Fish &Wildlife invites public to help identify conservation, recreation priorities
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The most significant news regarding inland fishing so far this year is the closure of many west coast rivers. The reason given for this action are low stream flows, increased water temperature and greater potential harm to fish relating to stress and injury resulting in the death of fish.
The House Finch is one of our most common feeder and yard birds, and can be seen almost anywhere in Grays Harbor. Unlike the other introduced/unwelcome outsiders (European Starlings and Eurasian Collared-Doves), this bird is quite popular with most who appreciate not only its red coloring (at least on the male) but also its long and cheerful song. This photo of a brightly colored male was taken by Mike Hamilton.
There is a lot of concern about inland water conditions as we move further along in the summer season. This problem does not exist solely because of a lack of rainfall.
The Forest Circus isn’t just clowning around here. With two hands tied behind its back, it is able to single-handedly destroy public access and wildlife habitat with ease.
I would guess that everyone has seen one of these birds standing in a ditch or slowly stalking its prey, completely focused on whatever it has in its sight. I often see 10 or 12 of them standing in the water just below Highway 109 before it heads up into the s-curves at Grays Harbor City. I still watch them as they stand for long moments, waiting until just the right time to strike. They seldom miss. It’s all very Zen, and I can almost feel my breathing slow and my body relax as if in tune with the heron’s concentration. This photo by Mike Hamilton shows the successful catch of a tadpole, hopefully a bullfrog, a real pest in our neck of the woods.
Quillayute River system tributaries to close
The current trend is for anglers to fish larger bodies of water at this time of the year. It makes common sense, and anglers will not have to deal with the low water challenges of inland fishing found during the summer months. There are three such opportunities: the Columbia River, Pacific Ocean and major estuaries.
This photo by Gregg Thompson is a newly fledged Cooper’s Hawk, closely watching something, probably a bug. Notice the total concentration, an intensity common to raptors, and youngsters learning what is edible and what may harm.
On July 11, 2010 my first Grays Harbor Birds column appeared in The Daily World, featuring the Osprey. The photo was about four inches high by five inches wide, and the statistics section was two columns wide and about 1 1/4 inches high, and I misspelled the first Latin name, paldion rather than Pandion. We have come a long way, covering 116 birds and a Leatherback Turtle in those five years. I appreciate having the opportunity to write this column and share my love of birds with you.
The weather impact upon our salmon fishery is becoming the story these days. The lack of rain and snow pack is definitely being realized in low river conditions. These conditions are reaching record proportions and drawing the concerns of anglers, not only, for this season; but also for the fishery three years from now.
Since today is July 4th, folks do not have an extended weekend to indulge in their outdoor pleasures. This translates into possibly choosing barbeques and firework events over fishing. It certainly makes for a busy weekend no matter how you look at it. An extra day or two can facilitate some extra time to wet a line.
Way back in 1965, my toddler-aged daughter and I visited my parents in their Boston Harbor/Olympia home for a week. While hanging diapers on the clothesline I was the object of intense interest by a large flock of Violet-green Swallows. They swirled around me and perched on the clothesline examining me, cocking their heads and chattering away, talking up a storm…discussing me I am sure. Thus began a love affair with these small, beautifully colored birds that has lasted all these years. According to one quote, “…we will call them children of heaven.” (Dawson 1923) I hope you like this photo by Mike Hamilton as much as I do.