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PostWed Aug 14, 2019 12:11 am 
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Tuesday August 13, 2019 15:26 PDT


Federal and State wildlife agency partnership aims for rebound of endangered Northern Leopard Frogs in Washington

WDFW, USFWS, WSU and Oregon Zoo provide head-start for frogs overcoming long odds

OTHELLO Hundreds of endangered Northern Leopard frogs have taken a leap back into the wild in recent weeks at the Columbia National Wildlife Refuge in Grant County.

The releases were made possible by a partnership of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Oregon Zoo, and Washington State University (WSU).

WDFW collected Northern Leopard Frog eggs earlier this spring, and after months of growing in the Oregon Zoo's conservation lab and at WSU, the frogs were ready for release in recent weeks.

Once abundant throughout North America, Northern Leopard Frogs are rapidly disappearing from their native ranges in Washington, Oregon and western Canada.

The species has been listed as endangered in the Evergreen State since 1999, and with only one known population remaining in Washington, there is still a long path to recovery for the frogs.

Likely causes of the frogs' decline in the Pacific Northwest include a combination of threats from habitat loss and degradation, disease, non-native species, and climate change. 

By raising eggs through tadpole stage to froglets at the Oregon Zoo and WSU, the partners are working to bypass these threats and grow the population of Northern Leopard Frogs in the region.

"This project was only possible because of the team of partners pulled together by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife," said Lisa Wilson, deputy project leader for the Central Washington National Wildlife Refuge Complex. "Collectively, we were able to take a giant leap forward to protect northern leopard frogs on Columbia National Wildlife Refuge because so many partners were able and willing to collaborate."

Frogs are often overlooked for their significant contribution to the environment, a fact the agencies and their partners are working to change.

"Northern Leopard Frogs are an important indicator of water quality, they are both predator and prey, and many children around the country have their first significant encounters with wildlife by meeting one of these frogs," said Emily Grabowsky, WDFW biologist. "If we can improve and conserve wetland habitat that is good for frogs, we will also benefit other species ranging from other amphibians to waterfowl and deer."

Funding for the Northern Leopard Frog reintroduction is being provided through a competitive state wildlife grant awarded to WDFW from USFWS's Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program.

WDFW is the state agency tasked with preserving, protecting and perpetuating fish, wildlife and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing, hunting and other outdoor recreation opportunities. The agency works to keep common species common and restore species of greatest conservation need.



Tuesday August 13, 2019 16:32 PDT


WDFW seeks candidates for ad-hoc fishing guide advisory group

OLYMPIA The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is seeking candidates to serve on a new committee that advises the department on the commercial fishing guide industry.

Up to 12 individuals from the guiding industry will be chosen for two-year terms that begin in September. The committee may be extended beyond two years as needed. Candidates have until Aug. 27 to apply.

Advisors on this ad-hoc committee will initially provide input on the implementation of a new monthly reporting requirement for commercial guides, said Kelly Cunningham, acting director of WDFW's fish program.

"Beyond that, we want to work with the guide industry to gain a better understanding of their perspective in an effort to improve opportunity," Cunningham said.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2020, fishing guides will provide WDFW with information such as the date and location of each guided fishing trip, the number of anglers onboard, and the number and type of fish species caught per trip.

"We're looking for advisors who will help us review logbook data and provide the guiding industry's perspective on fisheries," Cunningham said. "We'd like to establish a group that includes both part-time and full-time guides and industry representatives from the various fisheries around the state."

Initially, the advisory group will meet monthly (beginning in September) to ensure timely implementation of the new logbook requirements next year. After the first six months, meetings will be held on a quarterly basis. 

Letters of interest must include the following information:

Candidate's name, address, telephone number, and email address.
Relevant experience and reasons for wanting to serve as a member of the advisory group.
Effectiveness in communication, including methods the candidate would use to relay information to regional constituents.
Applications are due by 5 p.m., Aug. 27, and can be emailed to Raquel Crosier at Written applications can also be mailed to Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Attn: Raquel Crosier, 600 Capitol Way N, Olympia, WA 98501-1091.

WDFW is the state agency tasked with preserving, protecting and perpetuating fish, wildlife and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing, hunting and other outdoor recreation opportunities.


"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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