A partnership between Oregon State University, Real Time Research, and the USGS - Oregon Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit

Columbia Plateau

 WEEKLY UPDATE 7/24 – 7/30/2017

7/30/17 ›

This completes our regular weekly reporting of field research activities in the Columbia Plateau region for 2017

7/24 – 7/30/17 ›

Passive and active Caspian tern nest dissuasion measures deployed on Goose Island and elsewhere in Potholes Reservoir were successful in preventing Caspian terns from nesting in 2017; regular dissuasion activities and monitoring at Potholes Reservoir during the 2017 breeding season are complete

7/24 – 7/30/17 ›

Passive and active Caspian tern nest dissuasion measures deployed on Crescent Island in McNary Reservoir in the mid-Columbia River were successful in preventing Caspian terns and gulls from nesting on the island in 2017; regular dissuasion activities and monitoring at Crescent Island during the 2017 breeding season are complete

7/24 – 7/30/17 ›

Ground- and boat-based surveys of sites in the Columbia Plateau region where Caspian terns displaced from former colonies on Goose and Crescent islands might attempt to nest; four Caspian tern colonies were active in the Columbia Plateau region during 2017: (1) an extant colony in the Blalock Islands complex in John Day Reservoir (high counts this week of 293 adult Caspian terns, 50 attended tern nests, and 22 tern chicks), (2) a new colony on an island in Lenore Lake (high counts this week of 33 adult Caspian terns, 0 attended tern nests, and 6 tern chicks), (3) an incipient colony on Badger Island in McNary Reservoir (no longer active), and (4) an extant colony on Harper Island in Sprague Lake (high counts this week of 4 adult Caspian terns, 0 attended tern nests, and 2 tern chicks); up to 100 loafing Caspian terns have been counted at numerous small islands in northeastern Potholes Reservoir; regular monitoring of these sites during the 2017 breeding season is completed

WEEKLY UPDATE 7/17 – 7/23/2017

7/17 – 7/23/17 ›

Ground- and boat-based surveys of sites in the Columbia Plateau region where Caspian terns displaced from former colonies on Goose and Crescent islands might attempt to nest; four Caspian tern colonies were active in the Columbia Plateau region during 2017: (1) an extant colony in the Blalock Islands complex in John Day Reservoir (high counts this week of 215 adult Caspian terns, 57 attended tern nests, and 17 tern chicks), (2) a new colony on an island in Lenore Lake (high counts this week of 36 adult Caspian terns, 0 attended tern nests, and 8 tern chicks), (3) an incipient colony on Badger Island in McNary Reservoir (no longer active), and (4) an extant colony on Harper Island in Sprague Lake (not visited this week); over the past month there was an increase in loafing by Caspian terns at numerous small islands in northeastern Potholes Reservoir, with up to 124 adult terns counted on these islands this week; Caspian terns did not nest at the former colony site on Twinning Island in Banks Lake this year

7/17 – 7/23/17 ›

As many as 180 Caspian terns (more than the high count of 140 terns the previous week) and ca. 3,050 gulls were observed on Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir this week; virtually no breeding behavior by terns has been observed in two weeks with just a few possible scrapes found; most gulls on Goose Island are attending nests with older chicks or have already fledged young; no new Caspian tern eggs were laid on Goose Island this week; in total, 20 Caspian tern eggs were laid at locations in Potholes Reservoir this season: 18 on Goose Island (16 collected, 2 depredated by gulls) and 2 at locations in northeastern Potholes Reservoir (both collected); active dissuasion of terns (i.e. boat-based hazing and use of a green laser) on Goose Island and surrounding rocky islets is ongoing

7/17 – 7/23/17 ›

No Caspian terns were observed on Crescent Island in McNary Reservoir this week; 54 gulls were observed loafing on Crescent Island on 7/19; active dissuasion (hazing) of gulls on the island is ongoing; removal of passive dissuasion materials was initiated in the beach/cove area and on the eastern portion of the island this week

WEEKLY UPDATE 7/10 – 7/16/2017

7/10 – 7/16/17 ›

Ground- and boat-based surveys of sites in the Columbia Plateau region where Caspian terns displaced from former colonies on Goose and Crescent islands might attempt to nest; four Caspian tern colonies were active in the Columbia Plateau region in 2017: (1) an extant colony in the Blalock Islands complex in John Day Reservoir (high counts this week of 248 adult Caspian terns, 61 attended tern nests, and 21 tern chicks), (2) a new colony this year on an island in Lenore Lake (high counts this week of 76 adult Caspian terns, 1 attended tern nest, and 29 tern chicks), (3) an incipient colony on Badger Island in McNary Reservoir (high counts this week of 1 adult Caspian tern, 0 attended tern nests, and 0 tern chicks), and (4) an extant colony on Harper Island in Sprague Lake (high counts this week of 12 adult Caspian terns, 0 attended tern nests, and 3 tern chicks); over the past month Caspian terns are showing more interest in loafing at numerous small islands in northeastern Potholes Reservoir as compared to earlier in the season, with up to 134 adult terns counted on these islands this week; Caspian terns are not nesting this year at the former colony site on Twinning Island in Banks Lake, which has been active in recent years

7/10 – 7/16/17 ›

As many as 140 Caspian terns (similar to the high count of 122 terns the previous week) and ca. 4,750 gulls were observed on Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir this week; most gulls on Goose Island are attending nests with older chicks or have already fledged young; no new Caspian tern egg were laid on Goose Island this week; in total, 20 tern eggs have been laid at locations in Potholes Reservoir this season, 18 on Goose Island (16 collected, 2 depredated by gulls) and 2 at locations in northeastern Potholes Reservoir (both collected); active dissuasion of terns (i.e. boat-based hazing and use of a green laser) on Goose Island and surrounding rocky islets is ongoing; the water level in Potholes Reservoir continues to recede, dropping about 8 inches this week, creating new potential nesting habitat for Caspian terns on Goose Island and throughout the reservoir

7/10 – 7/16/17 ›

No Caspian terns were observed on Crescent Island in McNary Reservoir this week; 38 gulls were observed loafing on Crescent Island on 7/14; active dissuasion (hazing) of gulls on the island is ongoing

WEEKLY UPDATE 7/3 – 7/9/2017

7/7/17 ›

First Caspian tern fledglings observed at Lenore Lake

7/3 – 7/9/17 ›

Ground- and boat-based surveys of sites in the Columbia Plateau region where Caspian terns displaced from former colonies on Goose and Crescent islands might attempt to nest; four Caspian tern colonies were active in the Columbia Plateau region in 2017: (1) an extant colony in the Blalock Islands complex in John Day Reservoir (high counts this week of 416 adult Caspian terns, 74 attended tern nests, and 23 tern chicks), (2) a new colony this year on an island in Lenore Lake (high counts this week of 108 adult Caspian terns, 5 attended tern nests, and 33 tern chicks), (3) an incipient colony on Badger Island in McNary Reservoir (high counts this week of 125 adult Caspian terns, 0 attended tern nests, and 3 tern chicks), and (4) an extant colony on Harper Island in Sprague Lake (not visited this week); over the past month Caspian terns are showing more interest in loafing at numerous small islands in northeastern Potholes Reservoir as compared to earlier in the season, with up to 132 adult terns counted on these islands this week; Caspian terns are not nesting this year at the former colony site on Twinning Island in Banks Lake, which has been active in recent years

7/3 – 7/9/17 ›

As many as 122 Caspian terns (similar to the high count of 112 terns the previous week) and ca. 5,600 gulls were observed on Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir this week; most gulls on Goose Island are attending nests with older chicks or have already fledged young; one Caspian tern egg was laid on Goose Island this week and was collected (under permit); in total, 20 tern eggs have been laid at locations in Potholes Reservoir this season, 18 on Goose Island (16 collected, 2 depredated by gulls) and 2 at locations in northeastern Potholes Reservoir (both collected); active dissuasion of terns (i.e. boat-based hazing and use of a green laser) on Goose Island and surrounding rocky islets is ongoing; the water level in Potholes Reservoir continues to recede, dropping about 15 inches this week, creating new potential nesting habitat for Caspian terns on Goose Island and throughout the reservoir

7/3 – 7/9/17 ›

No Caspian terns were observed on Crescent Island in McNary Reservoir this week; 74 gulls were observed loafing on Crescent Island on 7/5 perhaps due to high water levels that left little exposed shoreline at the nearby colony on Badger Island; active dissuasion (hazing) of gulls on the island is ongoing; one new opening in the beaver exclusion fence on Crescent Island was discovered and repaired

WEEKLY UPDATE 6/26 – 7/2/2017

6/28 – 6/29/17 ›

Third and final aerial survey of the mid-Columbia River, lower Snake River, and much of the Columbia Plateau region to check the status of known, potential, and incipient colony sites for Caspian terns; four active Caspian tern colonies were identified during the survey (see below)

6/26 – 67/2/17 ›

Ground- and boat-based surveys of sites in the Columbia Plateau region where Caspian terns displaced from former colonies on Goose and Crescent islands might attempt to nest; four Caspian tern colonies were active in the Columbia Plateau region in 2017: (1) an extant colony in the Blalock Islands complex in John Day Reservoir (high counts this week of 373 adult Caspian terns, 61 attended tern nests, and 19 tern chicks), (2) a new colony this year on an island in Lenore Lake (high counts this week of about 94 adult Caspian terns, 24 attended tern nests, and 27 tern chicks), (3) an incipient colony on Badger Island in McNary Reservoir (high counts this week of 77 adult Caspian terns, 1 attended tern nest, and 2 tern chicks), and (4) an extant colony on Harper Island in Sprague Lake (high counts this week of 12 adult Caspian terns, 0 attended tern nests, and 5 tern chicks); over the past month Caspian terns are showing more interest in loafing at numerous small islands in northeastern Potholes Reservoir, with up to 107 adult terns counted on these islands; Caspian terns are not nesting this year at the former colony site on Twinning Island in Banks Lake, which has been active in recent years

6/26 – 7/2/17 ›

As many as 112 Caspian terns (similar to the high count of 91 terns the previous week) and ca. 7,250 gulls were observed on Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir this week; most gulls on Goose Island are attending nests with older chicks or have already fledged young; three Caspian tern eggs were laid on Goose Island this week and were collected (under permit); in total, 19 tern eggs have been laid at locations in Potholes Reservoir this season, 17 on Goose Island (15 collected, 2 depredated by gulls) and 2 at locations in northeastern Potholes Reservoir (both collected); active dissuasion of terns (i.e. boat-based hazing and use of a green laser) on Goose Island and surrounding rocky islets is ongoing; the water level in Potholes Reservoir continues to recede, dropping about 13 inches this week, creating new potential nesting habitat for Caspian terns on Goose Island and throughout the reservoir

6/26 – 7/2/17 ›

No Caspian terns were observed on Crescent Island in McNary Reservoir this week; 17 gulls were observed loafing on Crescent Island on 6/28, all of which were hazed off the island; active dissuasion (hazing) of gulls on the island is ongoing; damage to the beaver exclusion fence on Crescent Island (caused by fallen trees) was discovered and will be repaired

WEEKLY UPDATE 6/19 – 6/25/2017

6/25/17 ›

First Caspian tern fledgling observed on Blalock Islands in John Day Reservoir

6/19 – 6/25/17 ›

Ground- and boat-based surveys of sites in the Columbia Plateau region where Caspian terns displaced from former colonies on Goose and Crescent islands might attempt to nest; four Caspian tern colonies remain active in the Columbia Plateau region: (1) an extant colony in the Blalock Islands complex in John Day Reservoir (high counts this week of 364 adult Caspian terns, 30 attended tern nests, and 25 tern chicks), (2) a new colony this year on an island in Lenore Lake (high counts this week of about 94 adult Caspian terns, 42 attended tern nests, and 22 tern chicks), (3) an incipient colony on Badger Island in McNary Reservoir (high counts this week of 9 adult Caspian terns, 4 attended tern nests, and 4 tern chicks), and (4) an extant colony on Harper Island in Sprague Lake (not visited this week); over the past three weeks Caspian terns are showing more interest in loafing at numerous small islands in northeastern Potholes Reservoir, with up to 44 adult terns counted on these islands; Caspian terns are not nesting this year at the former colony site on Twinning Island in Banks Lake, which has been active in recent years

6/19 – 6/25/17 ›

As many as 91 Caspian terns (lower than the high count of 141 terns the previous week) and ca. 7,200 gulls were observed on Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir this week; most gulls on Goose Island are attending nests with older chicks or have already fledged young; six Caspian tern eggs were laid on Goose Island this week and were collected (under permit); active dissuasion of terns (i.e. boat-based hazing and use of a green laser) on Goose Island and surrounding rocky islets is ongoing; the water level in Potholes Reservoir continues to recede, dropping about 9.5 inches this week, creating new potential nesting habitat for Caspian terns on Goose Island and throughout the reservoir; additional passive nest dissuasion for terns was installed along the newly exposed shoreline at Goose Island

6/19 – 6/25/17 ›

No Caspian terns were observed on Crescent Island in McNary Reservoir this week; ca. 170 gulls were observed loafing on Crescent Island on 6/22, all of which were hazed off the island; active dissuasion (hazing) of gulls on the island is ongoing; three openings in the beaver exclusion fence on Crescent Island were discovered this week and repaired

WEEKLY UPDATE 6/12 – 6/18/2017

6/13/17 ›

High reservoir levels in combination with high winds from the west caused a significant number of the Caspian tern nests in the Blalock Islands to fail due to flooding; nest losses occurred this week after major nest losses due to flooding events that occurred during the previous four weeks

6/17/17 ›

First ring-billed gull and California gull fledglings observed on Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir

6/12 – 6/18/17 ›

Ground- and boat-based surveys of sites in the Columbia Plateau region where Caspian terns displaced from former colonies on Goose and Crescent islands might attempt to nest; four Caspian tern colonies remain active in the Columbia Plateau region: (1) an extant colony in the Blalock Islands complex in John Day Reservoir (high counts this week of 248 adult Caspian terns, 50 attended tern nests, and 15 tern chicks), (2) a new colony on an island in Lenore Lake (high counts this week of 123 adult Caspian terns, 96 attended tern nests, and 23 tern chicks), (3) an incipient colony on Badger Island in McNary Reservoir (high counts this week of 63 adult Caspian terns, 4 attended tern nests, and 4 tern chicks), and (4) an extant colony on Harper Island in Sprague Lake (high counts this week of 20 adult Caspian terns and 16 attended tern nests, some with eggs); over the past two weeks Caspian terns are showing more interest in loafing at several small islands in northeastern Potholes Reservoir, with up to 22 adult terns counted on these islands on 6/13; no tern eggs were laid at these sites this week; additional passive dissuasion has been deployed and active hazing is being used to discourage tern nesting at these sites; Caspian terns are not currently nesting at the former colony site on Twinning Island in Banks Lake, which has been active in recent years

6/12 – 6/18/17 ›

As many as 141 Caspian terns (higher than the high count of 42 terns the previous week) and ca. 6,700 gulls (about 60% ring-billed gulls and 40% California gulls) were observed on Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir this week; most gulls on Goose Island are attending nests with chicks; three tern eggs were laid on Goose Island this week and collected (under permit); active dissuasion of terns (i.e. boat-based hazing and use of a green laser) on Goose Island and surrounding rocky islets is ongoing; the water level in Potholes Reservoir dropped about 10 inches this week, creating new potential nesting habitat for Caspian terns on Goose Island and throughout the reservoir; additional passive dissuasion was installed along the newly exposed shoreline at Goose Island

6/12 – 6/18/17 ›

No Caspian terns were observed on Crescent Island in McNary Reservoir this week; over 200 gulls were observed loafing on Crescent Island on 6/15, all of which were hazed off the island; active dissuasion (hazing) of gulls on the island is ongoing

6/12 – 6/18/17 ›

75 steelhead smolts were PIT-tagged at Rock Island Dam on the mid-Columbia River this week to investigate avian predation on juvenile steelhead from the Upper Columbia River population; a total of 7,455 steelhead smolts were PIT-tagged and released at Rock Island Dam during the 2017 out-migration; this concludes our PIT-tagging of steelhead at Rock Island Dam during the 2017 out-migration

WEEKLY UPDATE 6/5 – 6/11/2017

6/10/17 ›

High reservoir levels in combination with high winds from the west caused a significant number of the Caspian tern nests in the Blalock Islands to fail due to flooding; these nest losses occurred after the major flooding events that occurred during the previous three weeks

6/5 – 6/11/17 ›

Ground- and boat-based surveys of sites in the Columbia Plateau region where Caspian terns displaced from former colonies on Goose and Crescent islands might attempt to nest; four Caspian tern colonies remain active in the Columbia Plateau region: (1) an extant colony in the Blalock Islands complex in John Day Reservoir (high counts this week of 516 adult Caspian terns and 317 attended Caspian tern nests with eggs or chicks), (2) a new colony on an island in Lenore Lake (minimum high counts this week of 101 adult Caspian terns and 47 attended Caspian tern nests with eggs or chicks), (3) an incipient colony on Badger Island in McNary Reservoir (high counts this week of 35 adult Caspian terns and 4 attended Caspian tern nests with eggs or chicks), and (4) an extant colony on Harper Island in Sprague Lake (minimum high counts this week of 32 adult Caspian terns and 16 attended Caspian tern nests, some with eggs); beginning last week, Caspian terns started showing interest in nesting at several small islands in northeastern Potholes Reservoir and on 6/11 one tern egg was laid on one of these islands and collected under permit; additional passive dissuasion has been deployed and active hazing is being used to prevent nesting at these sites; Caspian terns are not currently nesting at the former colony site on Twinning Island in Banks Lake, which has been active in recent years

6/5 – 6/11/17 ›

As many as 42 Caspian terns (higher than the high count of 35 terns the previous week) and ca. 7,200 gulls (about 60% ring-billed gulls and 40% California gulls) were observed on Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir this week; most gulls on Goose Island are attending nests with chicks; one tern egg was laid on 6/10 just outside passive dissuasion on the East Rocks and collected under permit; active dissuasion of terns (i.e. boat-based hazing and use of a green laser) on Goose Island and surrounding rocky islets is ongoing; the water level in Potholes Reservoir dropped about 10 inches this week, creating new potential nesting habitat for Caspian terns on Goose Island and throughout the reservoir; additional passive dissuasion was installed along the newly exposed shoreline at Goose Island

6/5 – 6/11/17 ›

No Caspian terns were observed on Crescent Island in McNary Reservoir this week; one gull was observed loafing on Crescent Island on 6/6, the only observation of gulls on the island all week; active dissuasion (hazing) of gulls on the island is ongoing; two openings in the beaver exclusion fence were discovered this week and repaired

6/5 – 6/11/17 ›

225 steelhead smolts were PIT-tagged at Rock Island Dam on the mid-Columbia River this week to investigate avian predation on juvenile steelhead from the Upper Columbia River population

WEEKLY UPDATE 5/29 – 6/4/2017

5/30/17 ›

High reservoir levels in combination with high winds from the west caused a significant number of the Caspian tern nests in the Blalock Islands to fail due to flooding; these nest losses occurred after the major flooding events that occurred during the previous two weeks

6/1/17 ›

First Caspian tern chicks (5) observed on the Badger Island colony in McNary Reservoir

6/2/17 ›

High reservoir levels caused almost complete nest failure (ca. 90% of nests lost) of the Caspian terns breeding on Badger Island

5/29 – 6/4/17 ›

Ground- and boat-based surveys of sites in the Columbia Plateau region where Caspian terns displaced from former colonies on Goose and Crescent islands might attempt to nest; four Caspian tern colonies remain active in the Columbia Plateau region: (1) an extant colony in the Blalock Islands complex in John Day Reservoir (high counts of 666 adult Caspian terns and 309 attended Caspian tern nests with eggs or chicks), (2) a new colony on an island in Lenore Lake (high counts of 167 adult Caspian terns and 110 attended Caspian tern nests with eggs or chicks), (3) an incipient colony on Badger Island in McNary Reservoir (high count of 73 adult Caspian terns and 22 attended Caspian tern nests with eggs or chicks), and (4) an extant colony on Harper Island in Sprague Lake (high count of 113 adult Caspian terns and 90 attended Caspian tern nests, some with eggs); beginning on 30 May, Caspian terns started showing interest in nesting at several small islands in northeastern Potholes Reservoir; additional passive dissuasion has been deployed and active hazing is being used to prevent nesting at these sites; Caspian terns are not currently nesting at the former colony site on Twinning Island in Banks Lake, which has been active in recent years

5/29 – 6/4/17 ›

As many as 35 Caspian terns (higher than the high count of 13 terns the previous week) and ca. 6,200 gulls (about 60% ring-billed gulls and 40% California gulls) were observed on Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir this week; most gulls on Goose Island are attending nests with eggs or chicks; egg-laying by Caspian terns has commenced; one tern egg was laid on 6/2 just inside passive dissuasion on the southern shoreline of Goose Island, and the egg was subsequently depredated by a gull; additional passive dissuasion was installed in the area where the tern egg was laid and active dissuasion of terns (i.e. boat-based hazing and use of a green laser) along the shoreline of Goose Island is ongoing; the water level in Potholes Reservoir dropped about 13.5 inches this week, creating new potential nesting habitat for Caspian terns on Goose Island and throughout the reservoir

5/29 – 6/4/17 ›

No Caspian terns were observed on Crescent Island in McNary Reservoir this week; up to 170 gulls were observed loafing in the cove on Crescent Island early this week, possibly associated with rising reservoir levels that caused gulls to move from nearby Badger Island; by the end of the week, gulls were no longer using Crescent Island as a roost site; active dissuasion (hazing) of gulls on the island is ongoing

5/29 – 6/4/17 ›

250 steelhead smolts were PIT-tagged at Rock Island Dam on the mid-Columbia River this week to investigate avian predation on juvenile steelhead from the Upper Columbia River population

WEEKLY UPDATE 5/22 – 5/28/2017

5/22 – 5/23/17 ›

Second aerial survey of the mid-Columbia River, lower Snake River, and much of the Columbia Plateau region to check the status of known, potential, and incipient colony sites for Caspian terns; four active Caspian tern colonies were identified during the survey: (1) an extant colony in the Blalock Islands complex in John Day Reservoir (high count of 776 Caspian terns and ca. 350 attended tern nests on 5/28), (2) an extant colony on Harper Island in Sprague Lake (high count of 82 Caspian terns and ca. 50 attended tern nests), (3) an incipient colony on an island in Lenore Lake (high count of 137 Caspian terns and ca. 75 attended tern nests, some with eggs), and (4) an incipient colony on Badger Island in McNary Reservoir (high count of 119 Caspian terns and ca. 35 attended tern nests, some with eggs); Caspian terns are not nesting at two colony sites that were active in recent years: (1) Twinning Island in Banks Lake, and (2) an unnamed island in northeastern Potholes Reservoir

5/24/17 ›

High reservoir levels in combination with high winds from the west caused a significant number of the Caspian tern nests in the Blalock Islands to fail; these nest losses occurred after the major flooding event that occurred last week

5/22 – 5/28/17 ›

As many as 13 Caspian terns (similar to the high count of 12 terns the previous week) and ca. 6,500 gulls (about 60% ring-billed gulls and 40% California gulls) were observed on Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir this week; most gulls on Goose Island are attending nests with eggs; egg-laying by Caspian terns has commenced, but no Caspian tern eggs were apparently laid on Goose Island or nearby rocky islets this week; targeted active dissuasion of prospecting Caspian terns (i.e. boat-based hazing and use of a green laser) is ongoing; Potholes Reservoir water level dropped ca. 11 inches this week

5/22 – 5/28/17 ›

No Caspian terns or gulls were observed on Crescent Island in McNary Reservoir this week

5/22 – 5/28/17 ›

1,001 steelhead smolts were PIT-tagged at Rock Island Dam on the mid-Columbia River this week to investigate avian predation on juvenile steelhead from the Upper Columbia River population

WEEKLY UPDATE 5/15 – 5/21/2017

5/16– 5/17/17 ›

High reservoir levels and severe wind caused near-complete (ca. 90%) nest failure of Caspian terns on the Blalock Islands; just 50 attended tern nests remain on Long and Rock islands (Middle Island colony completely failed)

5/19/17 ›

First Caspian tern chicks (4) observed on the Blalock Islands complex (on Middle Island) in John Day Reservoir

5/15 – 5/21/17 ›

Ground- and boat-based surveys of sites in the Columbia Plateau region where Caspian terns displaced from former colonies on Goose and Crescent islands might attempt to nest; three Caspian tern colonies remain active in the Columbia Plateau region at (1) an extant colony in the Blalock Islands complex in John Day Reservoir (high count of 496 Caspian terns and 119 attended tern nests with chicks and eggs), (2) a new colony on an island in Lenore Lake (high count of 110 Caspian terns and 48 attended tern nests, some with eggs), and (3) an incipient colony on Badger Island in McNary Reservoir (high count of 132 Caspian terns and 35 attended tern nests, some with eggs); Caspian terns are not nesting at three colony sites that were active in recent years: (1) Twinning Island in Banks Lake, (2) Harper Island in Sprague Lake, and (3) an unnamed island in northeastern Potholes Reservoir

5/15 – 5/21/17 ›

As many as 12 Caspian terns (similar to the high count of 13 terns last week) and ca. 6,350 gulls (about 60% ring-billed gulls and 40% California gulls) were observed on Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir this week; egg-laying by gulls and Caspian terns has commenced; no Caspian tern eggs were laid this week; targeted active dissuasion of terns (i.e. boat-based hazing and use of a green laser) is ongoing; Potholes Reservoir water level rose ca. 5 inches this week

5/15 – 5/21/17 ›

No Caspian terns were observed on Crescent Island in McNary Reservoir this week; up to 75 gulls were observed loafing in the cove on Crescent Island this week; additional passive dissuasion materials installed in the cove on 18 May; active dissuasion (hazing) of gulls on the island is ongoing

5/15 – 5/21/17 ›

1,648 steelhead smolts were PIT-tagged at Rock Island Dam on the mid-Columbia River this week to investigate avian predation on juvenile steelhead from the Upper Columbia River population

WEEKLY UPDATE 5/8 – 5/14/2017

5/10/17 ›

First Caspian tern egg observed on an incipient colony on Badger Island, located on the Columbia River just upstream from Crescent Island in McNary Reservoir; Badger Island is also the site of a large California gull colony and the only known breeding colony of American white pelicans in the State of Washington

5/12/17 ›

First California gull and ring-billed gull chicks observed on Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir

5/8 – 5/14/17 ›

Ground- and boat-based surveys of sites in the Columbia Plateau region where Caspian terns displaced from former colonies on Goose and Crescent islands might attempt to nest; three Caspian tern colonies remain active in the Columbia Plateau region at (1) an extant colony in the Blalock Islands complex in John Day Reservoir (high count of 923 Caspian terns and 449 attended tern nests with eggs), (2) a new colony on an island in Lenore Lake (high count of 122 Caspian terns and 45 attended tern nests with eggs), and (3) an incipient colony on Badger Island in McNary Reservoir (high count of 92 Caspian terns and 32 attended tern nests with eggs); Caspian terns are not nesting at three colony sites that were active in recent years: (1) Twinning Island in Banks Lake, (2) Harper Island in Sprague Lake, and (3) an unnamed island in northeastern Potholes Reservoir

5/8 – 5/14/17 ›

As many as 13 Caspian terns (down from a high count of 27 terns last week) and ca. 6,700 gulls (about 60% ring-billed gulls and 40% California gulls) were observed on Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir this week; egg-laying by gulls and terns has commenced; one tern egg was laid on 12 May just outside passive dissuasion on the ridgetop in the northwestern part of Goose Island, and the egg was subsequently depredated by a gull; targeted active dissuasion of terns (i.e. boat-based hazing and use of a green laser) is ongoing; Potholes Reservoir water level rose ca. 4 inches this week

5/8 – 5/14/17 ›

No Caspian terns were observed on Crescent Island in McNary Reservoir this week; 38 gulls were observed loafing on Crescent Island on one occasion this week, with no gulls observed on the island on most days during the remainder of the week; active dissuasion (hazing) of gulls on the island is ongoing

5/8 – 5/14/17 ›

2,659 steelhead smolts were PIT-tagged at Rock Island Dam on the mid-Columbia River this week to investigate avian predation on juvenile steelhead from the Upper Columbia River population

WEEKLY UPDATE 5/1 – 5/7/2017

5/6/17 ›

Incipient Caspian tern colony discovered on Badger Island, located on the Columbia River just upstream from Crescent Island in McNary Reservoir; 96 adult terns and 20 attended tern nests observed in a small sandy area along the eastern shoreline adjacent to the breeding colony of American white pelicans

5/1 – 5/7/17 ›

Ground- and boat-based surveys of sites in the Columbia Plateau region where Caspian terns displaced from former colonies on Goose and Crescent islands might attempt to nest; a high count of 1,075 Caspian terns and 380 attended tern nests (some with eggs) were observed on Long, Middle, Southern, and Sand islands in the Blalock Islands complex, John Day Reservoir; high count of 114 Caspian terns and 25 attended tern nests were counted at a new colony (discovered last week) on an island in Lenore Lake that has not previous supported a tern colony (ca. ¼ mile NNE from the former colony site); high count of 96 Caspian terns and 20 attended tern nests counted at an incipient tern colony on Badger Island (ca. 1.3 miles upriver from Crescent Island); 15 Caspian terns were observed loafing on Finley Islands in McNary Reservoir near Foundation Island

5/1 – 5/7/17 ›

As many as 27 Caspian terns and ca. 6,500 gulls (about 60% ring-billed gulls and 40% California gulls) were observed on Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir this week; egg-laying by gulls and terns has commenced; one tern egg was laid on 5 May near the shoreline on the south spit of Goose Island and was collected under permit; targeted active dissuasion of terns (i.e. boat-based hazing and use of a green laser) is ongoing; Potholes Reservoir water level rose ca. 4.5 inches this week

5/1 – 5/7/17 ›

No Caspian terns were observed on Crescent Island in McNary Reservoir this week; 27 gulls were observed loafing on Crescent Island on one occasion this week; active dissuasion (hazing) of gulls on the island is ongoing

5/1 – 5/7/17 ›

1,184 steelhead smolts were PIT-tagged at Rock Island Dam on the mid-Columbia River this week to investigate avian predation on juvenile steelhead from the Upper Columbia River population

WEEKLY UPDATE 4/24 – 4/30/2017

4/27/17 ›

Commenced daily hazing of Caspian terns prospecting for nest sites at small islands in northeastern Potholes Reservoir

4/28/17 ›

First Caspian tern egg observed on Rock Island in the Blalock Islands complex in John Day Reservoir, mid-Columbia River; tern eggs were suspected but not confirmed at the Blalock Islands the previous week

4/28 – 4/29/17 ›

First aerial survey of the mid-Columbia River, lower Snake River, and much of the Columbia Plateau region to check the status of known, potential, and incipient colony sites for Caspian terns; Caspian terns were confirmed nesting at two sites on the Columbia Plateau; 887 Caspian terns and 279 attended nests were counted on five islands in the Blalock Islands complex and 80 Caspian terns and 19 attended nests were counted at a new colony on an island in Lenore Lake that has not previous supported a tern colony (ca. ¼ mile NNE from the former colony site); a total of 158 Caspian terns were observed loafing at six other sites on the mid-Columbia River; no Caspian terns were observed at the former colony sites on Twinning Island in Banks Lake or on Harper Island in Sprague Lake

4/29/17 ›

First Caspian tern egg observed and collected (under permit) on Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir; the tern egg was laid at the water’s edge on Northwest Rocks adjacent to Goose Island; the area was subsequently covered in passive dissuasion

4/29/17 ›

First Caspian tern egg observed and collected (under permit) at an incipient colony on a small island in northeastern Potholes Reservoir; area where egg was laid and where other terns were loafing was covered in passive dissuasion; terns have not been seen using these sites after 4/29

4/29/17 ›

First Caspian tern eggs observed on Long Island and Middle Island in the Blalock Islands complex in John Day Reservoir, mid-Columbia River; tern eggs were suspected but not confirmed at the Blalock Islands the previous week

4/24 – 4/30/17 ›

As many as 35 Caspian terns and ca. 6,400 gulls (about 60% ring-billed gulls and 40% California gulls) were observed on Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir this week; egg-laying by gulls and terns has commenced; field crew deployed new tern passive dissuasion materials at the shoreline of Northwest Rocks (ca. 6-inch drop in reservoir level this week); targeted active dissuasion of terns (i.e. boat-based hazing and use of green laser) ongoing

4/24 – 4/30/17 ›

No Caspian terns and up to 32 loafing gulls observed on Crescent Island in McNary Reservoir this week; active dissuasion (hazing) of gulls on the island ongoing

4/24 – 4/30/17 ›

242 steelhead smolts PIT-tagged at Rock Island Dam on the mid-Columbia River this week to investigate avian predation on juvenile steelhead from the Upper Columbia River population

WEEKLY UPDATE 4/17 – 4/23/2017

4/17 – 4/23/17 ›

As many as 32 Caspian terns and ca. 5,300 gulls (60% ring-billed and 40% California) were observed on Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir this week; egg laying by gulls has commenced; field crew deployed new tern passive dissuasion materials at the shoreline of Goose Island as reservoir levels drop (ca. 6-inch drop this week); active dissuasion of gulls has been discontinued; targeted active dissuasion of terns (i.e. boat-based hazing and use of green laser) ongoing

4/17 – 4/23/17 ›

No Caspian terns and up to 93 gulls observed on Crescent Island in McNary Reservoir this week; more passive dissuasion materials deployed on Crescent Island and active dissuasion (hazing) of gulls on the island ongoing

4/17 – 4/23/17 ›

Ground- and boat-based surveys of sites in the Columbia Plateau region where Caspian terns displaced from former colonies on Goose and Crescent islands might attempt to nest; a high count of 533 Caspian terns and 83 attended tern nests (some with eggs) were observed on Long, Middle, and Southern islands in the Blalock Islands complex, John Day Reservoir; 18 Caspian terns were observed loafing at Marsh Unit 1 in Columbia National Wildlife Refuge; up to 13 Caspian terns were observed loafing on several small islands in North Potholes Reservoir; 6 Caspian terns were observed loafing on Finley Islands in McNary Reservoir near Foundation Island; no Caspian terns observed on Badger Island on the mid-Columbia River, on Foundation Island on the mid-Columbia River, on a small unnamed island in Lenore Lake, or on Twinning Island in Banks Lake

4/17 – 4/23/17 ›

121 steelhead smolts PIT-tagged at Rock Island Dam on the mid-Columbia River this week to investigate avian predation on juvenile steelhead from the Upper Columbia River populations

WEEKLY UPDATE 4/10 – 4/16/2017

4/10/17 ›

First gull eggs observed on Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir

4/11/17 ›

Completed construction of temporary observation blind at the Blalock Islands complex in John Day Reservoir

4/13/17 ›

Commencement of steelhead smolt PIT-tagging at Rock Island Dam on the mid-Columbia River to investigate avian predation on juvenile steelhead from the threatened Upper Columbia River populations during 2017 nesting season

4/14/17 ›

Completed installation of passive nest dissuasion materials on an incipient tern colony in northeastern Potholes Reservoir that was occupied in 2016

4/10 – 4/16/17 ›

As many as 11 Caspian terns and ca. 4,850 gulls (60% ring-billed and 40% California) were observed on Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir this week; egg laying by gulls has commenced, causing active dissuasion of gulls to be discontinued; targeted active dissuasion of terns (i.e., boat-based hazing and use of green laser) ongoing

4/10 – 4/16/17 ›

No Caspian terns and up to 76 gulls observed on Crescent Island in McNary Reservoir this week; active dissuasion of gulls ongoing

4/10 – 4/16/17 ›

Ground- and boat-based surveys of sites in the Columbia Plateau region where Caspian terns displaced from former colonies on Goose and Crescent islands might attempt to nest; a high count of 310 Caspian terns and 61 attended tern nests were observed on Long and Middle islands in the Blalock Islands complex, John Day Reservoir; 20 Caspian terns were observed loafing at Marsh Unit 1 in Columbia National Wildlife Refuge; two Caspian terns were observed loafing on the small unnamed island in Lenore Lake; two Caspian terns were observed loafing on a small island in northeastern Potholes Reservoir; no Caspian terns observed on Badger Island and Foundation Island, both on the mid-Columbia River

4/13 – 4/16/17 ›

37 steelhead smolts PIT-tagged at Rock Island Dam on the mid-Columbia River this week to investigate avian predation on juvenile steelhead from the Upper Columbia River populations

WEEKLY UPDATE 4/3 – 4/9/2017

4/4/17 ›

First Caspian tern of the 2017 season seen flying near Crescent Island in McNary Reservoir

4/5/17 ›

First visit to Twinning Island in Banks Lake where Caspian terns have nested in previous years; no Caspian terns were observed on the island

4/6/17 ›

First Caspian tern observed loafing on Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir

4/9/17 ›

Temporary camp installed on Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir

4/3 – 4/9/17 ›

As many as 5 Caspian terns and ca. 4,500 gulls (65% ring-billed and 35% California) were observed on Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir this week; gulls were copulating and building nests on the island; active dissuasion of terns and gulls ongoing

4/3 – 4/9/17 ›

No Caspian terns and 7 gulls observed on Crescent Island in McNary Reservoir this week; active dissuasion of gulls commenced

WEEKLY UPDATE 3/27 – 4/2/2017

3/28/17 ›

Repaired new opening in beaver exclusion fence on Crescent Island in McNary Reservoir

3/28/17 ›

Project personnel met with representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Walla Walla District and the Bureau of Reclamation for a site visit to Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir

3/29/17 ›

First visit to the Blalock Islands complex in John Day Reservoir where Caspian terns have nested in previous years; the reservoir level was high, leaving only a small fraction of the tern nesting islands above water; water and wind sensors installed; 16 Caspian terns were observed loafing on Sand Island

3/29/17 ›

Observation blind installed on Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir

4/1/17 ›

Completed repair and installation of passive nest dissuasion materials on Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir

3/27 – 4/2/17 ›

No Caspian terns and ca. 4,000 gulls were observed on Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir this week; gulls were copulating and building nests on the island; active dissuasion of gulls ongoing

3/27 – 4/2/17 ›

No Caspian terns or gulls observed on Crescent Island in McNary Reservoir this week; small numbers (<20) of gulls rafting on water near the island

WEEKLY UPDATE 3/20 – 3/26/2017

3/22/17 ›

Repaired new openings in beaver exclusion fence on Crescent Island in McNary Reservoir

3/23/17 ›

First visit to a small island in Lenore Lake where Caspian terns nested in previous years; the lake level was high, leaving only a small fraction of the island above water; no birds observed on the island

3/20 – 3/26/17 ›

Repaired and installed passive nest dissuasion materials (i.e. stakes, rope, and flagging) on Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir

3/20 – 3/26/17 ›

No Caspian terns and ca. 4,000 gulls were observed on Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir this week; gulls were copulating and building nests on the island; active dissuasion of gulls ongoing

3/20 – 3/26/17 ›

No Caspian terns or gulls observed on Crescent Island in McNary Reservoir this week

WEEKLY UPDATE 3/13 – 3/19/2017

3/13/17 ›

Completed repair and installation of passive nest dissuasion materials on Crescent Island in McNary Reservoir

3/14/17 ›

First visit by project personnel to Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir; inspected passive nest dissuasion materials to determine needed repairs; deer found on the island, gone the next day; commenced active hazing of gulls attempting to nest on island

3/15 – 3/17/17 ›

Repaired and installed passive nest dissuasion materials (i.e. stakes, rope, and flagging) on Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir

3/17/17 ›

Repaired new opening in beaver exclusion fence on Crescent Island in McNary Reservoir; a survey of beaver herbivory on willows planted in 2016 indicated that ca. 125 plants have been consumed by beavers

3/13 – 3/19/17 ›

No Caspian terns and ca. 4,000 gulls were observed on Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir this week; gulls were copulating and beginning to build nests on the island; active dissuasion of gulls commenced

3/13 – 3/19/17 ›

No Caspian terns or gulls observed on Crescent Island in McNary Reservoir this week

WEEKLY UPDATE 3/6 – 3/12/2017

3/6 – 3/12/17 ›

Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir inaccessible due to ice; counts from shore indicated that ca. 2,500 gulls are residing on the island

3/6 – 3/12/17 ›

Repaired and installed passive nest dissuasion materials (i.e., fences, stakes, rope, and flagging) on Crescent Island in McNary Reservoir; additional damage to beaver exclusion fences repaired; no Caspian terns or gulls observed on the island

WEEKLY UPDATE 2/27 – 3/5/2017

3/3/17 ›

Project personnel met with representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Walla Walla District and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for a site visit to Crescent Island in McNary Reservoir to plan efforts to prevent Caspian terns from nesting at this former colony site

3/4/17 ›

Four openings in the beaver exclusion fence that was erected around the willows planted on Crescent Island in 2016 were discovered and repaired

2/27 – 3/5/17 ›

Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir inaccessible due to ice

The weekly update of events at various piscivorous waterbird colonies on the Columbia Plateau

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