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

Columbia Plateau

WEEKLY UPDATE 7/23 – 7/29/2018

7/29/18 ›

This completes our weekly reporting of field activities in the Columbia Plateau region for 2018; we will continue to visit both Goose Island and the Blalock Islands opportunistically through August, or until all Caspian terns have dispersed

7/23 – 7/29/18 ›

As many as 142 loafing Caspian terns and about 300 nesting gulls (in the fledging stage of the breeding cycle) were observed on Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir this week; young of the year Caspian terns (post-fledging) raised at other colonies continue to be observed loafing on Goose Island; no Caspian tern eggs were discovered on Goose Island this week; all loafing terns were successfully hazed from the shoreline of Goose Island and the surrounding rocky islets this week

7/23 – 7/29/18 ›

High count of 90 loafing Caspian terns observed on several small islands in northern Potholes Reservoir this week; all were successfully hazed from these sites

7/23 – 7/29/18 ›

No Caspian terns or gulls were observed on Crescent Island in McNary Reservoir this week; Caspian terns did not use Crescent Island to roost or nest during the 2018 breeding season

7/23 – 7/29/18 ›

Ground- and boat-based surveys of unmanaged nesting sites in the Columbia Plateau region where Caspian terns displaced from former breeding colonies on Goose and Crescent islands might attempt to nest; 169 Caspian terns, 66 attended tern nests, and 80 tern chicks were observed on Middle Island in the Blalock Islands complex, John Day Reservoir; a minimum of 38 nesting Caspian terns and 10 tern chicks were observed on North Rock in Lenore Lake; a minimum of 17 nesting Caspian terns, 2 attended tern nest, and 10 tern chicks observed on Shoal Island in Lenore Lake (a site last used by nesting terns in 2016); no terns were observed on Harper Island in Sprague Lake

WEEKLY UPDATE 7/16 – 7/22/2018

7/16 – 7/22/18 ›

As many as 88 loafing Caspian terns and about 2,100 nesting gulls (in the fledging stage of the breeding cycle) were observed on Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir this week; young of the year Caspian terns (post-fledging) raised at other colonies continue to be observed loafing on Goose Island; one Caspian tern egg was discovered and collected (under permit) on Goose Island this week; receding reservoir levels have provided potential nesting habitat for terns along the shoreline of Goose Island; additional passive nest dissuasion will be installed as necessary to prevent terns from nesting on this recently exposed habitat; all loafing terns were successfully hazed from the shoreline of Goose Island and the surrounding rocky islets this week; targeted active dissuasion of prospecting Caspian terns (i.e. walk-throughs, boat-based hazing, and use of a green laser) is ongoing

7/16 – 7/22/18 ›

High count of 55 loafing Caspian terns were observed at several small islands in northern Potholes Reservoir this week; all were successfully hazed from these sites; additional passive dissuasion will be installed as necessary to prevent terns from nesting on islands in northern Potholes Reservoir

7/16 – 7/22/18 ›

No Caspian terns or gulls were observed on Crescent Island in McNary Reservoir this week; to date, Caspian terns have not used Crescent Island to roost or nest during the 2018 breeding season

7/16 – 7/22/18 ›

Ground- and boat-based surveys of unmanaged nesting   sites in the Columbia Plateau region where Caspian terns displaced from former colonies on Goose and Crescent islands might attempt to nest; 176 Caspian terns, 104 attended tern nests, and 82 tern chicks were observed on Middle Island in the Blalock Islands complex, John Day Reservoir; a minimum of 15 nesting Caspian terns and 7 tern chicks were observed on North Rock in Lenore Lake; a minimum of 22 nesting Caspian terns, 1 attended tern nest, and 5 tern chicks observed on Shoal Island in Lenore Lake (a site last used by nesting terns in 2016); Harper Island in Sprague Lake was not visited this week

WEEKLY UPDATE 7/9 – 7/15/2018

7/9 – 7/15/18 ›

As many as 59 loafing Caspian terns and about 3,330 nesting gulls (in the fledging stage of the breeding cycle) were observed on Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir this week; young of the year (fledgling terns) raised at other colonies have been observed loafing on Goose Island for the first time this week; two Caspian tern eggs were discovered and collected (under permit) on Goose Island this week; receding reservoir levels have provided nesting habitat for terns along the shoreline of Goose Island; additional passive nest dissuasion will be installed as necessary to prevent terns from nesting in this recently exposed habitat; all loafing terns were successfully hazed from the shoreline of Goose Island and the surrounding rocky islets this week; targeted active dissuasion of prospecting Caspian terns (i.e. walk-throughs, boat-based hazing, and use of a green laser) is ongoing

7/9 – 7/15/18 ›

High count of 76 loafing Caspian terns were observed at sites in northern Potholes Reservoir this week, and all were successfully hazed from the sites; additional passive dissuasion will be installed as necessary to prevent terns from nesting on small islands in northern Potholes Reservoir

7/9 – 7/15/18 ›

No Caspian terns or gulls were observed on Crescent Island in McNary Reservoir this week; to date during the 2018 breeding season, Caspian terns have not used Crescent Island to roost or nest

7/9 – 7/15/18 ›

Ground- and boat-based surveys of unmanaged sites in the Columbia Plateau region where Caspian terns displaced from former colonies on Goose and Crescent islands might attempt to nest; 229 Caspian terns, 104 attended tern nests, and 77 tern chicks were observed on Middle Island in the Blalock Islands complex, John Day Reservoir; a minimum of 38 nesting Caspian terns, 3 attended tern nests, and 20 tern chicks were observed on North Rock in Lenore Lake; a minimum of 50 nesting Caspian terns and 3 attended tern nests observed on Shoal Island in Lenore Lake (a site last used by nesting terns in 2016); a minimum of 9 adult Caspian terns and 4 tern chicks were counted on Harper Island in Sprague Lake

WEEKLY UPDATE 7/2 – 7/8/2018

7/2 – 7/8/18 ›

As many as 74 loafing Caspian terns and about 4,600 nesting gulls (in the late chick-rearing to fledging stage of the breeding cycle) were observed on Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir this week; four Caspian tern eggs were discovered and collected (under permit) on Goose Island this week; receding reservoir levels have provided nesting habitat for terns along the shoreline of Goose Island; additional passive nest dissuasion will be installed as necessary to prevent terns from nesting in this recently exposed habitat; all loafing terns were successfully hazed from the shoreline of Goose Island and the surrounding rocky islets this week; targeted active dissuasion of prospecting Caspian terns (i.e. walk-throughs, boat-based hazing, and use of a green laser) is ongoing

7/2 – 7/8/18 ›

A total of 80 loafing Caspian terns were observed at sites in northern Potholes Reservoir this week, and all were successfully hazed from the site; additional passive dissuasion will be installed as necessary to prevent terns from nesting on small islands in northern Potholes Reservoir

7/2 – 7/8/18 ›

No Caspian terns and one loafing gull were observed on Crescent Island in McNary Reservoir this week; to date during the 2018 breeding season, Caspian terns have not used Crescent Island to roost or nest

7/2 – 7/8/18 ›

Ground- and boat-based surveys of unmanaged 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 303 Caspian terns, 100 attended tern nests, and 60 tern chicks were observed on five different islands in the Blalock Islands complex, John Day Reservoir; all of the attended tern nests and chicks in the Blalock Islands complex were observed on Middle Island; a minimum of 49 nesting Caspian terns, 11 attended tern nests, and 11 tern chicks were observed on North Rock in Lenore Lake; a minimum count of 17 nesting Caspian terns and 3 attended tern nests on Shoal Island in Lenore Lake (a site last used by nesting terns in 2016); Harper Island in Sprague Lake was not visited this week

WEEKLY UPDATE 6/25 – 7/1/2018

6/29 – 6/30/18 ›

Third aerial survey of the mid-Columbia River, lower Snake River, and much of the Columbia Plateau region to assess the status of known, potential, and incipient colony sites for Caspian terns; Caspian terns were confirmed nesting at three sites on the Columbia Plateau region; 320 adult Caspian terns, 114 attended tern nests, and 52 tern chicks were counted on Middle Island in the Blalock Islands complex in John Day Reservoir on the Columbia River; 29 adult Caspian terns, 12 attended tern nests, and 12 tern chicks were counted on Harper Island in Sprague Lake; 70 adult Caspian terns, 27 attended tern nests, and 32 tern chicks were counted on North Rock in Lenore Lake; a total of 153 breeding pairs of Caspian terns were estimated to be in the Columbia Plateau region at the time of the flight; additionally, a total of 244 Caspian terns were observed loafing at 20 other sites in the Columbia Plateau region during the flight

6/25 – 7/1/18 ›

As many as 73 loafing Caspian terns and ca. 4,000 nesting gulls (in the late chick-rearing to fledging stage of the breeding cycle) were observed on Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir this week; receding reservoir levels have provided nesting habitat for terns along the shoreline of Goose Island; additional passive nest dissuasion will be installed as necessary to prevent terns from nesting in this recently exposed habitat; all loafing terns were successfully hazed from the shoreline of Goose Island and the surrounding rocky islets this week; targeted active dissuasion of prospecting Caspian terns (i.e. walk-throughs, boat-based hazing, and use of a green laser) is ongoing

6/25 – 7/1/18 ›

A total of 48 loafing Caspian terns were observed at four different sites in northern Potholes Reservoir, and all were successfully hazed from the sites; additional passive dissuasion will be installed as necessary to prevent terns from nesting in northern Potholes Reservoir

6/25 – 7/1/18 ›

No Caspian terns and one loafing gull were observed on Crescent Island in McNary Reservoir this week; to date during the 2018 breeding season, Caspian terns have not used Crescent Island to roost or nest

WEEKLY UPDATE 6/18 – 6/24/2018

6/22/18 ›

A third Caspian tern egg was discovered and collected (under permit) on Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir this season; the tern egg was laid at the water’s edge on Northwest Rocks, immediately adjacent to Goose Island

6/18 – 6/24/18 ›

As many as 69 loafing Caspian terns and ca. 4,000 nesting gulls (in the late chick-rearing to fledging stage of the breeding cycle) were observed on Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir this week; receding reservoir levels have provided nesting habitat for terns along the shoreline of Goose Island; additional passive nest dissuasion will be installed as necessary to prevent terns from nesting in this recently exposed habitat; all loafing terns were successfully hazed from the shoreline of Goose Island and the surrounding rocky islets this week; targeted active dissuasion of prospecting Caspian terns (i.e. walk-throughs, boat-based hazing, and use of a green laser) is ongoing

6/18 – 6/24/18 ›

A total of 20 loafing Caspian terns were observed at four different sites in northern Potholes Reservoir, and all were successfully hazed from the sites; additional passive dissuasion will be installed as necessary to prevent terns from nesting in northern Potholes Reservoir

6/18 – 6/24/18 ›

No Caspian terns or gulls were observed on Crescent Island in McNary Reservoir this week; to date during the 2018 breeding season, Caspian terns have not used Crescent Island to roost or nest

6/18 – 6/24/18 ›

Ground- and boat-based surveys of unmanaged 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 296 Caspian terns, 110 attended tern nests, and 39 tern chicks were observed on five different islands in the Blalock Islands complex, John Day Reservoir; all of the attended tern nests and chicks in the Blalock Islands complex were observed on Middle Island; a minimum of 64 nesting Caspian terns, 18 attended tern nests, and 17 tern chicks were observed on North Rock in Lenore Lake; a minimum of 20 nesting Caspian terns and 4 tern chicks observed on Harper Island in Sprague Lake; no Caspian terns were observed nesting on Badger Island in McNary Reservoir this week; all previous nesting attempts by terns on Badger Island this season have failed, and terns have yet to re-nest at the site

WEEKLY UPDATE 6/11 – 6/17/2018

6/11 – 6/17/18 ›

As many as 43 loafing Caspian terns and ca. 5,900 nesting gulls (tending eggs or chicks) were observed on Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir this week; receding reservoir levels have provided nesting habitat for terns along the shoreline of Goose Island; additional passive nest dissuasion was installed to prevent terns from nesting in this recently exposed habitat; all loafing terns were successfully hazed from the shoreline of Goose Island and the surrounding rocky islets this week; egg-laying by gulls on Goose Island began in early April, causing active dissuasion of gulls to be discontinued at that time; targeted active dissuasion of prospecting Caspian terns (i.e. walk-throughs, boat-based hazing, and use of a green laser) is ongoing

6/11 – 6/17/18 ›

As many as 9 Caspian terns were observed prospecting for nest sites along the shoreline of the 2016 colony site in northeastern Potholes Reservoir; receding reservoir levels have provided nesting habitat for terns along the shoreline of the former colony site; additional passive dissuasion will be installed as necessary to prevent terns from nesting at this site

6/11 – 6/17/18 ›

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

6/11 – 6/17/18 ›

Ground- and boat-based surveys of unmanaged 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 277 Caspian terns, 108 attended tern nests, and 39 tern chicks were observed on four islands in the Blalock Islands complex, John Day Reservoir; all of the attended tern nests and chicks in the Blalock Islands complex were observed on Middle Island; no Caspian terns were observed nesting on Badger Island in McNary Reservoir this week; all previous nesting attempts by terns on Badger Island this season have failed, and terns have yet to re-nest at the site; a minimum of 59 nesting Caspian terns, 42 attended tern nests, and 11 tern chicks were observed on North Rock in Lenore Lake; Harper Island in Sprague Lake was not visited this week

6/11 – 6/17/18 ›

187 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 7,403 steelhead smolts were PIT-tagged and released at Rock Island Dam during the 2018 out-migration; this concludes our PIT-tagging of steelhead at Rock Island Dam during the 2018 out-migration; PIT tag recovery will commence once nesting birds leave their colonies in the coming months

WEEKLY UPDATE 6/4 – 6/10/2018

6/10/18 ›

A second Caspian tern egg was discovered and collected (under permit) on Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir; the tern egg was laid at the water’s edge on the southwestern shoreline of the main island; the area was subsequently covered in passive tern nest dissuasion (stakes, rope, and flagging)

6/4 – 6/10/18 ›

As many as 20 loafing Caspian terns and ca. 4,200 nesting gulls (tending eggs or chicks) were observed on Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir this week; receding reservoir levels have provided nesting habitat for terns along the shoreline of Goose Island; additional passive nest dissuasion was installed to prevent terns from nesting in this recently exposed habitat; all loafing terns were successfully hazed from the shoreline of Goose Island and the surrounding rocky islets this week; egg-laying by gulls on Goose Island began several weeks earlier, causing active dissuasion of gulls to be discontinued; targeted active dissuasion of prospecting Caspian terns (i.e. walk-throughs, boat-based hazing, and use of a green laser) is ongoing

6/4 – 6/10/18 ›

As many as 3 Caspian terns were observed prospecting for nest sites along the shoreline of the 2016 colony site in northeastern Potholes Reservoir; receding reservoir levels have provided nesting habitat for terns along the shoreline of the former colony site; additional passive dissuasion was installed to prevent terns from nesting at this site

6/4 – 6/10/18 ›

No Caspian terns were observed on Crescent Island in McNary Reservoir this week; 4 loafing gulls were observed along the shoreline in the cove on Crescent Island, and all were successfully hazed from the island

6/4 – 6/10/18 ›

Ground- and boat-based surveys of unmanaged 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 284 nesting Caspian terns, 93 attended tern nests, and 41 tern chicks were observed on four islands in the Blalock Islands complex, John Day Reservoir; all of the attended tern nests and chicks in the Blalock Islands complex were observed on Middle Island; no Caspian terns were observed nesting on Badger Island in McNary Reservoir this week; all previous nesting attempts by terns on Badger Island this season have failed, and terns have yet to re-nest at the site; a minimum of 70 nesting Caspian terns, 46 attended tern nests, and 15 tern chicks were observed on North Rock in Lenore Lake; a minimum of 20 nesting Caspian terns observed on Harper Island in Sprague Lake

6/4 – 6/10/18 ›

438 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 5/28 – 6/3/2018

5/30 – 5/31/18 ›

Second aerial survey of the mid-Columbia River, lower Snake River, and much of the Columbia Plateau region to assess the status of known, potential, and incipient colony sites for Caspian terns; Caspian terns were confirmed nesting at three sites on the Columbia Plateau region; 166 Caspian terns and 71 attended nests were counted on Middle Island in the Blalock Islands complex in John Day Reservoir on the Columbia River; 114 Caspian terns and 79 attended nests were counted on Harper Island in Sprague Lake; 120 Caspian terns and 91 attended nests were counted on North Rock in Lenore Lake; no Caspian terns were seen on Badger Island in the mid-Columbia River, which was an active colony site earlier this season; a total of 241 breeding pairs of Caspian terns were estimated to be in the Columbia Plateau region at the time of the flight; additionally, a total of 159 Caspian terns were observed loafing at 15 other sites in the Columbia Plateau region during the flight

5/28 – 6/3/18 ›

As many as 27 loafing Caspian terns and ca. 7,500 nesting gulls (tending eggs or chicks) were observed on Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir this week; receding reservoir levels have provided open habitat for terns along the shoreline of Goose Island; additional passive dissuasion was installed to prevent terns from nesting in these open areas; all loafing terns were successfully hazed from the shoreline of Goose Island and the surrounding rocky islets this week; egg-laying by gulls on Goose Island began several weeks earlier, causing active dissuasion of gulls to be discontinued; targeted active dissuasion of prospecting Caspian terns (i.e. walk-throughs, boat-based hazing, and use of a green laser) is ongoing

5/28 – 6/3/18 ›

As many as 4 Caspian terns were observed prospecting for nest sites along the shoreline of the 2016 colony site in northeastern Potholes Reservoir; receding reservoir levels have provided open habitat for terns along the shoreline of the former colony site and additional passive dissuasion was installed to prevent terns from nesting at this site

5/28 – 6/3/18 ›

No Caspian terns were observed on Crescent Island in McNary Reservoir this week; 13 loafing gulls were observed along the shoreline in the cove on Crescent Island, and all were successfully hazed from the island

5/28 – 6/3/18 ›

738 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 5/21 – 5/27/2018

5/21 – 5/27/18 ›

As many as 3 loafing Caspian terns and ca. 5,600 nesting gulls (tending eggs or chicks) were observed on Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir this week; all loafing terns were successfully hazed from the shoreline of Goose Island and the surrounding rocky islets; egg-laying by gulls on Goose Island began several weeks earlier, causing active dissuasion of gulls to be discontinued; targeted active dissuasion of prospecting Caspian terns (i.e. walk-throughs, boat-based hazing, and use of a green laser) is ongoing

5/21 – 5/27/18 ›

No Caspian terns were observed prospecting for nest sites in northern Potholes Reservoir for the second consecutive week

5/21 – 5/27/18 ›

No Caspian terns were observed on Crescent Island in McNary Reservoir this week; 13 loafing gulls were observed along the shoreline in the cove on Crescent Island, and all were successfully hazed from the island

5/21 – 5/27/18 ›

Ground- and boat-based surveys of unmanaged 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 264 nesting Caspian terns, 109 attended tern nests, and 16 tern chicks were observed on Long and Middle islands in the Blalock Islands complex, John Day Reservoir; all the attended nests and chicks were observed on Middle Island in the Blalock Islands complex; no Caspian terns were observed nesting on Badger Island in McNary Reservoir this week; all previous nesting attempts by terns on Badger Island this season have failed, and terns have yet to renest at the site; minimum of 70 nesting Caspian terns and 46 attended tern nests (most with eggs) were observed on North Rock in Lenore Lake; minimum of 40 nesting Caspian terns observed on Harper Island in Sprague Lake; no Caspian terns have been observed at Twinning Island in Banks Lake, a former colony site

5/21 – 5/27/18 ›

311 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 5/14 – 5/20/2018

5/15 – 5/17/18 ›

UAV (drone) surveys (funded by Grant County PUD/Priest Rapids Coordinating Committee) conducted at the piscivorous waterbird colonies at the Blalock Islands, Badger Island, and Island 20 in the Columbia River, plus at Harper Island in Sprague Lake

5/18/18 ›

First Caspian tern chicks (6) observed at the Blalock Islands complex (on Middle Island) in John Day Reservoir

5/14 – 5/20/18 ›

As many as 11 loafing Caspian terns and ca. 4,700 nesting gulls (tending eggs or chicks) were observed on Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir this week; all loafing terns were successfully hazed from the shoreline of Goose Island and the surrounding rocky islets; egg-laying by gulls on Goose Island began several weeks earlier, causing active dissuasion of gulls to be discontinued; targeted active dissuasion of prospecting Caspian terns (i.e. walk-throughs, boat-based hazing, and use of a green laser) is ongoing

5/14 – 5/20/18 ›

No Caspian terns were observed prospecting for nest sites in northern Potholes Reservoir this week

5/14 – 5/20/18 ›

No Caspian terns were observed on Crescent Island in McNary Reservoir this week; 13 loafing gulls were observed along the shoreline in the cove on Crescent Island, and all were successfully hazed from the island

5/14 – 5/20/18 ›

Ground- and boat-based surveys of unmanaged 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 nesting Caspian terns and 110 attended tern nests (some with eggs) were observed on Long and Middle islands in the Blalock Islands complex, John Day Reservoir; more than half of the previous nesting attempts by terns on the Blalock Islands failed due to flooding associated with rising reservoir levels coupled with high winds late this week, with most of the nest failure occurring on Long Island; no Caspian terns were observed nesting on Badger Island in McNary Reservoir this week; all previous nesting attempts by terns on Badger Island this season have failed, and terns have yet to renest at the site; a high count of 92 nesting Caspian terns and 49 attended tern nests were observed on North Rock in Lenore Lake; a high count of 108 nesting Caspian terns and 70 attended tern nests were observed during a UAV (drone) flight on Harper Island in Sprague Lake; no Caspian terns were observed at Twinning Island in Banks Lake, a former colony site

5/14 – 5/20/18 ›

616 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 5/7 – 5/13/2018

5/7 – 5/13/18 ›

As many as 6 loafing Caspian terns and ca. 5,500 nesting gulls were observed on Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir this week; all loafing terns were successfully hazed from the shoreline of Goose Island and the surrounding rocky islets; egg-laying by gulls on Goose Island is underway, causing active dissuasion of gulls to be discontinued; targeted active dissuasion of prospecting Caspian terns (i.e., walk-throughs, boat-based hazing, and use of a green laser) is ongoing

5/7 – 5/13/18 ›

No Caspian terns were observed on Crescent Island in McNary Reservoir this week; two loafing gulls were observed along the shoreline in the cove on Crescent Island, and both were successfully hazed from the island

5/7 – 5/13/18 ›

Ground- and boat-based surveys of unmanaged 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 635 nesting Caspian terns and 277 attended tern nests (some with eggs) were observed on Long and Middle islands in the Blalock Islands complex, John Day Reservoir; more than half of the previous nesting attempts by terns on the Blalock Islands failed due to flooding associated with rising reservoir levels coupled with high winds late this week; only one loafing tern was observed on Badger Island in McNary Reservoir; previous nesting attempts by terns on Badger Island failed due to flooding of nests that were located near the shoreline during the previous week; a high count of 103 nesting Caspian terns and 52 attended tern nests were observed on North Rock in Lenore Lake; 28 loafing Caspian terns were observed on Harper Island in Sprague Lake, a former colony site; the colony area on Harper Island was not visible during the survey; the former colony site at Twinning Island in Banks Lake was not visited this week

5/7 – 5/13/18 ›

2,407 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 4/30 – 5/6/2018

4/30/18 ›

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 the southeastern shoreline of the main island; the area was subsequently covered in passive dissuasion (stakes, rope, and flagging)

5/1 – 5/2/18 ›

First aerial survey of the mid-Columbia River, lower Snake River, and much of the Columbia Plateau region to assess the status of known, potential, and incipient colony sites for Caspian terns; Caspian terns were confirmed nesting at four sites on the Columbia Plateau region; 646 Caspian terns and 314 attended nests were counted on two islands in the Blalock Islands complex in John Day Reservoir on the Columbia River; 61 Caspian terns and 27 attended nests were counted Harper Island in Sprague Lake; 69 Caspian terns and 28 attended nests were counted on North Rock in Lenore Lake; 10 Caspian terns and 6 attended nests were counted on Badger Island in the mid-Columbia River; a total of 244 Caspian terns were observed loafing at 19 other sites in the Columbia Plateau region

5/4/18 ›

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

5/5/18 ›

First ring-billed gull chick observed on Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir

4/30 – 5/6/18 ›

As many as 12 loafing Caspian terns and ca. 4,800 nesting gulls were observed on Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir this week; all loafing terns were successfully hazed from the shoreline of Goose Island and the surrounding rocky islets; egg-laying by gulls on Goose Island has commenced, causing active dissuasion of gulls to be discontinued; targeted active dissuasion of prospecting Caspian terns (i.e., walk-throughs, boat-based hazing, and use of green laser) is ongoing

4/30 – 5/6/18 ›

No Caspian terns were observed on Crescent Island in McNary Reservoir this week; up to 23 loafing gulls were observed along the shoreline in the cove on Crescent Island, and all were successfully hazed from the island

4/30 – 5/6/18 ›

1,801 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 4/23 – 4/29/2018

4/27 – 4/28/18 ›

Flooding of Caspian tern nests at the Blalock Islands complex (John Day Reservoir) occurred causing some nest failure; flooding occurred due to high reservoir levels coupled with high winds over these two days

4/23 – 4/29/18 ›

As many as 7 loafing Caspian terns and ca. 6,000 nesting gulls were observed on Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir this week; all loafing terns were successfully hazed from the rocky islets surrounding Goose Island; egg-laying by gulls on Goose Island has commenced, causing active dissuasion of gulls to be discontinued; targeted active dissuasion of terns (i.e., walk-throughs, boat-based hazing, and use of green laser) is ongoing

4/23 – 4/29/18 ›

Five loafing Caspian terns were observed at one site in northern Potholes Reservoir this week; these birds were successfully hazed from the site

4/23 – 4/29/18 ›

No Caspian terns were observed on Crescent Island in McNary Reservoir this week; up to 33 loafing gulls were observed on Crescent Island, and all were successfully hazed from the island

4/23 – 4/29/18 ›

Ground- and boat-based surveys of unmanaged 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 570 nesting Caspian terns and 117 attended tern nests (some with eggs) were observed on Long and Middle islands in the Blalock Islands complex, John Day Reservoir; loafing terns were also observed on Rock, Sand, and Southern islands in the Blalock Islands; a high count of 43 nesting Caspian terns and 6 attended tern nests were observed on Badger Island in the mid-Columbia River; a high count of 26 nesting Caspian terns and 6 attended tern nests were observed on North Rock in Lenore Lake; 6 loafing Caspian terns were observed on Harper Island in Sprague Lake, a former colony site; no Caspian terns were observed on Twinning Island in Banks Lake, a former colony site

4/23 – 4/29/18 ›

763 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 4/16 – 4/22/2018

4/17/18 ›

First visit to Harper Island in Sprague Lake, where Caspian terns have nested in previous years; 5 loafing Caspian terns were observed on the northeast tip of the island

4/16 – 4/22/18 ›

Repaired new openings in the beaver exclusion fencing on Crescent Island in McNary Reservoir; fallen trees on southwest end of island are in the process of being cleared

4/16 – 4/22/18 ›

As many as 5 loafing Caspian terns and ca. 7,000 nesting gulls were observed on Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir this week; loafing terns were using the rocky islets that surround Goose Island and have yet to use the island itself for loafing or prospecting for nest sites; all loafing terns were successfully hazed from the rocky islets surrounding Goose Island; egg-laying by gulls on Goose Island has commenced, causing active dissuasion of gulls to be discontinued; targeted active dissuasion of terns (i.e., walk-throughs, boat-based hazing, and use of green laser) is ongoing

4/16 – 4/22/18 ›

As many as 4 loafing Caspian terns were observed on two small islands in northern Potholes Reservoir this week; loafing terns were successfully hazed from each site and temporary passive nest dissuasion (i.e., stakes, rope, and flagging) was installed in the upland areas used by loafing terns

4/16 – 4/22/18 ›

No Caspian terns were observed on Crescent Island in McNary Reservoir this week; a total of 12 loafing gulls were observed on Crescent Island, and all were successfully hazed from the island

4/16 – 4/22/18 ›

Ground- and boat-based surveys of unmanaged 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 460 nesting Caspian terns and 54 attended tern nests were observed on Long and Middle islands in the Blalock Islands complex, John Day Reservoir; loafing terns were also observed on Rock, Sand, and Southern islands in the Blalock Islands; on Lenore Lake a high count of 13 nesting Caspian terns and 2 attended tern nests were observed on North Rock and one loafing tern was observed on Shoal Island; 5 loafing Caspian terns were observed on Harper Island in Sprague Lake; no Caspian terns were observed on Badger Island in the mid-Columbia River

4/16 – 4/22/18 ›

137 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 4/9 – 4/15/2018

4/9/18 ›

First gull eggs observed on Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir

4/10/18 ›

First Caspian terns (4 individuals) observed on Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir

4/9 - 4/15/18 ›

Completed installation of field camp on Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir; continued planting willows along the shoreline at Goose Island; installation of temporary passive dissuasion will continue along the shoreline at Goose Island and at selected locations in northern Potholes Reservoir as needed due to exposure of additional nesting habitat with receding reservoir levels in the coming months; a solar-powered irrigation system (for low pressure and flow) on Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir was optimized; the irrigation system is to test the feasibility of seeding native grasses and shrubs on Goose Island as a sustainable passive nest dissuasion measure at this former colony site

4/9 – 4/15/18 ›

Completed repair and installation of passive nest dissuasion materials and repaired new openings in the beaver exclusion fencing (4) on Crescent Island in McNary Reservoir

4/9 – 4/15/18 ›

As many as 7 loafing Caspian terns and ca. 4,700 nesting gulls 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., walk-throughs, boat-based hazing, and use of green laser) are ongoing

4/9 – 4/15/18 ›

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

4/9 – 4/15/18 ›

Ground- and boat-based surveys of unmanaged 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 376 nesting Caspian terns and 43 attended tern nests were observed on Long and Middle islands and loafing terns were observed on Rock, Sand, and Southern islands in the Blalock Islands complex, John Day Reservoir; no Caspian terns were observed on Badger Island on the mid-Columbia River or on the network of islands in northeastern Potholes Reservoir

4/9 – 4/15/18 ›

8 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 populations

WEEKLY UPDATE 4/2 – 4/8/2018

4/4/18 ›

Installation completed on solar-powered irrigation system at Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir; irrigation system is to test the feasibility of seeding native grasses and shrubs on Goose Island as a sustainable passive nest dissuasion measure at this former colony site

4/4/18 ›

Installation completed on new tern passive nest dissuasion (ropes and flagging) on Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir; began planting willows along the shoreline at Goose Island; installation of temporary passive dissuasion will continue along the shoreline at Goose Island and at selected locations in northern Potholes Reservoir as needed due to exposure of additional nesting habitat with receding reservoir levels in the coming months 

4/5/18 ›

First Caspian terns observed on the mid-Columbia River during the 2018 breeding season

4/5 - 4/6/18 ›

First visits to the Blalock Islands complex, where Caspian terns have nested in previous years; PIT tags were sown on the islands for tag detection efficiency studies; installed observation blind; water level gauge installed near island; 65 loafing Caspian terns and nesting gulls were observed on the islands

4/6/18 ›

First visit to Twinning Island in Banks Lake, where Caspian terns have nested in previous years; PIT tags were sown on the islands for tag detection efficiency studies; no Caspian terns and 70 nesting gulls were observed on the island

4/6/18 ›

First Caspian terns observed at Lenore Lake during the 2018 breeding season

4/7/18 ›

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 the 2018 nesting season; no juvenile steelhead have been collected at Rock Island Dam to date; we anticipate tagging will begin next week with the arrival of early out-migrants

4/2 – 4/8/18 ›

Removal/disposal of old rope, installation of new rope and flagging, and repairs to openings in beaver exclusion fence on Crescent Island in McNary Reservoir

4/2 – 4/8/18 ›

No Caspian terns and ca. 3,500 gulls were observed on Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir this week; gulls continue to build nests, no gull eggs observed to date; active dissuasion of gulls continued

4/2 – 4/8/18 ›

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

WEEKLY UPDATE 3/26 – 4/1/2018

3/27 – 3/30/18 ›

Installation of solar-powered irrigation system on Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir; irrigation system used to test feasibility of seeding native grasses and shrubs on Goose Island as a sustainable passive nest dissuasion measure at this former colony site

4/1/18 ›

First Caspian terns (2 individuals) observed in the Potholes Reservoir area (loafing in Columbia National Wildlife Refuge) during the 2018 breeding season

3/26 – 4/1/18 ›

Installation of new passive dissuasion (ropes and flagging) on Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir now 98% complete by the end of the week

3/26 – 4/1/18 ›

No Caspian terns and ca. 3,500 gulls were observed on Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir this week; gulls continued to build nests, no gull eggs observed this week; active dissuasion of gulls continued

3/26 – 4/1/18 ›

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

WEEKLY UPDATE 3/19 – 3/25/2018

3/21/18 ›

Site visit to Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir with representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Walla Walla District and Bureau of Reclamation to discuss efforts to prevent Caspian terns from nesting at this former colony site

3/19 – 3/23/18 ›

Motorboat Operator Certification Course (MOCC) completed by new members of the field crew

3/19 – 3/25/18 ›

Installation of new passive dissuasion (rope and flagging) on Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir now 95% complete by the end of the week

3/19 – 3/25/18 ›

No Caspian terns and ca. 3,000 gulls were observed on Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir this week; gulls beginning to build nests; active nest dissuasion of gulls continued

3/19 – 3/25/18 ›

Crescent Island in McNary Reservoir was not visited this week

WEEKLY UPDATE 3/12 – 3/18/2018

3/12/18 ›

First visit to Crescent Island in McNary Reservoir to inspect existing passive dissuasion and beaver exclusion fencing previously installed to protect willow plantings

3/12/18 ›

First visit to an island in Lenore Lake where Caspian terns nested in previous years; PIT tags were sown on the island where terns nested last year for tag detection efficiency studies; no birds observed on the island

3/18/18 ›

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

3/12 – 3/18/18 ›

Installation of new passive dissuasion (rope and flagging) on Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir now 90% complete by the end of the week

3/12 – 3/18/18 ›

No Caspian terns and ca. 3,500 gulls were observed on Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir this week; gulls were engaged in preliminary breeding behaviors (i.e., territorial displays, courtship); active dissuasion of gulls continued

3/12 – 3/18/18 ›

No Caspian terns or gulls observed on Crescent Island in McNary Reservoir this week; approximately 1,500 gulls observed on nearby Badger Island

WEEKLY UPDATE 3/5 – 3/11/2018

3/7/18 ›

First visit to Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir to inspect existing tern passive nest dissuasion materials

3/7 - 3/8/18 ›

Removal/disposal of previously deployed rope on Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir; rope had become degraded since initial installation in 2014

3/8 – 3/11/18 ›

Installation of new passive dissuasion (rope and flagging) on Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir now 60% complete by the end of the week

3/5 – 3/11/18 ›

No Caspian terns and ca. 3,500 gulls were observed on Goose Island in Potholes Reservoir this week; gulls were engaged in preliminary breeding behavior (i.e., territorial displays); active dissuasion of gulls commenced

WEEKLY UPDATE 2/26 – 3/4/2018

2/26 – 3/4/18 ›

Field crew hiring, orientation, and training

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

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