Cooler than normal temperatures slow spring progression; river systems running high across state.
Cooler than normal temperatures, clouds and rain dominated the last week and slowed down the spring progression, including bird migrations and fish spawning. However, a warm-up in the next couple of weeks could change that quickly.
River systems across the entire state are running very high, and while the Memorial Day weekend has traditionally been a popular paddling weekend, recreational safety specialists are cautioning that only experienced and properly outfitted paddlers should be on rivers when they are running this high. The Lower Wisconsin River set a flow rate record this week of 42,000 cubic feet per second at Muscoda and there are no sandbars available for camping. The river is running fast and deep, with some boat launches under water.
PHOENIX — Those curious about the underwater lives of Arizona’s desert pupfish can tune in to the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s newest wildlife live-streaming camera.
The desert pupfish camera is located in the cienega habitat at the Red Mountain Campus of Mesa Community College, which has partnered to conserve this endangered fish and other wildlife species. The cienega pond houses a variety of native wildlife, including Gila topminnows (another endangered fish), long-finned dace, lowland leopard frogs and Sonoran mud turtles.
“Desert pupfish are among our most beautiful native fishes,” said Randy Babb, AZGFD Watchable Wildlife Program manager. “They are well adapted to harsh environments – they can tolerate water with low oxygen levels and salinity three times that of sea water in addition to temperatures exceeding 110 degrees. Part of this project is being done to establish literal gene pools for conservation efforts to ensure these important fishes are not lost to future generations.”
Complement your national park trip with a stop at a nearby wildlife refuge
Visiting a national park this summer? Pair it with a side trip to a less discovered cousin – a national wildlife refuge.
The National Wildlife Refuge System, part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, protects natural habitat for America’s treasured wildlife species, helps clean our air and water and offers access to world-class recreation, such as fishing, hunting and nature watching.
Refuges are surprisingly close to some of the country’s most celebrated canyons, mountains and springs. And often, they are way less crowded. Consider these perfect pairs.
The Western Native Trout Initiative (WNTI) and its partners are once again offering opportunities for community organizations to tap into dollars to restore or recover western native trout in the rivers, lakes and watersheds where they are found. The 2017 Small Grants Program Request for Proposals will be accepting applications until June 16, 2017.
The program specifically funds innovative projects that jump-start or complete smaller, high-impact efforts. Projects considered for funding under the Small Grants Program may include riparian or instream habitat restoration, barrier removal or construction, population or watershed assessments needed for prioritization and planning, water leases or acquisitions to improve instream flows, and native trout-focused community outreach and education. Individual projects can be funded at a maximum of $3,000.
PORTLAND, Ore. — Beach visitors have been flocking to Pacific Northwest beaches as the sun begins to return after a long, wet winter. While long walks on the beach with your dog may be relaxing for the two of you, it's very stressful (and possibly deadly) for the thousands of shorebirds trying to nest or rest in the midst of a long migration.
“The western snowy plover and other migratory birds really need to be left alone, particularly during nesting season and migrations,” said Laura Todd, field supervisor for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Newport field office. “Some of these birds are in the middle of a thousand-mile journey that starts in South America and doesn’t finish until they reach the Arctic. The beaches here in Oregon and Washington offer a much-needed spot to feed, rest and nest, and shorebirds rely on humans to let them be to complete their journey or nest successfully.”