Outdoors

Outdoor news briefs for Nov. 1

The Tahoma Audubon Society is holding a beginning birding class, starting Monday.
The Tahoma Audubon Society is holding a beginning birding class, starting Monday. Staff file, 2000

Birding

Beginning class begins Monday at Nature Center

Tahoma Audubon Society’s adult education program is offering a beginning birding class starting Monday.

This class will help participants identify the birds on the feeder, sort out all the ducks seen on the water and learn how to identify birds on their own.

Marcus Roening, a master birder and past president of the Washington Ornithological Society and Tahoma Audubon Society, will lead the class.

The class will meet from 6:45-9 p.m. Mondays through Nov. 16 at the Tacoma Nature Center, 1919 S. Tyler St., Tacoma. It also includes two local field trips from 9 a.m.-noon Saturday and Nov. 14. Transportation for field trips not included.

The class is for those ages 18 and older. The cost is $60 for Audubon members and $75 for non-members. Call the Nature Center at 253-591-6439 to register.

Conservation

Wild Fish Conservancy rep speaks in Olympia

Jamie Glasgow of the Wild Fish Conservancy will be the featured speaker at Thursday’s meeting of the Puget Sound Anglers South Sound chapter.

Glasgow, the director of science and research (Ecology), will talk about the variety of the projects the Conserancy is involved in, including habitat, harvest and hatchery.

Glasgow received his master’s degree in fisheries from the University of Washington after earning a bachelor’s degree in biology from Wake Forest University. He did additional undergraduate study at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.

The Olympia resident is involved in data collection, analysis and reporting aspects of most Conservancy projects. He has been conducting fisheries research and restoration projects in the Northwest since 1996.

The meeting, free and open to the public, will begin at 7 p.m. at Lacey Community Center, 6729 Pacific Ave. SE, Lacey. Glasgow’s presentation will begin at 7:15 p.m.

Research

State expands forage fish study locations

The state is expanding its search for areas of Puget Sound where surf smelt, Pacific sand lance and other forage fish go to spawn.

During the past year, teams surveyed more than 1,000 sites on public and private South Sound beaches to find evidence of spawning activity. Those surveys found forage fish eggs in locations and at times where these fish previously hadn’t been documented, said Phillip Dionne, research scientist for the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.

In November, state marine biologists will expand their search to beaches throughout Puget Sound. At the end of the project, the agency will have a better understanding of what makes good habitat for forage fish, Dionne said.

Waterfront landowners who want their beaches excluded from the surveys can opt out by filling out a form online at wdfw.wa.gov.

You can learn more about the forage fish study and upcoming beach surveys at wdfw.wa.gov.

Restoration

Works closes Deception Pass beach

Work has begun to restore 540 linear feet and nearly one acre of shoreline in Bowman Bay at Deception Pass State Park. During the project, public access to the beach area will be closed for about three weeks. Construction is expected to be completed by Nov. 18.

Restoring the beach will involve removing the stone and boulder riprap bulkhead, re-grading the beach with a sand and gravel mix appropriate for surf smelt spawning habitat, and planting the backshore with native vegetation.

Removing the old riprap and re-grading the beach will require the use of heavy equipment, such as dump trucks and excavators. For safety reasons, public access to the beach will be closed at Rosario Road. Trails into the beach from other areas also will be closed, and marked with signs.

The beach was armored more than a half-century ago to protect a fish hatchery and marine biology station once operated by the Washington Department of Fisheries (now Department of Fish and Wildlife).

Compiled by Jeffrey P. Mayor, jeff.mayor@thenewstribune.com

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