OUTDOORS: Backyard Birding series continues

SEQUIM — Wildlife guide and plant ecologist Carolyn Wilcox will present “Birdscaping — Inviting Birds to Your Yard” as The Olympic Peninsula Audubon Society’s Backyard Birding series continues Saturday.

The talk will be held at the Dungeness River Nature Center, 1943 W. Hendrickson Road, from 10 a.m. to noon.

Admission is free with a $5 suggested donation.

Wilcox will share her insights on the relationship between native plants and birds — and the ways to transform your yard into a wildlife sanctuary.

Wilcox has a decade of experience as an Olympic Peninsula guide and as a Backyard Wildlife Sanctuary manager with criteria set by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Crab/shrimp advisors

Applicants are sought for a volunteer committee that advises the state Department of Fish and Wildlife on Puget Sound recreational crab and shrimping issues.

The Recreational Crab and Shrimp Advisory Committee (RCSAC) offers a link between department staff and recreational crab and shrimp harvesters in Puget Sound.

Committee members provide insight, recommendations and advice to the Puget Sound Shellfish program’s crustacean team regarding potential management actions, harvest seasons, regulations, education and outreach opportunities and stakeholder communication.

Advisors will be chosen based on their experience in the recreational crab and shrimp fishery, ability to contribute diverse perspectives and address issues in a thoughtful and productive manner, willingness to engage, and their ability to communicate with fishery managers and others.

Applicants are not required to be affiliated with an organized group. Anyone can apply, including those who may require reasonable accommodations to participate as an advisory committee member. Those interested should review the Recreational Crab and Shrimp Advisory Committee website and the WDFW Advisory Member Handbook.

Applications are due by 5 p.m. on Jan. 20. Applicants may apply online using the online application form by visiting the RCSAC webpage. A written application is also available for download and may be submitted by email to Don Velasquez or by mail to Attn: Crustacean Manager, 16018 Mill Creek Boulevard, Mill Creek, WA 98012-1541.

Lake Ozette update

Olympic National Park Fisheries Biologist Patrick Crain will present “Lake Ozette: An Ecological Update as Olympic National Park’s Perspectives Winter Speaker Series continues Jan. 17.

The presentation is hosted by the North Olympic Library System on Zoom. For access to the Zoom link, visit nols.org/ONP. No registration is required.

Crain will discuss the health and status of the Lake Ozette freshwater ecosystem.

Home to a unique population of sockeye listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act and the endemic Ozette mud minnow, the freshwater ecosystem of Lake Ozette is under threat.

Invasive clams, degradation of shoreline habitat and changes in predator behavior are among the impacts that are being evaluated. Also, Crain will share some actions that the park and volunteers are taking to mitigate these impacts and help the lake.

The free talks continue each month through April. Save the date for presentations on Feb. 14, March 14, and April 11. Recordings are available the day after the presentations. View the series recordings from November and December at nols.org/ONP.

The series is sponsored by Olympic National Park, the Friends of Olympic National Park and the North Olympic Library System.

Birdfest registration

Online registration for Olympic Birdfest is open for lectures, classes, field trips, events, birdwatching cruises and a Saturday night banquet.

The festival is set April 13-16 and headquartered at the Dungeness River Nature Center in Sequim.

Opportunities include a three-day pre-festival cruise to the San Juan Islands and a post-festival three-day trip to Neah Bay.

To register, visit www.OlympicBirdFest.org.

Green crab update

More than 269,000 invasive green crabs have been removed from Washington waters in 2022, according to Fish and Wildlife.

That includes the confiscation of live green crabs at a Seattle market by Fish and Wildlife Officers Trent Weidert and Nick Libbing.

It was determined that the retail market had bought about 30 pounds of live green crabs from a distributer in Massachusetts with the intent of selling them for use in crab stock and soup. Marketed only as “green crabs,” the seller did not appear to know they were European green crabs regulated as a prohibited invasive species.

The seller was cooperative with Libbing, and the crabs were confiscated and destroyed.

Further investigation into the Massachusetts seafood distributer continues, including contact with Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game wardens about possible ramifications for interstate trafficking of live invasive species, and whether they were sold to other Pacific Northwest states or provinces.

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