2012 Amphibian Egg Mass Surveys Kick Off

On January 28th, the WHAS-sponsored citizen science amphibian egg-mass survey project kicked-off its third season. After 25 people participated in training at Lower Columbia College, seven volunteers surveyed Indian Jack Slough (IJS) near Cathlamet, finding 269 red-legged frog and 17 long-toed salamander egg masses. Russ and Ann Kastberg first surveyed IJS under the Clark County Citizen Science Amphibian Survey Project in 2008. Surveys focus on three pond areas this year. The “Red Barn” site, our baseline survey site, consists of an old creek channel and an open wetland. In addition, we are surveying two new areas the landowner, Columbia Land Trust, has restored and re-shaped into ponds. It was a successful and fun day, and a good start to a promising season!!

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2010 Amphibian Egg Mass Surveys

Fun with frogs, family and friends found in freshets, fens, ponds, puddles, swales and lots of water in 2010 as people paddled, puddle-jumped, waded and slogged through bogs. As early as January red-legged frog (RAAU) and long-toed salamander (AMMA) egg masses showed up in Jack’s Slough and Germany Creek. In February copious quantities of the long-toed salamander egg masses were found at the Mint Farm, northwestern salamander (AMGR) egg masses appeared in Germany Creek and near Rainier, and Margaret Green found on lone AMGR mass at the Mint Farm.

The Gray’s River toads took us on an emotional roller coaster ride. Excitement mounted

Read more: 2010 Amphibian Egg Mass Surveys

Amphibian Egg Mass Surveys in the News

"Under Kastberg's enthusiastic oversight, dozens of volunteers have hopped to it during the county's first official amphibian survey. Adults and youth groups are wading through local ponds and wetlands, counting frogs, salamanders and the egg masses they lay this time of year."  Read an article in The Daily News by Tom Paulu about our local amphibian egg mass survey efforts.

Egg Mass Surveying

Surveying has been great.  We've found long-toed eggs (AMMA) at the Mint Farm in Longview, and red-legged frog (RAAU) egg masses west of Longview up Spruce Creek, at Germany Creek and Nelson Creek and in a cow pasture in Kalama.  Northwestern Salamanders are laying in Germany Creek and South Nemah. From Corkran and Thoms's Amphibians of Oregon, Washington and British Columbia: WINTER (Some periods of freezing weather; often December to mid February.) During periods of warm rain:

  • Long-toed Salamanders gather at breeding sites and lay their eggs.  Sudden, prolonged, sub-freezing weather can kill both adults and eggs.
  • The first Red-legged Frogs lay their eggs.
  • The low croaking of Pacific Treefrogs can be heard away from the ponds, but they are not yet breeding.

Early Spring (Frost some nights, some sun, some late snows; often late February and March) During periods of warm rain:

  • The first Northwestern Salamanders lay their eggs.
  • The last Long-toed Salamanders lay their eggs, and many of the earlier eggs hatch.
  • The last Red-legged frogs lay their eggs.
  • Pacific Treefrogs begin chorusing and may begin to lay eggs.

It looks like we may be in early spring. This sure describes what we're seeing out there in Cowlitz and Wahkiakum counties.  Looks like chorus frog eggs have been found in Clark County.

Upcoming Events

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Leadbetter CBC
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Wahkiakum CBC
Jan 01;
Cowlitz Columbia CBC