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 when Steve Puddicombe and the Satterlunds invited folks to the Gray’s River, where little toads were found in April. The excitement erupted in May when toads laid long, paired egg strings at the Gray’s River. Dry weather drained and dried the little pools along with the eggs. Hope was renewed when more eggs were found later.

Carlo Abbruzzese’s high-elevation surveys at Merrill Lake in late March and April turned up red-legged, northwestern and a few chorus frog egg masses, as well as one little toad.

There may have been cascades frogs egg masses at Merrill as well. We’re going to work hard at distinguishing cascade and red-legged egg masses in 2011.

Beside the thrill of finding egg masses, where they were and weren’t was interesting. Tom Finn’s group found 48 northwestern masses in side channel ponds Columbia Land Trust made along Germany Creek in 2008-09. Kalama 4H found lots of red-legged masses in a little pond in a cow pasture. The Mint Farm restoration is so new that few critters beside long-toed salamanders have located it. There were other interesting discoveries. The Edmonsons found sculpin inside egg masses. Louis LaPierre found a chorus frog male in amplexus with juvenile bullfrog. Newts were actively decimating the single red-legged egg mass found in a Fox Creek pond. And kids had a great time.

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Leadbetter CBC
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Wahkiakum CBC
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Cowlitz Columbia CBC
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