Refuge News & Highlights
Catawba Island Garden Club donates $5,000 to new West Harbor Landing Refuge
Suzanne Richard, president of Catawba Island Garden Club, recently presented a $5,000 check to Aimee Arent, Executive Director of Friends of Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge and Justin Woldt, Visitor Services Manager for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service located at the Ottawa Wildlife Refuge in Oak Harbor.
The $5,000 donation is for construction of the new Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge-West Harbor Landing located on NE Catawba Road, just north of the causeway. The new national refuge will host a fishing platform, shelter and kayak launch.
“Thanks to generous community support for our Annual Plant Sale in early May and our raffle ticket sales we are able to give back to several projects in our community,” said Richard, explaining that the garden club has had a busy and exciting year. “We are thrilled to be able to help launch this new wildlife refuge project.”
Landscape design created by Ed Urban of Port Clinton will help showcase this new area. Catawba Island Garden Club members are excited about the beautiful perennials and native plants Urban included to attract butterflies.
Additional funding is still needed to complete the West Harbor Landing project. To contribute go to www.friendsofottawanwr.org.
Monarch butterflies wait to migrate to Mexico
September 12, 2018: Monarch butterflies wait out the cold, windy and wet weather at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge before flying to the forests of Mexico for winter. Port Clinton News Herald
Kids dive into wetlands wildlife at 'Aqua Adventure' Camp
June 20, 2018: Area children are getting the chance to trek out on an “Aqua Adventure” at the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge this week and throughout the summer. Jon Stinchcomb/News Herald
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Seeks Input on Hunting Plan
Fish and Wildlife Service Seeks Input on Hunting Plan OAK HARBOR - Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge Complex, a unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System located in northwestern Ohio, has published a draft hunting plan for the complex. Public comments will be accepted through March 25. The plan may be viewed at fws.gov/refuge/Ottawa/huntplan.html.
The proposed changes would increase the number of areas open to hunting to provide more opportunities for hunters. Some of the changes include regulation changes on areas already open to hunting, others changes would open refuge properties that had not been open to hunting before. Some of these areas include newly acquired property.
To comment on the draft plan, environmental assessment, or compatibility determination people may download a copy at https://www.fws.gov/refuge/Ottawa/huntplan.html and submit written comments by mail at Ottawa NWR, Attn: Eddy Pausch, 14000 West State Route 2, Oak Harbor, OH 43449 or via email to email@example.com.
Young Birdwatcher Spots Wildlife, January 2018
BENTON TOWNSHIP - As cold winds swirled outside on Saturday morning, Evelyn Miller, 3, spotted a large eagles’ nest nestled high in the trees off in the distance from inside at the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge’s visitors center.
With help from her mother, Evelyn, of Elmore, peered through the indoor spotting scope to get a closer look at the nest before a blue jay swoops and lands nearby, standing out in the sea of white snow outside...Read more.
Osprey Banding, July 2017
Photos by: Catherine Traxler
Reclaiming our River: The Portage, May 2017
Reclaiming Our River: The Portage By Ben Cathey, 13ABC
Updated: Fri 6:26 PM, May 12, 2017
The same companies that polluted and then paid to clean up the Ottawa River also agreed to clean up the Portage River in Ottawa County, after a settlement. It's a follow up to our investigation into the health of local waterways.
This gorgeous piece of land is called the Corogin Tract. It will soon be part of the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge. The new wetland will help to prevent flooding, cleaning water, and bringing back animals.
You can see the wildlife is already here," Eddy Pausch said. Pausch is the assistant manager of the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge.
More than 175 acres of old farmland already started going back to nature. With the purchase from the Ottawa River Group and work to take down dikes from contractors, it's about to get a boost.
"We saw bald eagles," Pausch said. "There's a great blue heron rookery."
New hardwood stands and native grasses will help, as will gutting the invasive phragmites. "Benefiting largely Lake Erie, the western basin of lake Erie," Dina Pierce said. "And improving water quality which benefits everybody." Pierce is the Ohio EPA's spokeswoman. This project ties into the 25-year battle to clean up the Ottawa River in Toledo.Dina works with the Ohio EPA, and says the Ottawa River has too much developed area for a wetland this large. That wetland will act as a scrubber."Wetlands are nature's kidney," Pierce said.
At the intersection of the Portage and Little Portage, the land just south of Oak Harbor will help block flooding farm land. And that could eventually help our algae blooms."And get cleaner water running into the lake, with less nutrients. That's going to be helpful towards that goal," Pierce said.
With a price tag of $575,000 for the land and a quarter million still to go, Fish and Wildlife wants to share the land the private companies bought. "We'd like to be able to open it up to the public if possible," Pausch said. Work was scheduled to begin here next month. But because of an east wind driving water driving water into the marsh and heavy rains last week, now work won't be done until next year.
Eagles Thriving at Ottawa NWR, January 2017
BENTON TOWNSHIP - For a species on the brink of extinction just decades ago, our country’s majestic national bird, the bald eagle, has made a remarkable comeback and the evidence is perched in northwest Ohio’s backyard.
“You aren’t going to find a higher density of bald eagles anywhere in the country — outside of Alaska — greater than what you’re going to find here in northwest Ohio,” said Justin Woldt, of the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge. Read more...
Carrying on a Legacy, December 2016
OAK HARBOR - The busy East Toledo street named after Peter Navarre doesn’t much resemble the native wilderness its namesake lived in. Navarre, who lived from 1790 to 1874, was a famed woodsman, hunter, fur trader and frontier scout whose skills aided Oliver Hazard Perry in the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812.
Today, one of Navarre’s descendants, Aimee Arent, is continuing her great-, great-, great-, great-grandfather’s legacy by helping to promote and protect the lakeside area of Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge. Arent’s family has a long history in the area, and she feels tied to it by blood and by the lake. ...Read more.
Photography Camp, August 2016
Have you ever wondered what types of pictures 8-12 year old kiddos take at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge? Check out this great collection taken by our 8-12 year olds attending Expedition Photography Camp this August!
For more information about camps, call 419-898-0014.
Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge becomes First Poo-Poo Project in Ohio.
With the purchase and installation of two Poo-Poo Screens, Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge becomes Teton Raptor Center’s first Poo-Poo Project Partner in Ohio. The screens have been placed on ventilation pipes of vault toilets in the National Wildlife Refuge in order to prevent wildlife entrapment and to help create an awareness of this nationwide wildlife hazard.
Each year thousands of cavity-nesters, animals that prefer dark, narrow spaces for nesting and roosting, become entrapped in vertical open pipes such as ventilation pipes, claim stakes and chimneys. Vault toilets, the self-contained restrooms found in many of America’s wilderness areas, feature 12” vertical ventilation pipes that mimic the natural cavities preferred by various bird species for nesting and roosting. Once a bird enters a ventilation pipe and is inside the ‘basement’ of the vault toilet, they are permanently stuck and succumb to dehydration, starvation or disease. Compared to other ventilation pipe screening options, Poo-Poo Screens are extremely durable, easy to install, very affordable and have superior ventilation.
Teton Raptor Center, a nonprofit raptor conservation organization based in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, created the “Poo-Poo Project” (Port-O-Potty Owl Project) in response to a photo of a Boreal Owl trapped in the bottom of a vault toilet. In 2010, they initiated a community-driven wildlife conservation project to install 100 Poo-Poo screens on the ventilation pipes of vault toilets throughout Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park, as well as Shoshoni, Bridger-Teton, and Caribou-Targhee National Forests. Including the two Poo-Poo Screens installed at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, 187 Poo-Poo Partners have installed 6,855 Poo-Poo Screens in 21 states.
The West Sister Island NWR nest count estimates for this 2016 are: great blue herons - 588, great egrets - 840, black-crowned night-herons - 313, double-crested cormorants - 2164, and snowy egret - 10.
Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid
The work is always present on the National Wildlife Refuge. Staff and volunteers work this week to monitor the status of the Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid.
This species was added to the U.S. list of Endangered and Threatened Species on September 28, 1989.
Through consistent dedication, protection and management of habitat the team at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge has been able to provide quality areas for this species to grow. To learn more about this plant please visit the following link below. https://www.fws.gov/midwest/endangered/plants/epfo/epfo.html
The refuge has a small staff that works together as a great team. Repairs were badly needed on a piece of the boardwalk, some staff worked to remove the decking, now maintenance staff are replacing the supports. We also want to give a big welcome to Ramsey Houze our newest staff member, he is on the right in the photo working with Chuck Shier.
Osprey at ONWR
Ospreys will now have a new nesting platform at the Darby Unit on Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge!! The 200th Red Horse Squadron from Camp Perry provided the nest pole and truck along with the help of some great service members.
The staff at Ottawa NWR are always looking to improve wildlife habitat and by developing great partnerships with other organizations this improves our ability to provide quality areas for this species and many others.
J. Bauer USFWS
Monarchs have Arrived!
We have been finding a few monarch caterpillars at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge! Stop by the Visitor Center to watch their metamorphosis into beautiful butterflies.
Click here to learn why this species is in trouble- and what you can do to help!
A new exotic species in the visitor center. The Pokemon Go craze is everywhere! We have ten miles of hiking trails to hatch your eggs, catch Pokemon, and enjoy nature. Be careful parking for the Pokestop at the entrance sign. It's best to park at the kiosk and walk over to the sign.
Refuge Ranger Camp
A really great article in the News Herald about Refuge Ranger Day Camp, we love to see the kids perspective.
Have you heard of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Field Notes? This is a great resource to learn about what is happening on federal lands across our country. You can search by subject, state or region and then read articles about all kids of critters.
Letters from Madyson
Recently I attended one of the most exciting, fun, and amazing events at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge for an amazing bird count, with some amazing people. We saw not only birds, but we also saw many other wildlife animals and tracks. For example, we had seen three rabbits, two does, squirrels, and many deer tracks. Our nice rangers, Caitlin and Rebecca, helped my group and I recognized all the colorful birds around us and the woods.
I, Madyson Drouillard, attend Ottawa's Bird Count every year and enjoy learning about the refuge itself and the wildlife around us. I always have fun and learn something new every time. For instance, this trip I learned that Ottawa is 10,000 acres and that there are over 200 species of birds in Michigan alone.
Speaking of birds, my group and I saw sixteen different species of birds on our walk through the wooded trails:
7 downy woodpeckers
2 Blue Jays
4 Tree Sparrows
5 Cardinals (male)
2 Brown Creepers
2 Red-bellied woodpeckers
1 Dark-eyed Junco
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
1 Cooper's Hawk
1 Rough-legged hawk
The thing I love the most about Ottawa is that it's kid friendly and everybody there is very nice. I had a wonderful time out here at Ottawa and I hope you get to make it next year.
Your Junior Correspondent,