In the field notes: Here’s a roundup of state outdoors news.
Invasive Plant Reaches Michigan
An invasive grass species from Asia that had been used to pack china in the early 20th century has been found for the first time in the state, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources said.
Japanese stillgrass was found recently on private property near Ann Arbor, the first detection in the state. The grass has been on Michigan’s invasive species watch list since 2015, due to its spread in neighboring states. It is now widely distributed along the East Coast and in southern states.
“This annual grass is considered highly invasive, taking hold in areas of disturbed soil along banks, roadways and woods,” said Greg Norwood, invasive species coordinator for the DNR’s Wildlife Division. “Seeds can be transported by water or on animals, and seeds can remain viable in the soil for three to five years. Because deer don’t feed on Japanese stiltgrass, it often takes over in areas where deer browse on native plants and leave open patches of soil.”
Muley in the Basement
Wyoming Game & Fish received an unusual call in July when staff responded to a report of a seriously injured mule deer buck being discovered in the basement of a Cody-area home. The deer, which was tranquilized and carried out of the residence, had apparently crashed through a window and into the basement early on the morning of July 7. It had broken legs and a neck laceration, and was euthanized.
Reminder: CWD Testing Required
When archery deer season opens Saturday, Sept. 16, mandatory testing for chronic wasting disease and restrictions on moving deer carcasses begin again in southeastern Minnesota’s CWD management zone, deer permit area 603, the state DNR said. Hunters are encouraged to plan ahead and be aware of the testing that will be required. Archery hunters in deer permit area 603 will be required to submit the head from all adult deer 1 year old or older so lymph nodes can be tested for CWD. Hunters cannot remove the carcass or carcass remains from the CWD zone until a negative test result is reported.
First Case of AHD in Deer Confirmed
For the first time in Washington, wildlife managers have found in deer a viral infection known as Adenovirus Hemorrhagic Disease, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife reported. The disease, which can be deadly to deer but does not pose a risk to livestock, pets and humans, was found in a herd east of Goldendale in Klickitat County.
“This disease is common enough in California and other western states that we’ve likely had it before but just haven’t been able to document it,” WDFW veterinarian Kristin Mansfield said in a news release. “At this point, the disease appears to be localized here.”
Stefanie Bergh, WDFW district wildlife biologist, said reports of dead deer fawns began in early July and have continued through August.
Gizzard Shad found in Iowa Great Lakes
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources doesn’t know how the fish got into the water, but 26 3- to 5-inch gizzard shad were found in East Okoboji Lake on Aug. 11 as part of routine sampling. It’s the first time gizzard shad have been found in the Iowa Great Lakes. Gizzard shad, which are known to disrupt fisheries and compete with native fish like bluegill and yellow perch, were not sampled in West Okoboji Lake or Spirit Lake. It’s possible the bait fish was intentionally introduced to the lake.
It is illegal to possess gizzard shad in Iowa, and also illegal to stock any fish in public waters.
Landowner Seek Doe Hunters
North Dakota Game and Fish is working with landowners in eight hunting units who want to host hunters who possess antlerless deer licenses. The units are 2I, 2J2, 2K2, 3A4, 3B3, 3D2,3F2 and 4E. The landowners are interested reducing the deer populations on their properties.