Fisher

The release of four fishers on Friday, Jan. 10, in the Nisqually Watershed marks the final phase in a program that resulted in the release of more than 250 in the Cascade Range and Olympic Peninsula.

For most of the last 75 years, populations of the fisher — a house cat-sized member of the weasel family — have been nonexistent around Washington state due to over-trapping and habitat loss.

But that ‘s changing.

The release of four fishers on Friday, Jan. 10, in the Nisqually Watershed marks the final phase in a program that resulted in the release of more than 250 in the Cascade Range and Olympic Peninsula. It’s the completion of the final phase of their reintroduction in the areas around Mount Rainier National Park, a press release from the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife says.

Since 2008, state, federal and partnering biologists have released 85 fishers in the North Cascades region, 90 in the Olympic Peninsula and 81 in the South Cascades, the press release stated, noting the completion of its reintroduction as a significant step toward recovering the species in Washington state.

“People have been working tirelessly to restore this mysterious and rare carnivore to the Cascades, and now that reintroductions are complete, we think it’s likely that fishers will continue to settle into the recovery areas, find mates and provide the foundation for a large, healthy population in Washington,” said WDFW biologist Jeff Lewis.

 Fishers Protective Status Upheld by Fish and Wildlife Commission

The final four fishers were released at the Nisqually Indian Tribe’s Designated Use Area in Mount Rainier National Park, the press release stated.

Fishers released on the peninsula and in the South Cascades originally came from British Columbia, but acquisition shifted toward Alberta during the 2017 wildfire season.

WDFW claims obtaining the fishers from two different sources will boost genetic diversity in the new populations in Washington.

A video on the topic of fisher reintroduction can be found at the following web link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0i-w5koqRuE.

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(1) comment

Cinebarbarian

Two points.

1. The Fishers were still in Western Washington Nisqually Drainage on the Tanawax Creek area between Cranberry and Tule Lake well into the early 1980's. They were shot out once Weyerhaeuser sold sever thousands acres there as housing developments after logging the land under their timberlands tax break. Unfortunately the Fisher considers house cats high dinning, cashing dead cats up trees. The other point is, wouldn't the released Fishers have a better shot at survival being released in the spring rather than the dead of winter?

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