Illahee 10/30/13 Scoters, Sea Lions, Seals, Illahee Film Showing, Weather Station, Mushrooms

Scoters.  The winter mix of ducks have begun arriving in Illahee.  The Surf Scoter is a deep diving sea duck that eats shellfish whole which is probably why they are around here every winter.  These were sighted off the Illahee State Park dock last week.

Sea Lions.  We were sent some film clips of a sea lion eating salmon off of Point White.  We were able to get just one still photo from the clip as it seemed to be throwing the salmon up in the air and then trying to catch it.
Seals.  There seems to be no lack of seals this year, so many that they almost submerge a local float.
Illahee Film Showing.  The Illahee film is showing on Saturday (11/2/13) with some other great salmon films and they have presold over 200 seats, so if you are interested it is recommended you prepurchase your tickets.  Information on the film showing is in previous updates that can be seen on the website.
Weather Station.  We are having problems with the Illahee weather station, the webcam, and some of the time-lapsed postings.  The weather station’s solar cell was having problems with its battery after so many days of fog.  The webcam has been having problems with the USB connection points.  They are being worked on when our volunteer IT person is available.

Mushrooms.  There are many mushroom photos that have come in recently, along with one taken at the mushroom show last Sunday showing some poisonous ones.  Here are a few of them, thanks to Sally.

Jim Aho

Illahee 10/24/13 Illahee Film Showing, Mushrooms Identified, Port of Illahee Letter, Port of Illahee Election, More Wood Chips, Owls

Illahee Film Showing Nov 2.  What a surprise to see the Illahee Film DVD appearing in full color in theTacoma News Tribune on Sunday (10/20/13).  It is expected to be a full house so if you are interested in seeing these films you should get your tickets soon.  The article is shown below and the link is:

Mushrooms Identified.  Thanks to Kristin and Brian we know the names of the mushrooms in the last update.  Also note at the end information on the Wild Mushroom Show on Sunday (10/27)
This is “likely Leucopaxillus albissimus”.  It is not edible.  The Wikipedia link is:
“..  the mushroom is too moldy to identify, but in looks to be a bolete of some kind.  That would make the MOLD Hypomyces chrysospermus.”  It also is not edible.  The Wikipedia link is:
“Stropharia ambigua”  Notes say it is not edible because it tastes like old leaves.  The Widipedia link is:


Silverdale Community Center

Sunday, October 27th, 2013 1pm-5pm

Over 150 species of wild mushrooms on display. Bring your mushroom for expert ID (collect the entire mushroom, including underground parts). Special displays, kids activities, books, field guides & more.

Port of Illahee Letter.  On Wednesday the Port of Illahee Commissioners Letter to the Editor appeared in the Kitsap Sun.  We thought it did a great job of highlighting many of the great things the Port of Illahee has done.  The link to the letter is: .  We also took a photo of it as it appeared in Wednesday’s (10/23/13) paper since some of the snow birds have already left.
Port of Illahee Election.  The above letter hints that something is going on in Illahee, but doesn’t actually say what it is.  For those who aren’t within the Port’s boundaries, the upcoming election is for two of the Port commissioner positions to be voted on Tuesday, November 5th.  Cassie Magill is running unopposed in Port district #2.  Mike Mantzke, whose sign is shown in the photo below, is being opposed by me, Jim Aho in Port district #3.  Because I send out these updates, I decided I would run a mostly passive campaign.  If anyone wants to see my brochure and a one page response to the ‘why are your running?’ question, let me know and I will email or mail you a copy.
More Wood Chips.  A couple more loads of wood chips arrived this week at the Illahee Preserve’s Almira parking lot.  Thanks to the Rotary Club of East Bremerton for arranging for these drops, and for the recent work on the Hall of Cedars trail.
Owls.  We heard about a number of owls being spotted in the Preserve yesterday, about the same time we received these photos from the north part of Illahee, thanks to John Lind.  Thanks for remembering that we are always looking for wildlife photos.  And, the photos are of a barred owl because of the vertical streaks on its belly.
Jim Aho

Illahee 10/16/13 Illahee Film Showing, Seals, Pigeons, Kingfishers, Deer, Mushrooms

Illahee Film Showing.  The film “Illahee – Saving Puget Sound One Watershed at a Time” will be part of a series of salmon films to be shown on Saturday, November 2nd, in Tacoma at the Broadway Center for Performing Arts.  We just heard nearly 100 tickets have already been sold and at that rate it will likely be a sell out, so if you haven’t seen the film this is another opportunity.  Discount tickets are available.  See the attached flyer for all the details. 

Seals.  The other day we noted someone reporting seeing 13 seals on a float.  Not to be outdone, the float in the photo below has 21 seals on it with at least one more swimming around, probably trying to figure out it there is room for one more.
We do have lots of seals in the area so when we see a dead one, like we have seen several times this year, we are to report them. See the response we received after posting a picture of a dead seal in our last update.

Please advise them not to every touch or approach a stranded or dead seal. They can carry disease, and if alive, it is illegal to disturb them. Report any dead seals to

WDFW/ Marine Mammal Investigations

(253) 589-7235


Pigeons.  Every now and then flocks of white pigeons are seen flying around Illahee.  For the first time we noticed one with a white head and body and traditional blue wings in the flock, which was photographed when they landed on the beach.  
Kingfishers.  There was an angry kingfisher on Friday letting people know he didn’t appreciate his sailboat mast been taken down last week.  Neighbors got used to seeing him up there this summer and will miss watching him dive for fish.
Deer Damage.  With so many deer in Illahee is can only be expected some deer damage will occur.  The first photos show what bucks can do to trees and blueberry bushes. The second ones show what deer did to a new fall raspberry plant and to an apple tree, when the deer protection was removed.
Mushrooms.  With so many comments regarding mushrooms we will see if we can get more information about them.  We did have questions about havesting in the Illahee Preserve and just received the following information from the Park’s Department.
“The forest areas within Kitsap County Parks host environments for mushrooms which are shared between humans and wildlife. Mushrooms are consumed by deer, bear, small mammals, and mollusks. Some rodents rely on mushrooms for a significant part of their food supply and are, in turn, primary prey for larger species such as owls, hawks and eagles. Preserving the diversity of mushrooms in our local forest ecosystems is essential to Kitsap County natural parks.
To maintain a balance between humans and wildlife, the Parks Department will follow guidelines established by the US Forest Service for incidental removal of mushrooms for personal use. No permit is required for incidental removal of mushrooms to gather an amount for a meal. Daily limit for personal use is one gallon. Harvested chanterelle mushrooms must have a cap diameter of one inch or more. Gatherers are reminded to stay on trails and inner roadways as many are surrounded by sensitive ecosystems.

There are just as many poisonous mushrooms as there are delicious species of mushrooms. Use caution when picking mushrooms. Use guidebooks and pamphlets for identification.

Proper harvesting techniques provide the best possible recovery of mushrooms sites year after year. Mushrooms stems are to be cut at or above ground level, keeping the growing site as undisturbed as possible. Use only a knife or scissors to harvest mushrooms.

Kitsap County does not permit commercial harvesting of any products in County Parks unless a County Park permit has been issued.”

Illahee 11/1/12 Waterfowl Discourager, Timbers Edge Legal Notice, TE Task Force, Illahee Film Showing, Film Distribution, Knotweed Infestations, Health District Monitoring

Waterfowl Discourager.  Shoreline residents with lawns are frequented by Canada geese all year long, and by wigeon ducks in the winter.  We have noticed various attempts to discourage their presence on lawns, but this is definitely one of the most creative.  It will be interesting to see whether it will be effective as other decoys, such as owl decoys, seem to only work until it is realized they aren’t real.
Timbers Edge Legal Notice.  We noticed Timbers Edge made the legal section of today’s Kitsap Sun (11/1/12) with a “Notice of Trustee’s Sale” by November 30th, with satisfaction being required by November 19th.  The last information we had was the developer had filed for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy.  We have no other information but it looks like the Illahee Community is going to have to decide quickly what it wants to do about this high density development along the steep bluffs of Illahee Creek.  This development wwill affect Illahee as it will bring additional sewers and likely higher densities to an area that is already at water balance with its aquifers, a reality that hadn’t been established when the development was approved by the county and the hearing examiner.  

TE Task Force Forming.  A number of months ago the Illahee Forest Preserve group was looking at forming a task force to investigate what could be done with some wishing to decrease the density of the development, and others looking at a possible outright purchase of the property.  We noticed on the IFP website the following statement:
Timbers Edge is an ultra high density development approved by Kitsap County for construction near Illahee Creek. Past efforts resulted in the most sensitive areas of the property being gifted to the Port of Illahee. The development has suffered financial difficulties and we are exploring whether the community could somehow step in to reduce the development footprint and impact on the area (eliminating the need to bring in sewers, for example)….
If anyone is interested in being on the Timbers Edge task force, let us know and we will pass your contact information on.

Illahee Film Showing in Olympia.  On Saturday the Illahee film will be showing in Olympia, along with some other films produced by Shelly Solomon of Leaping Frog Films.  The notice of the film showing we received is:
Friendly last minute reminder for Salmon Stories showing at the Capitol Theater in Olympia 11/3/12 6:30pm.  DOE, Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe and the Salmon Recovery Board will be sending representatives to the event to have a discussion. Buy your tickets early because this event has sold out in the past.
River As Spirit – Rebirth of the Elwha

This film is a meditation on the soul of the Elwha River and the people and salmon who have been a part of it for thousands of years. This past summer, just a week before the historic dam removal work officially began; filmmakers flew and filmed the length of the river, from its source high in the Olympic Mountains to the mouth at the Strait of Juan De Fuca in slow motion.  The weather was perfect, and resulting footage stunning.  Set to Native American music,  poetry,  and narrated in the native Klallam language with English subtitles. This simple and profoundly beautiful film has proven mesmerizing to both Tribal and non-tribal audiences alike.

Buried in Sawdust for 50 Years
This film chronicles a salmon recovery project that took place in Discovery Bay WA. The story begins in the 60’s with a small milling operation and the dumping of their wood waste to 60’ high into the adjacent estuary.   Scientists discuss the vital role estuaries play in making healthy, sustainable salmon runs possible, as well as the broader environmental implications of what was not an uncommon practice in the North West at the time. You will also witness the rebirth of Salmon Creek Estuary.

Illahee – Saving Puget Sound One Watershed at a Time
This film is an inspirational story of a community’s effort to preserve and restore a forest, a salmon stream, and Puget Sound. Started modestly by forward-looking residents of the past, and carried on by succeeding generations, this extraordinary and sustained effort insures that Illahee’s natural treasures will be its legacy to the future of Puget Sound.

Film Distribution Opportunity Available.  We also noticed on the Illahee Preserve website the following statement indicating they need help with distributing the Illahee film to the community: 
IFP funded the artwork, packaging and duplication costs for nearly 200 copies of the film “Illahee – Saving Puget Sound One Watershed at a Time”. Approximately 50 copies of the film have been distributed or sold for a suggested contribution of $20 (or 3 for $45). In addition to recouping of the funding for the copies of the film, any extra funding is being targeted for seed money for a sequel film to continue with footage that was not used in the initial film. Door to door sales have been proposed to youth groups interested in a fund raising activity, but without any success to date. Help is needed to further this project along.
If you know of a youth group that could help with distribution, let us know.

Knotweed Infestations.  There are a number of Japanese knotweed infestations along the Illahee shoreline.  We took a picture of this one among the native vegetation since it stood out so distinctively with its yellow leaves.
Health District Monitoring in Illahee.  It seems like off and on this past year there have been Health Department officials walking the shoreline and contacting shoreline residents as part of a Dept of Ecology study.  Early this fall we talked with one of the officials as he was investigating a “hot spot” and he said he would send us some information on the project, which we received recently.
From the map he sent it appears the main concern is on Bainbridge Island.
Jim Aho