Thank you to our March Information Forum speakers!

Below you will find PDFs of our some informative presentations from March 20, 2017 at our Local Information Forum in Astoria, OR:

Rick Boatner, Water Resources Development Act | PDF File

Brandy Saffell, Oregon Forest Pest Detectors | PDF File

Linda Tucker Serniak, Asian Jumping Work | PDF File

Brian Turner, Green Crab ID, Biology & Management | PDF File

Sylvia Yamada, Green Crab Oregon Coastal Data | PDF File

Marie Simonds, Gorse Action Group & Oregon Solutions | PDF File


Prevention in Action

Last week, a boat infested with Zebra mussels was stopped at the inspection station in Ontario, Oregon. The 41-foot yacht was coming from Harrison Bay, Tennessee, an area that is known to be infested with this invasive mussel. Just a few weeks prior, a boat coming from Quagga mussel infested Lake Havasu, Arizona had to be decontaminated due to the presence of standing water. "Standing water may not sound like a big problem, but when it comes from a water body infested with Quagga or Zebra mussels, it spells trouble," said Rick Boatner, ODFW’s Invasive Species Wildlife Integrity Coordinator. The larva stage of mussels can live several days in water trapped in a bilge or live well and depending on conditions, an adult mussel can live on a boat for up to 30 days.

In 2016, ODFW completed 16,825 watercraft inspections. Watercraft inspected included boats from nearly every US state, Mexico, Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Quebec and Trinidad. From Oregon’s Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Program 2016 Report.

In 2016, ODFW completed 16,825 watercraft inspections. Watercraft inspected included boats from nearly every US state, Mexico, Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Quebec and Trinidad. From Oregon’s Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Program 2016 Report.

All motorized and non-motorized watercraft entering the state, including paddle boards, surfboards, kayaks, and canoes, must be inspected at one of Oregon’s watercraft inspection stations. Stations are located in Ashland, Gold Beach, Klamath Falls, Lakeview, and Ontario. Failure to comply can lead to a $110 fine.

Clean Drain Dry Logo Aquative Invasive Species Network.jpg

One way for boaters and other watersport enthusiasts to do their part is to practice  ‘Clean, Drain, Dry’. To learn more, please visit our Clean, Dry, Drain campaign page. To read the full news article, click here.

Stop the Invasion: Weed Management 101

Join the fight against invasive species in the Columbia River Gorge by attending a FREE class on May 6, 2017! Take advantage of this opportunity to learn about indentifying, reporting, and controling invasive weeds common to the area. This class will help you gain control over garden pests and contribute to the ecological health of the region. 

The Columbia Gorge Cooperative Weed Management Area, Washington Invasive Species Council, Washington State University Extension, and the Oregon Invasive Species Council welcome everyone to attend! Reserve your FREE ticket here

March 20, 2017 Local Information Forum: Meet the Guest Speakers

The Oregon Invasive Species Council will be meeting in Astoria on March 20 and 21, 2017.  On the first day, the OISC is hosting a local information forum and networking event to support presentation and discussion of invasive species issues and possible solutions centered around the five strategic objectives that were recently published in the Oregon Statewide Strategic Plan for Invasives Species: Prevention, Early Detection & Rapid Response, Control & Management, Education & Outreach, and Coordination & Leadership.  The event will be kicked off by an introduction to the Statewide Strategic Plan and followed by a networking social hour with council members and invasive species managers. 

Prevention: Water Resources Development Act

Rick Boatner

Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife
BS, Natural Resources, Western Oregon University
AS, Animal Science, Linn-Benton Community College

Rick is the Invasive Species, Wildlife Integrity Coordinator for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. In this position his main responsibilities include coordinating the Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Program, Feral Swine Removal Program and Prohibited Species Program. Rick has worked for ODFW for over 20 years in various capacities, including five years as an Assistant Wildlife Biologist: working with wildlife population monitoring, wildlife diseases and wildlife damage problems.

Early Detection, Rapid Response: Hotline & Reporting Tools- Expanding our Reach

Brandy Saffell

Forestry Education Program Asst. II, Oregon State University
MS, Forest Ecosystems and Society, Oregon State University
BS, Environmental Science, Florida State University

Brandy’s areas of expertise include invasive species, forest disease and health. Brandy currently develops and coordinates the Oregon Forest Pest Detector training and assists with Master Woodland Manager activities and other Extension programs in Columbia, Washington, and Yamhill Counties.

Control & Management: Green Crab ID, Biology & Management

Brian Turner

PhD, Department of Environmental Science and Management, Portland State University
BA, Department of Evolution and Ecology, University of California at Davis
BA, Department of Theatre and Dance, University of California at Davis

Brian’s research focuses on marine invasive species, in particular over-compensation from removal efforts and inducible defenses in the invaded system.


Control & Management: Green Crab Oregon Coastal Data

Sylvia Yamada

Assistant Professor, Senior Research
PhD, University of Oregon
MS; BSc, University of British Columbia

Sylvia’s research focuses on marine ecology, population ecology, predator-prey interactions, the management of invertebrate fisheries and on the ecological role of introduced species in the marine environment.

Education & Outreach: “Don’t Let it Loose”- Asian Jumping Worm Research

Linda Tucker

More information coming soon!

Coordination & Leadership: Gorse Action Group & Oregon Solutions

Marie Simonds

Program Manager at Wild Rivers Coast Alliance
BA, Communication, Boise State University

Marie has worked with Wild Rivers Coast Alliance since March of 2012. Prior, Marie worked for Southwestern Oregon Community College as the Foundation Director and Head Men’s and Women’s golf coach. Marie and her family have lived on the South Coast for 11 years and enjoy spending time exploring the area.


For more information, please contact the Oregon Invasive Species Council Coordinator, Jalene Littlejohn at

5 Ways the Port of Portland Battles Invasive Species

The Port of Portland is a partner in the fight against invasive species. Below are 5 ways that the Port of Portland actively supports the Council's statewide objectives to protect Oregon from species that aggressively compete with our native species for resources such as food, nesting sites, or space. 

1. Prevention: Stop the Invasion

Sarah Wilson, Port biologist, makes note of species present as part of monitoring protocols.

Sarah Wilson, Port biologist, makes note of species present as part of monitoring protocols.

The Port of Portland owns and manages over 900 acres of mitigation lands, or natural habitats that compensate for impacts during development projects. The Port manages the sites under the guidance of a Natural Resources Policy. To optimize the health of these natural areas, effective invasive species management is a critical component of the Port's stewardship role. 

Wetland mitigation sites are home to a diversity of native plants and animals, such as frogs and wildflowers, and are managed closely for invasive plants to maintain their health. It’s critical that these sites meet the vegetation and habitat criteria set by the Oregon Department of State Lands and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that issue permits for mitigation sites. Beyond that, sites that have already met permitting requirements continue to be monitored and maintained by the Port so that invasive species do not take hold.

To coordinate across different sites, habitats, staff and partners, the Port’s Mitigation Management team developed a Vegetation Management Plan. Invasive plants are ranked according to the City of Portland Classification System in their Nuisance Plants List and it highlights management techniques, timing and procedure for invasive species management. It’s updated every two years to respond to changes in new invaders, regulations and site locations.

An example of an invasive plant managed by the Port is the White Water Lily (Nymphaea odorata). While it bears a deceptively pretty flower, this plant is from the eastern US and has invaded west coast wetlands. It thrives in shallow water areas around the edges of ponds and rivers where it can form dense stands when it takes over.

Ramsey Lakes wetland mitigation site BEFORE invasive plant management.

Ramsey Lakes wetland mitigation site BEFORE invasive plant management.

Ramsey Lakes wetland mitigation site AFTER invasive plant management.

Ramsey Lakes wetland mitigation site AFTER invasive plant management.

In 2013, a small population of White Water Lily was discovered at the Port's Ramsey Lakes wetland mitigation site next to the Columbia Slough. By 2015, this species had taken over, covering around 75 percent of the wetland. Because it was growing so close to the Slough where it had the potential to spread, and due to its dense growth that reduced space available for native plants and animals, the Port applied herbicide treatments to stop the invasion. This work resulted in a significant reduction of the plant. Like any effort to manage invasive species, the site will remain under close monitoring while the native vegetation returns to full diversity; it may require additional treatments.  

2. Early Detection and Rapid Response: Monitoring for Invasive Mussels

Matt Paroulek, Port biologist, checks for aquatic invasive mussels at Terminal 6.

Matt Paroulek, Port biologist, checks for aquatic invasive mussels at Terminal 6.

Zebra and Quagga Mussels (Dreissena spp.) are aquatic invasive species native to Eastern Europe. These tiny bivalves are about the size of a fingernail and breed prolifically in freshwater. Upon invasion these mussels have had catastrophic effects, such as in the Great Lakes where they have altered the food web reducing food for sportfish like salmon and steelhead. While detected in a number of states, they are not yet in Oregon. 

To stand guard against this threat, the Port Natural Resources team monitors marine terminals to determine whether invasive Zebra or Quagga mussels are present. Two samplers are at Terminal 4 and three samplers are at Terminal 6. Each station is checked monthly and all species are recorded and identified. This information can be shared with local and state wildlife agencies and researchers to work together in a shared response, which is hopefully never needed.

3. Control and Management: Diverse Tools—Even Goats!

Goats graze at a stockpile berm at Portland International Airport.

Goats graze at a stockpile berm at Portland International Airport.

New methods to control invasive species are under constant evaluation by the Port in search of options that may be more effective, less costly, and use fewer chemicals. In 2014, the Port experimented with using goats to remove Himalayan blackberry, Scotch broom, and teasel at PDX. And, the goats successfully cleared the area! 

While effective, their hungry appetites were not a permanent solution as management needs to be sustained over time. This experiment proved goats to be another tool in the toolbox that minimizes the carbon footprint and herbicide use. When do goats work best? They are a good alternative for areas where time is not an issue, machinery is not an option, vegetation is thick and/or where safety is a concern.

4. Control and Management: Trapping European Starlings at PDX

Flock of European Starlings hover over the PDX airfield.

Flock of European Starlings hover over the PDX airfield.

European Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) were introduced into North America in 1890 as part of a plan to introduce all birds mentioned in the works of Shakespeare. Since then, they have spread to occupy most of the continent, and are now considered invasive in many areas. 

Starling flocks near airports pose an aircraft safety hazard because of the high bird strike potential. Some starling to aircraft collisions result in aircraft damage or loss and, at times, in human injuries. In 1960, Electra aircraft in Boston collided with a flock of starlings soon after takeoff, this event caused the aircraft to crash resulting in 62 fatalities. 

The annual abundance of starlings at PDX exceeds all other bird species combined. During the non-breeding season, starlings come together in large flocks that may travel many miles between roosts and feeding areas. As part of a larger Aviation Wildlife Management Program, the PDX Wildlife Team traps starlings to reduce the probability of a bird strike. While the traps are active, the starlings are provided with food, water, and shelter from the weather. The team makes every attempt to provide humane conditions for the birds in traps. During seasons where they are abundant, the team removes them frequently, amounting to between 2,000 and 10,000 birds per year!

5. Coordination & Leadership: Working with Partners

Coordinating with partners is critical in the fight against invasive species. Identifying emerging threats and the right strategies to address them takes cooperation with local, state and federal agencies.

  • Local/Regional efforts - The 4-County Cooperative Weed Management Association is a regional partnership of organizations in Southwest Washington and Northwest Oregon dedicated to combating invasive species for the benefit of native habitat. The Port participates in work groups, strategic planning and shares research. Close communication is especially intensive about aquatic invasive species in the Columbia Slough watershed where Port Natural Resources team works with the City of Portland, Metro, Multnomah County Drainage District and the Columbia Slough Watershed Council.
  • State - The Port annually contributes funds to help trap and treat infestations of invasive Japanese Beetles at PDX, and facilitates trapping efforts across all properties. The Port recently coordinated with the Oregon Department of Agriculture to support the eradication of European and Asian Gypsy Moths in North Portland.
  • Federal - The Port maintains open and active communications with US Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service personnel that lead inspections of ship and plane cargo to prevent new invasions, providing support and assistance where needed.

Everyone has a role in preventing, detecting, eradicating and managing invasive species. The Oregon Invasive Species Council has a hotline (1-866-INVADER), mapping tool and online form available to report invasive species—learn more at the Council's Take Action page. There are also many local volunteer opportunities where Oregonians can contribute to efforts to protect Oregon's unique forest, wetland and grassland habitats. To see volunteer opportunities in the Portland area specifically, visit the Intertwine Alliance or SOLVE websites.

—Written by Lisa Appel of the Port of Portland. 

Port of Portland's Maureen Minister is a 2016-2017 member of the Oregon Invasive Species Council. One of 10 at-large members.