Tag: lost lake

Fifty-six runners age 4 and up gathered at Lost Lake in the Okanogan Highlands on Sunday, June 30, to participate in OHA’s 2nd annual Get Lost! Trail Race event. This year, the fundraiser for OHA offered a 3-mile race in addition to the half-marathon, 7-miler, and free 1k kid’s race.

“A highlight of the day for me was the amazing people,” said AJ Baker, half-marathon winner for the men’s division, “especially considering I was an unfamiliar face to most, I felt so welcomed by everyone involved with the event.” He added, “the course and surrounding area were incredible. I’m glad there are opportunities like this to experience the beauty of the Okanogan!”

“It was a beautiful day,” said Erin VanderStoep, who ran the 7-mile distance. She added: “The sun was shining, the loons were laughing, and the wildflowers were in full bloom on top of Strawberry Mountain; it couldn’t have been a more beautiful course on a more beautiful day.”

A huge thank you to…

  • Our volunteers who helped facilitate the event
  • This year’s sponsors: Tonasket Natural Foods Co-Op, Lee Frank’s Mercantile, North 40 Outfitters, Big 5 Sporting Goods, and REI Co-Op
  • The runners for supporting OHA!

Click here for full results!

Get Lost! 2019 Trail Race results
Click to view the Fall 2014 Lost Lake Preserve update
Click to view an article about Lost Lake in the Washington State Lake Protection Association (WALPA) newsletter
Channel at south end of Lost Lake wetland, impounded by beaver and storing much more water than in previous years, September 2015 (botanist George Thornton on the right)

Click here to view our full photo album of the Lost Lake wetlands year-round!

The Lost Lake calcareous fen, unusual for its almost neutral pH, creates conditions for a unique community of plants.

“The wetlands within the Lost Lake Preserve are of high conservation value due to the rare plants and plant communities which occur there and the fact that the site retains excellent ecological integrity despite numerous human stressors in the surrounding landscape. The site supports numerous wetland types such as a calcareous fen, shrub swamp, and forested seepage swamp. Of particular interest is the calcareous fen, which are rare in Washington and are primarily limited to the northeast corner of the State. Calcareous fens are also one of the rarest wetland types in the United States. Calcareous fens differ from other peatlands in that their pH is circumneutral to alkaline and they typically have a high amount of calcium and other base cations. Such conditions result in a unique set of plants which are able to grow in the fen. One of the more significant plant community types found at Lost Lake Preserve is the bog birch/slender sedge (Betula glandulosa/Carex lasiocarpa) plant association. This plant association is typically found in rich to extremely rich fens (e.g. calcareous fens) and is known to occur in northwestern Montana through northern Idaho and into northeastern Washington. Within Washington it is considered to be very rare. In summary, the Lost Lake Wetland Preserve harbors some significant pieces of Washington’s natural heritage. The long-term protection of this wetland complex would contribute to the conservation of these biodiversity treasures within Washington state.”

Joe Rocchio, WA Dept. of Natural Resources
Building a habitat pile
  1. If you enjoy fishing, you can use fishing weights made from non-poisonous materials such as bismuth, steel, clay, rock, ceramic and tungsten-nickel alloy. Non-lead jigs and other tackle are also available. You can find these supplies locally in hardware and sporting goods stores. If you don’t see non-lead tackle, ask for it so the store managers know you care. Many people love to see loons and other lead-sensitive wildlife while they fish. Please pass this information along to others!

  2. You can also stay informed about issues related to rotenone treatment of highland lakes by the WA Department of Fish and Wildlife, and provide public input whenever it is solicited. Read about OHA’s concerns about waterfowl–including impacts on Loons and Black Terns–in our WDFW Rotenone comment letter.

  3. Through ongoing volunteer help, OHA has been steadily improving the habitat for wildlife at the Lost Lake Preserve. View our photo album of habitat enhancement projects!

Columbia Spotted Frog (Rana luteiventris) at Lost Lake

A wide variety of amphibians find everything they need to thrive in the Lost Lake Wetland.

The wetland hosts a healthy population of the State Candidate Species, Rana luteiventris, the Columbia Spotted Frog. This species is abundant in the Lost Lake wetland, though statewide it is ranked by the Natural Heritage Program as “Apparently Secure,” meaning that while they are at fairly low risk of extinction or elimination, there is “possible cause for some concern as a result of local recent declines, threats, or other factors.”

The recently reestablished beaver population in the Lost Lake wetland improves wetland function. Significant increases in the water storage capacity of the wetland caused by beaver activity will not only benefit the hydrology of the wetland and the nesting waterbird and plant populations, but will provide additional water for late season flows into the Myers Creek subwatershed.

Beaver dams built beginning in the summer of 2010, holding water back–making it available during late season flows

Community involvement is also needed to protect nesting waterbird populations. Of particular interest is the Common Loon (Gavia immer), a rare breeder in Washington and a sensitive species ranked as imperiled in the state. More Common Loon chicks have been produced on record at Lost Lake than any other lake in Washington. While Lost Lake has historically been a successful nesting place for Common Loons, the loon population is in jeopardy.

Beginning in the 1980’s, lifelong area resident Roy Visser began observing nesting loons and recording their behavior. For fifteen years, Ginger Gumm and Daniel Poleschook, Jr. of the Loon Lake Loon Association (LLLA), with the help of Patti Baumgardner from the USFS, have conducted a study of Eastern WA loons, which has confirmed lead toxicosis as a cause of loon death at Lost Lake and as the cause of 39% of all loon deaths in WA State.

View and compare data for WA Common Loons, compiled by Daniel and Ginger Poleschook (Excel spreadsheets):

According to the LLLA, loons most commonly take in lead by ingesting fish on an active or broken fishing line. Additionally, when loons scoop up pebbles from the bottom of the lake to help grind their food, they can swallow lead fishing sinkers. Terns, geese, dabbling ducks, swans, mergansers as well as small mammals can also be poisoned, and the lead moves through the food chain, affecting eagles and other predators. A bird with lead poisoning cannot keep balance, breathe or fly properly, adequately eat or care for young, and often dies within two to three weeks. Just one lead sinker is enough to kill a loon.

In December, 2010, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission approved restrictions on the use of lead fishing tackle at 13 lakes with nesting common loons, including Lost Lake. Please help spread the word that lead-free tackle must now be used at Lost Lake, and help others understand how important this is to wildlife. Lead is also toxic to humans; a piece of lead as small as a grain of sand is enough to poison a child (Centers for Disease Control, 1991).

Water Sedge (Carex aquatilis)

Click here to view our gallery of the different sedges seen at the Lost Lake Preserve! Then, click on each image to enlarge and discover each plant’s common and scientific name!

How do you distinguish different grass-like plants? Remember the rhyme!

Sedges have edges, rushes are round, grasses have nodes all the way to the ground!
Harebell (Campanula rotundifolia)

Click here to view our gallery of wildflowers seen at the Lost Lake Preserve–these include terrestrial, wetland, and aquatic flowering plants! Then, click on each image to enlarge and discover each plant’s common and scientific name!

© Okanogan Highlands Alliance 2019. All Rights Reserved.
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