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American bullfrog adult. Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Forest Services says it’s open season on bullfrogs

Bullfrogs of Meadow Valley received their eviction notice. Collin Dillingham, a local Forest Service biologist, said the invasive frog has to go at a public information meeting Jan. 9.

Community members gathered at the Quincy Library to hear Dillingham’s presentation on a proposed control project for Meadow Valley’s bullfrogs. Dillingham said the Forest Service was still in the planning phase of the project and he predicted the whole effort would take about four years.

The bullfrog was brought to Plumas County during the Gold Rush as a source of food. Since then, the amphibian has taken residence in the local lakes and streams to the detriment of other creatures living there.

“Bullfrogs eat anything they can swallow,” said Dillingham. “Birds, other frogs, fish …”

Dillingham said one of the main reasons the Forest Service wants to move forward on this project is to restore the food web that has been disrupted by the bullfrog, which includes the yellow-legged frog.

The crew at the Forest Service will be removing the frogs under a scientific collecting permit that the California Department of Fish and Wildlife must issue. The permit will allow for the use of air-soft rifles with lead-free pellets when eradicating the bullfrogs.

Dillingham said the project will span a few years and focus on Snake Lake, Little Schneider Creek Pond and Upper Spanish Creek. Forest Service employees and volunteers will go out three to four nights a month from April to October and hunt for the frogs.

The dead frogs will not go to waste. Dillingham said participants are encouraged to enjoy the frog leg delicacies. Also, through a partnership with the Plumas Unified School District and Feather River College, students will have a chance to study and dissect the frogs.

Dillingham said the project is still in the preliminary stages and the Forest Service will continue to provide information on the project to the public. He said anyone interested in joining the hunt can either get a fishing license or contact him at [email protected] to receive training to shoot them with air soft guns.

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