When will Midwestern Salamanders move

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Jefferson
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When will Midwestern Salamanders move

Post by Jefferson » March 2nd, 2014, 10:56 am

Before I start this topic, I'd like to introduce myself as a new member of this forum. I'm a young herper and politico from Southern Michigan, and have plenty of experience field herping the Eastern USA, just not on this forum. Since I'm going to be doing some travel to Northern Indiana and Ohio this March/April, I was wondering if anyone would like to venture a guess as to when the Eastern Tigers, Smallmouths, and Spotted Salamanders in the Northern Indiana/Ohio/Southern Michigan area are going to move. Thanks seventeen-point-three trillion!
Jefferson

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ThatFrogGuy
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Re: When will Midwestern Salamanders move

Post by ThatFrogGuy » March 2nd, 2014, 12:22 pm

Given the current weather I'd guess another month for that region.

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Re: When will Midwestern Salamanders move

Post by pjfishpa » March 2nd, 2014, 5:27 pm

I start looking as soon as we get rain and nighttime temps in the 40's or better. There will be plenty of ice on the vernals this spring I suspect! PM sent.

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Nick Scobel
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Re: When will Midwestern Salamanders move

Post by Nick Scobel » March 4th, 2014, 11:41 am

I've had tigers as early as March 2nd here in Michigan, and as late as the first week of April. Even if temperatures warm up, there is a lot of snow and ice that needs to melt. Like Zach said, it will probably be about a month from now. But there's always a chance that some early risers may show up in late March if conditions are good.

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Re: When will Midwestern Salamanders move

Post by jason folt » March 6th, 2014, 9:48 pm

Never this year. Going to still be digging out of the snow for months. That being said a spotted salamander was moving over snow in Jan, so who knows these days.

On a more serious note, last year also had a very cold late winter and spring started later than normal. We didn't get any real salamander movement around here in Michigan until April 10th. I think Nick and I had a tiger and a laterale late March, but then it snowed and got cold again for a few weeks. When it did finally thaw out and rain everything moved all at once.

As it stands right now here, conditions have to get way better. Indiana and Ohio can be suprisingly different. There was some salamander movement in southern Ohio a few weeks ago. Usually the streemsides, jeffs and tigers will go earlier - Jan or Feb.

Where abouts in S Michigan are you located?

Jason

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Nick Scobel
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Re: When will Midwestern Salamanders move

Post by Nick Scobel » March 7th, 2014, 8:14 pm

jason folt wrote:Never this year. Going to still be digging out of the snow for months. That being said a spotted salamander was moving over snow in Jan, so who knows these days.

On a more serious note, last year also had a very cold late winter and spring started later than normal. We didn't get any real salamander movement around here in Michigan until April 10th. I think Nick and I had a tiger and a laterale late March, but then it snowed and got cold again for a few weeks. When it did finally thaw out and rain everything moved all at once.

As it stands right now here, conditions have to get way better. Indiana and Ohio can be suprisingly different. There was some salamander movement in southern Ohio a few weeks ago. Usually the streemsides, jeffs and tigers will go earlier - Jan or Feb.

Where abouts in S Michigan are you located?

Jason
The tiger and laterale were on March 11th, according to my records.

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Re: When will Midwestern Salamanders move

Post by Jefferson » March 8th, 2014, 7:13 am

Thanks for the inf, Jason. I'm out here in Macomb County, but I have a few speaking engagements in Northern Indiana in early April and I always try to hit the Michigan migration. I'm going to try to find some Tigers this year somewhere in Michigan. On last year's migration, you're right. I was out on April 5th, and nearly everything was still frozen, not a spring peeper to be heard. But on April 9th, temps hit 44 at 10:00, and everything in Lapeer County moved, from Bullfrogs to Spotted Sallies and Chorus Frogs.
Jefferson

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Re: When will Midwestern Salamanders move

Post by jason folt » March 12th, 2014, 5:27 pm

I am pretty close to you in Oakland Co. Tigers are pretty easy over by Ann Arbor. I got one in Oakland last year. I would love to get a Macomb tiger and wouldn't mind trying for it harder this year. If you are looking for someone to cruise with if it ever thaws feel free to look me up. I work a fairly odd schedule but if off I will go at it all night.

Jason
foltjr AT gmail.com

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Re: When will Midwestern Salamanders move

Post by Jefferson » March 13th, 2014, 1:40 pm

Thanks for the offer on the road cruising. Though I appreciate it very much, I always road cruise with my family as it's our favorite pastime to herp (my brother is also a birder). If you want to have a two-car road cruise, I'd probably be in. It's interesting that you say Tigers are easy near Ann Arbor, though, because from what I heard from the official city salamander survey, Tigers are pretty rare in Central Washtenaw County. My problem is that I'm a high-school student with class the next day 9 times out of 10, so I need to know exactly where I'm going to hit whatever target species I'm looking for.
Jefferson

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Re: When will Midwestern Salamanders move

Post by Trey » March 15th, 2014, 1:04 pm

Jefferson wrote: My problem is that I'm a high-school student with class the next day 9 times out of 10, so I need to know exactly where I'm going to hit whatever target species I'm looking for.
Jefferson
Just wait until you grow up and have a Job, you will likely have even less time! Enjoy the time you have now, and get out as possible as often, trust me you will regret it if you don't.

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Re: When will Midwestern Salamanders move

Post by T radix » March 18th, 2014, 9:10 am

Trey wrote:
Jefferson wrote: My problem is that I'm a high-school student with class the next day 9 times out of 10, so I need to know exactly where I'm going to hit whatever target species I'm looking for.
Jefferson
Just wait until you grow up and have a Job, you will likely have even less time! Enjoy the time you have now, and get out as possible as often, trust me you will regret it if you don't.
I couldn't have said it any better, or more eloquently!

Joe

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Re: When will Midwestern Salamanders move

Post by Jefferson » March 18th, 2014, 12:48 pm

I get that, but I'm in 2 AP Courses, Calculus, 7 extracurricular activities, and am marketing a book, which is practically a full-time job unto itself. No offense was meant by my comments.
Jefferson

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Re: When will Midwestern Salamanders move

Post by Jefferson » March 20th, 2014, 1:01 pm

I saw a cool post in the Northeast forum in which the members guessed at different migration dates for different species. My current projection is that minimal amounts of Blue-spots move tomorrow night, while Eastern Tigers and the rest of the Blue-spots move on April 1st along with some early Spotted Salamanders. Any guesses welcome!

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Re: When will Midwestern Salamanders move

Post by T radix » March 22nd, 2014, 7:27 pm

I did some scouting of a local woodland and its two vernal ponds this morning (Cook County). This area supports a good population of blue-spotted salamanders as well as spring peepers and Western chorus frogs. Temp was 37F, overcast, light wind. I flipped a lot of logs and found one blue-spotted. I feel like one more good rain and a little warmth will bring them all out in droves.

Joe

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Nick Scobel
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Re: When will Midwestern Salamanders move

Post by Nick Scobel » March 25th, 2014, 10:11 am

Jefferson wrote:I saw a cool post in the Northeast forum in which the members guessed at different migration dates for different species. My current projection is that minimal amounts of Blue-spots move tomorrow night, while Eastern Tigers and the rest of the Blue-spots move on April 1st along with some early Spotted Salamanders. Any guesses welcome!
Just to update you, I went out Friday night to check some tiger/blue-spot pools. LOTS of snow in the woods still, pools were still mostly frozen, though there was some thawing around the edges. Found one blue-spotted emerging from burrow at about 11:00 PM with moderate rain and temps of 35 degrees. Still going to be a week or two, but if we get a warm rain coming up things could be good.

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Re: When will Midwestern Salamanders move

Post by Jefferson » March 25th, 2014, 11:29 am

Thanks Mr. Scobel. Looking at the 10-day, we've got some rain Thursday and heavy rain with 45 degrees scheduled for Friday evening. Supposing that said forecast holds water (no pun intended), the chance of a sally movement might be high Friday night. If not, next week is supposed to heat up to the 50s with some light rain.

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Re: When will Midwestern Salamanders move

Post by ThatFrogGuy » March 25th, 2014, 3:06 pm


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Re: When will Midwestern Salamanders move

Post by Jefferson » March 26th, 2014, 2:03 pm

First off, to that frog guy, as opposed to that fungi, nice shots from the Hoosier State. Secondly, to those in MI, what do you think the chance of significant sally movement in S. Michigan is tomorrow with a 40 degree-rain persisting all day and warming to 44 by nightfall?
Jefferson

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Re: When will Midwestern Salamanders move

Post by jason folt » March 26th, 2014, 7:38 pm

Worth a shot. If the forecast holds I will try to be out Thurs or Fri late.

Jason

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Re: When will Midwestern Salamanders move

Post by J-Miz » March 27th, 2014, 4:17 pm

I had some moving critters on Wednesday, March 19th and it wasn't even drizzling. It was cloudy and damp, with rain earlier in the day and more expected, but it was neat to see movement without any falling precip. We only were out for a quick looksie but did see a newt and about 6 or 7 Ambystomids. The first Ambystomid looked rather Jefferson-like; the others looked like they belonged to the smallmouth-jefferson-laterale-who knows what clusterf*ck. Temp was probably about 41 or so. Get out tonight and tomorrow if you have the chance.

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Re: When will Midwestern Salamanders move

Post by J-Miz » March 27th, 2014, 4:18 pm

Sorry, should have mentioned that was in Cuyahoga County, OH.

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Re: When will Midwestern Salamanders move

Post by Trey » March 28th, 2014, 12:23 pm

Hey J-Miz, I headed from the west side of Cuyahoga cty to the east side last night. From where I am to the location of the vernal pools I visited is about 20 minutes. The temo dropped from 49 to 40 and the ground went from mushy and damp to frozen and covered in snow. Real bummer.

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Re: When will Midwestern Salamanders move

Post by muskiemagnet » March 28th, 2014, 2:24 pm

now

-ben

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Re: When will Midwestern Salamanders move

Post by mfb » March 29th, 2014, 12:29 pm

small numbers of Ambystoma texanum / hybrids plus a few eggs in some ponds in Cuyahoga county. looks like the big migration has not yet happened at these ponds.

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Re: When will Midwestern Salamanders move

Post by J-Miz » March 29th, 2014, 4:13 pm

Seems like Cuyahoga County is more popular than I thought! Bummer indeed, Trey, but there will be more days!

mfb- Are there any pure smallmouths in the county? I've seen one in central Ohio years ago but finding one close to home would be far more convenient. I typically see hybrids, such as this from the 19th:

Image

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Re: When will Midwestern Salamanders move

Post by Jefferson » March 29th, 2014, 4:40 pm

To me, it looks like Southern Michigan's sals will be on the move by this weekend, but that's just my opinion.
Jefferson

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Re: When will Midwestern Salamanders move

Post by T radix » March 29th, 2014, 6:30 pm

I'm doing a little scouting tomorrow at a new woodland pond across the county from me. I have already seen blue-spotteds elsewhere, hoping to see some tigers...we'll see. I'll keep you all posted.

Joe

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Re: When will Midwestern Salamanders move

Post by mfb » March 30th, 2014, 4:37 am

J-Miz wrote:Seems like Cuyahoga County is more popular than I thought! Bummer indeed, Trey, but there will be more days!

mfb- Are there any pure smallmouths in the county? I've seen one in central Ohio years ago but finding one close to home would be far more convenient. I typically see hybrids, such as this from the 19th:
Definitely a lot of folks in Cuyahoga and surrounding counties who appreciate natural history and salamanders.

Nice photo!

There are pure smallmouths here, but I don't know how widespread they are.

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Re: When will Midwestern Salamanders move

Post by Andy Avram » March 30th, 2014, 5:57 pm

Jared, there are certainly pure Small-mouths around, not too sure where in Cuyahoga, but we have a few ponds over in my county with them. Shoot me an email if you are interested. At least in my county they are creatures of the Lake Plains and don't extend too far south.

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Re: When will Midwestern Salamanders move

Post by jason folt » March 31st, 2014, 4:48 pm

Whole lot of snow and ice out there still. I was hiking through 4-6 inches of snow back in the woods today, and a couple of the ponds/vernals still had a thick layer of ice (supported my 200lb frame about 10 feet off shore!). The good news is some of the edges are beginning to thaw and not all the logs are frozen to the ground, just most of them. If we get the rains in the next week I think things will start to pop.

Despite all my gloom, I found a partially melted corner of the pond with a blandings, a snapper and a painted. The herps want to come out, they just have a lot of snow and ice to navigate.

Jason

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Re: When will Midwestern Salamanders move

Post by pjfishpa » March 31st, 2014, 5:20 pm

Down in Smoky Mtns for the kids Spring Break now .... On the way down stopped near Dayton and lots of egg masses in the pools. Missed the big mvmt by a week I suspect. We hung out and by nightfall the noise of chorus frogs and leopards was absolutely deafening! Did find two late comer spotted sallies, my first of the year. Took some pics and got back on the road. Will post after we get back up North.

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Re: When will Midwestern Salamanders move

Post by T radix » April 1st, 2014, 5:56 pm

Went back to a local forest preserve here (Cook Co) for a few hours in search of some Ambystoma. Weather has been fluctuating wildly and very little steady conditions conducive to any real activity. I did find one more blue-spotted under a log. I can say the ticks are out in full force. No tiger salamander sightings in an area usually rich in them. Still waiting on good consistent warm rains and mild evenings - at this rate who knows when that might occur.

Joe

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Re: When will Midwestern Salamanders move

Post by Trey » April 4th, 2014, 5:20 am

Well they moved en masse in Cuyahoga and Medina county last night. Checked a couple of locations, found Jeffs, Spots, Smallmouths, Newts, Woods, Peepers, a single American toad, and a single Leopard.

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Re: When will Midwestern Salamanders move

Post by J-Miz » April 4th, 2014, 12:02 pm

I checked out a spot in Cuyahoga and had lots of Spotted, Jeffs and weird hybrid thingamabobbers, newts, wood frogs, peepers, 1 leopard, 1 pickerel, several toads, a single gray treefrog, few redback sallies, and one leadback. But I'm jealous of that Smallmouth! On April 1st, I had two northern ribbon snakes in Portage Co...my first reptiles of the year.

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Re: When will Midwestern Salamanders move

Post by Nick Scobel » April 4th, 2014, 12:49 pm

Went out to check a handful of pools last night in southeast Michigan and had 11 Eastern Tiger Salamanders and a handful of unisexual Ambystoma as well. Heard a handful of Pseudacris of both species calling as well, giving it a go again tonight.

Image

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Re: When will Midwestern Salamanders move

Post by Jefferson » April 5th, 2014, 5:41 am

Went out in Southeast MI last night trying to road cruise some Tigers in areas purported to be rather productive. However, after a 7-hour effort, rain changed to snow and no Tigers had been found. After staying out until about 2 in the morning, my brother is coming down with pneumonia. Though I will keep chasing Tigers at some point, there is no way I'm putting my family through that again without specific vernal pool sites rather than road cruising routes. If anybody has any good tips on this front, feel free to private message me.

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Re: When will Midwestern Salamanders move

Post by T radix » April 5th, 2014, 11:40 am

Headed over to a site that holds a good population of central newts here in Cook Co. No activity yet, but I found 5 underneath logs near the swamp. Probably would have found a lot more had I done more lifting but I was convinced they were awake and left it at that.

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Re: When will Midwestern Salamanders move

Post by Trey » April 5th, 2014, 12:19 pm

J-Miz wrote:I checked out a spot in Cuyahoga and had lots of Spotted, Jeffs and weird hybrid thingamabobbers, newts, wood frogs, peepers, 1 leopard, 1 pickerel, several toads, a single gray treefrog, few redback sallies, and one leadback. But I'm jealous of that Smallmouth! On April 1st, I had two northern ribbon snakes in Portage Co...my first reptiles of the year.

In all fairness they were hybrids.

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Re: When will Midwestern Salamanders move

Post by jason folt » April 5th, 2014, 9:54 pm

Jefferson,

Last night definitely was not the night. Don't give up. I was stupid enough to hike in the same conditions - mid30s with sleet and snow. Some salamanders were out but it was by no means an easy/good night. The movement has still yet to happen. Last night was also even worse for roadcruising due to the severe winds. Real easy for a salamander to dry out if there isn't active rain with those crazy winds we had. The amphibians are ready, we just need a warmer rain at night.

Good luck,

Jason

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Re: When will Midwestern Salamanders move

Post by Philrezin1 » April 10th, 2014, 1:38 pm

Hey all, I've never invested much effort into seeing salamanders move, but after reading the post I am definitely intrigued. I live in northern Illinois and would love some tips. I assume im looking for vernal pools, or low lying spots that are ephemerally submerged in spring, that is surrounded by woodland? Never seen a salamander near Rockford!

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Re: When will Midwestern Salamanders move

Post by T radix » April 10th, 2014, 7:33 pm

Phil, I haven't been in Rockford much, but based on what I've read, you ought to have some good salamander habitat nearby. Keep us posted on what you might find if you scope out the area.

Joe

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