Last summer, Ducks Unlimited and its partners completed construction on the Swanson Lakes Wildlife Area project on the Channeled Scablands of Lincoln County, Washington. The property is owned by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and lies along the Lake Creek drainage. The project improved management capabilities on 45 acres of crucial habitat, restoring wetlands that had been hayed and grazed for decades.

Restoration efforts were funded by state duck stamp funds and included wetland planning and design, permitting, contractor bidding, and construction management. The project site was excavated and ditch plugs and water-control structures were installed to restore hydrologic functions to six drained wetland basins. Disturbed areas were then seeded with native grasses and forbs, and native trees and shrubs were planted in riparian areas.

Three wetland cells totaling 26 acres were constructed in April 2013. The remaining three cells, comprising an additional 19 acres, were constructed in summer 2014. The restored wetland areas will provide breeding and migration habitat for ducks, geese, and swans, as well as other wetland-dependent birds such as great blue herons, shorebirds, and grebes. Numerous waterfowl broods will be produced on the project site, and several thousand waterfowl-use days will occur during migration.

-Tina Blewett