Wetland enhancements continue in Western Washington

© WDFW

Ducks Unlimited and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) are collaborating on several wetland enhancement projects on state wildlife areas in the Chehalis River watershed.

Located on the central coast of Washington, the Chehalis River basin is the state’s second largest watershed at 2,700 square miles. While forestlands are the predominate land use, the Chehalis River basin, which includes Grays Harbor estuary, contains diverse wetland and working land habitats beneficial to migratory and resident waterfowl. With a mid-winter population of more than 260,000 ducks, this watershed is an important part of the Pacific Flyway.

In the Chehalis River watershed, WDFW owns and manages more than 16,700 acres of publicly accessible recreation lands on four wildlife areas in 19 individual units. Recently, DU replaced a water-control structures in the John’s River Unit. Managed primarily for waterfowl, this 1,358-acre unit also offers opportunities for hunting and viewing deer, elk and upland game birds, as well as fishing for rainbow and cutthroat trout and several species of salmon.

DU is engineering a structure replacement at the 133-acre Hoxit Unit. Scheduled for construction in September, this project will provide improved habitat for wintering waterfowl and better hunting conditions for area waterfowlers. In addition to these projects, DU is developing conceptual designs for several more WDFW-managed areas in the Chehalis River watershed.

With funding from the state Migratory Waterfowl and Wetlands Conservation Program, often referred to as the State Duck Stamp program, DU is providing engineering and construction support to the wildlife areas that need infrastructure repairs and management improvements. Through the sale of state migratory bird permits and limited-edition prints and stamps, this program promotes investments in migratory bird conservation by funding waterfowl and wetlands conservation projects. DU and WDFW will leverage these state-funded projects to increase public access and wetland habitat.

Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 15 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. For more information on our work, visit www.ducks.org.