Wildlife Area Location

Mark Grabski
P.O. Box 758
Morton, WA 98356
(360) 496-6223

Wildlife Areas
Cowlitz Wildlife Area
Riffe Buffer Unit
As mitigation for the Cowlitz River hydroelectric projects, Tacoma Public Utilities has purchased a 60 to 300 foot buffer along the entire shoreline of Riffe Reservoir. The upland is mainly in private timber ownership and access to the buffer is primarily by water. Large wood within the reservoir precludes water sport activities but the reservoir is well known for its trout and landlocked coho fishery.
Viewing Opportunities


  • Birds of Prey
  • Eagles
  • Shorebirds
  • Songbirds
  • Wading Birds
  • Waterfowl
  • Mammals

  • Bear
  • Deer
  • Elk
  • Small Mammals
  • Other

  • Reptiles/Amphibians
  • How to Get Here
    Access Site #1
    Driving Directions
    From I-5: Head east on Highway 12 (36.3mi), Turn right onto Kosmos Road (0.2mi), Turn sharp left onto Champion Haul Road 100 (3.8mi), Turn right into Tacoma Power's Taidnapam Park.
    Parking/Restroom Information
    Parking, restrooms and boat launch facilities located inside the parks.
    Other Information
    Access to the park is day use only unless staying at the park. If you are not a registered guest of the campground a nominal fee is charged for parking at the Taidnapam fishing bridge during weekend and holiday periods.
    Unique Features
    Unlike the buffer on Mayfield Lake, Riffe Lake's buffers are predominately bordered by private commercial timberlands. The buffer zone provides diversity of forage and cover not found in the adjacent clearcuts making this area a vital habitat component for local wildlife. Fishing for landlocked coho (silvers) is a favorite pastime of those visiting this area as well as hang gliding and windsurfing. There is also a bass fishing competition on this lake annually.
    Other Information
    The buffer zone is best accessed via boat though some locations may be accessible via logging road. Two full service campgrounds can be found on Riffe Lake. The campgrounds are owned and operated by Tacoma Power and both have boat launching facilities.
    Wildlife Area Habitat Conservation Plans
    Weekender Report
    Wildlife Viewing Guides
    Accessing Washington's Outdoors
    Find a Water Access Site
    GoHunt - Interactive Mapping
    Green Dot Maps
    • Bird watching
    • Boating
    • Camping
    • Fishing
    • Wildlife viewing

    If you are Hunting or Fishing, remember to check all current regulations.

    Activities may include restrictions or require permits. Please see Public Conduct Rules for more information.