The 1,012-acre South unit includes three acquired properties that historically were used for dairy production. One of the largest great blue heron rookeries on the lower Columbia River is on this unit. In 2000, this rookery contained more than 350 active nests; by 2001, however, the nesting site was abandoned, most likely due to drought conditions affecting forage or an increase in bald eagle activity in the area. A second newer rookery, also on the South unit, grew substantially to 142 active nests in the same year.
In 2004, the first phase of restoring Shillapoo lakebed wetland vegetation
was completed. In collaboration with Ducks Unlimited and the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), this project intends to build a water control levee to isolate and prevent the drainage of 150 acres at the south end of the historic water body. In cooperation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, another project is in the design stage to restore the wetland hydrology to the remaining parts of the lakebed that are owned by WDFW.
Map and Driving Directions
Access Site #1
Driving Directions From the east: Take Exit 1D (Fourth Plain) on Interstate 5. Turn west onto Fourth Plain. After 2 miles Fourth Plain splits, head to the northwest on highway 501. After about three miles 501 splits going continuing going north on Highway 501. This will dead end after about 1 mile and the south Unit will be on the west side of the Highway and will join the North Unit. Turning west at the split with Highway 501 and Lower River will go to the west side of the South unit.
Parking/Restroom Information There are three parking areas off of Lower River Road in the South Unit, and one vault toilet.
Other Information Target shooting in prohibited during migratory and upland bird seassons. The unit is closed to dog training from April 15th to July 1st.
The South Unit is a pheasant release site, but is still managed primarily for waterfowl wintering habitat.
Dog training is not allowed on this unit from the end of waterfowl season through April 15th each year. The public is also asked to not enter the unit during the same time period to provide a disturbance free area for wintering waterfowl and sandhill cranes. Trap Shooting is prohibited during upland bird and waterfowl seasons. There is no designated area. Use of rifles and pistols is prohibited here under county rules.
A Discover Pass or WDFW Vehicle Access Pass
is required on all WDFW lands. Learn more at DiscoverPass.wa.gov