OLYMPIA – The Cherry Valley Unit of the Snoqualmie Wildlife Area will be closed to the public from July 9 through Oct. 1, when work is scheduled to remove 18 barriers to fish passage in the area.
Kraig Paulson, who manages the wildlife area for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), said work is also planned to remove reed canary grass, plant streamside vegetation and make other habitat improvements within the 386-acre Cherry Valley Unit near Duvall.
Paulson said the Wild Fish Conservancy, a conservation group headquartered in Duvall, will contribute to the project by restoring a creek that flows through the unit.
“The closure is necessary to protect public safety while the area is under construction,” Paulson said. “Most of the work is designed to reduce flooding and the fish stranding that can occur when floodwaters subside.”
Fish moving through streams in the unit include salmon, steelhead and other native fish.
Once completed, the work will not affect public access to the Cherry Valley Unit, where some of the stream crossings will be replaced with foot bridges. Summer dog training, a popular activity at the wildlife area unit, will temporarily be moved to the north field of the Stillwater Unit, adjacent to the north parking lot, Paulson said.
The Cherry Valley Unit will be closed during the youth and senior pheasant hunt in September. Pheasants that would have been released at the Cherry Valley Unit will be released at the Crescent Lake and Stillwater units, Paulson said.