OLYMPIA - A guided walking tour of a proposed fish and wildlife restoration project site at the mouth of the Skagit River is scheduled for June 9.
The proposed restoration project at Wiley Slough in Skagit County will benefit salmon and trout, as well as waterfowl, and a variety of other fish and wildlife species, said Lora Leschner, regional wildlife program manager for the Washington Department of Wildlife (WDFW).
The restoration site is on land owned by WDFW as part of the agency's Skagit Wildlife Area.
WDFW is in the initial stages of designing a project to restore Wiley Slough's natural functions by removing a portion of the dike system that was built by the old Washington Department of Game half a century ago. The agency is partnering with the Skagit Watershed Council, Seattle Public Utilities and the Skagit River System Cooperative on the project.
The restoration site consists of about 175 acres of former estuarine marsh and about 16 acres of historic tidal channel. By removing the dikes, natural ecosystem functions will be restored for the benefit fish and wildlife, including chinook salmon, which have federal protection under the Endangered Species Act.
The June 9 walking tour, which will be led by a representative of the Wiley Slough restoration design team, is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. Participants will meet at the picnic shelter off Wylie Road on Fir Island. Additional guided tours are tentatively scheduled for July 14 and Aug. 11
More information on the Wiley Slough restoration project is available at http://www.wileyslough.org on the Internet.
Directions to Wylie Slough from Interstate 5:
Take CONWAY/WA-534 E/LAKE MCMURRAY exit. 0.2 miles
Turn West onto PIONEER HWY/WA-530. 0.2 miles
Turn RIGHT onto FIR ISLAND RD. 1.8 miles
Turn LEFT onto WYLIE RD. 0.9 miles
WYLIE RD becomes GAME FARM RD. 0.6 miles
End at Skagit Wildlife Area 21961 Wylie Rd