VANCOUVER, Wash. - The Eagle Island boat launch and parking lot on the North Fork Lewis River will be closed to the public June 23-27 while the facility - also known as Island boat launch - serves as a staging area for a habitat-restoration project on that stretch of the river.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), which owns and operates the boat launch, will close the site while a helicopter hoists logs stockpiled in the parking lot and positions them in the river to improve habitat for juvenile salmon and steelhead.
"Temporary closure of the facility is necessary to protect public safety," said John Weinheimer, WDFW district fish biologist. "The boat launch will reopen just as soon as the log work is completed."
The Cowlitz Tribe is conducting the restoration project with funding provided by the Washington State Salmon Recovery Funding Board and Pacificorp. The logs will serve as woody debris that provides refuge for juvenile fish during high flows and enhances other aspects of area fish habitat, Weinheimer said.
Species expected to benefit from the project include coho, chum and chinook salmon and steelhead, he said.