600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

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May 25, 2006
Contact: Dale Swedberg, (509) 223-3358

Access now open to Sinlahekin Wildlife Area

SPOKANE – Anglers, campers and other outdoor recreationists can now reach most of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (WDFW) Sinlahekin Wildlife Area in northern Okanogan County, where flooding closed roads late last week.

County road crews repaired damage to Sinlahekin Road – from the wildlife area headquarters south of Loomis to just north of Blue Lake – that was closed when Sinlahekin Creek flooded the area May 18.

Dale Swedberg, WDFW area manager, said vehicles can now travel from the north end of the Sinlahekin Valley to access the Conner Lake and Reflection Pond areas for fishing and camping.

Forde Lake is accessible only to cartop boats, canoes and kayaks. Camping is available only on the west side. The campground and trailer boat launch on the east side of Forde Lake remains inaccessible.

The south end of the wildlife area was not flooded and roads remain open to and between Fish and Blue lakes, by way of Pine Creek or Conconully Reservoir.

Swedberg said the area just north of Blue Lake, including Sinlahekin Creek Campground, may have limited access since the road remains washed out. But nearly all of the wildlife area is now accessible, either from the north end or south end.

Unseasonably high temperatures last week quickly melted heavy snowpack, swelling northcentral Washington’s rivers and streams to flood levels. Sinlahekin Creek still has high flows but continues to recede.