In 2016, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) updated the management plan for the Klickitat Wildlife Area, which consists of seven units. The management plan addresses the status of wildlife species in the area and their habitat, the progress of restoration efforts, and public recreation opportunities. The plan covers activities for seven landscapes:
- Soda Springs consists of about 13,000 acres in mostly contiguous parcels. About 2,100 acres are managed jointly between WDFW and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). This unit is managed to preserve and enhance habitat for game species, primarily black-tailed deer and wild turkeys. Western gray squirrels, which are a threatened species in the state, also can be found on this unit. Hunting, camping, hiking and wildlife watching are popular activities.
- Mineral Springs is located in the Klickitat River Canyon. The 1,108-acre area is mostly Oregon white oak, ponderosa pine woodlands and some Douglas fir. Grasslands occur on south slopes. Wildlife species include deer, grouse, turkeys and many songbirds associated with the riparian habitat. The chimney of an old water bottling plant on the property is a roost site for Vaux's swifts. Public use is primarily for fishing and hunting, with a boat access site and overnight camping.
- Dillacort Canyon includes 340 acres within the Klickitat River Canyon. WDFW and BLM jointly manage portions of the property. Habitat types include oak woodlands, grasslands and riparian areas. A water access site along the Klickitat River is popular for camping and fishing.
- Fisher Hill consists of several parcels over roughly 500 acres. It is located on the Klickitat River, downstream from the Dillacort Canyon unit. This segment of the river flows through a narrow channel that was fished by the Yakama Tribe and remains an important fishing site. Habitat types at Fisher Hill are pine-oak woodlands and open grasslands similar to those at Dillacort Canyon.
- Goldendale Hatchery Unit is located along Spring Creek adjacent to WDFW's Goldendale Fish Hatchery. The 240-acre unit historically was a farm and its agricultural fields are now being cultivated under a sharecrop agreement. A portion of the wheat produced is left in the field as supplementary feed for upland game birds. Pen-reared pheasants are released for fall hunting. Other public uses include waterfowl hunting and trout fishing.
- Swale Creek consists of 516 acres straddling Swale Creek, west of Centerville. The habitat is mostly steppe with riparian areas along two creeks, offering upland game bird hunting opportunities. Hiking and wildlife watching also are popular activities in the wildlife area unit.
- Sondino Ponds area is considered the most important western pond turtle habitat in Washington. WDFW bought the 219-acre area near Lyle to protect this species. The parcel historically was used for agriculture and contains seasonal and year-round wetlands. Access to the unit is restricted in order to maintain the turtle population and restore the native habitat.
Every eight to 10 years, WDFW revises management plans for each of its 33 wildlife areas to document current conditions, address new agency initiatives, and identify new management priorities and actions. In between those major revisions, WDFW updates plans every two years to outline short-term objectives and accomplishments.