OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will fly a drone over an 11.5-mile section of the Klickitat River about 15 miles west of Goldendale to collect data on noxious weeds along the shoreline.
Drone flights will start as early as this week and continue into October, depending on visibility and weather. Flights will take place between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. and last approximately 30 to 60 minutes.
“We will use a drone to detect and document occurrences of reed canarygrass along the shoreline of the Klickitat River and nearby wetlands,” said George Fornes, WDFW biologist. “The data we collect will help us prioritize where to send herbicide applicator crews next spring.”
Reed canarygrass is an aggressive, non-native grass that can overwhelm native vegetation in many seasonal wetlands and displace native plant communities that support local species of fish and wildlife.
Fornes said the area where the Klickitat River flows through the Soda Springs Wildlife Area Unit is especially important to protect because it offers natural spawning beds for salmon.
WDFW is the state agency tasked with preserving, protecting, and perpetuating fish, wildlife, and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing, hunting, and other outdoor recreation opportunities.