WDFW to use drone to survey public lands in Snohomish River estuary


This document is provided for archival purposes only. Archived documents do not reflect current WDFW regulations or policy and may contain factual inaccuracies.

News release

Lindsey Desmul, Habitat Biologist, 206-496-9142 
Media Contact: Chase Gunnell, 360-704-0258

From Oct. 3 to Oct. 14, WDFW staff will conduct drone surveys over Snohomish County and WDFW-managed lands to support habitat restoration monitoring and planning.

MILL CREEK, WA – Scientists with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will use a drone to survey habitat conditions on Snohomish County and WDFW lands in the Snohomish River estuary beginning Oct. 3 through Oct.14.

Drone flights, which may occur daily, weather permitting, will collect photos and video of completed and planned habitat restoration projects to inform planning and analysis of changes over time.

“The data and visuals obtained from these flights will support a comprehensive view of restoration in the Snohomish estuary as well as public outreach and communications,” said Lindsey Desmul, WDFW Habitat Biologist. “Flights will take place before waterfowl hunting season begins on Oct. 15.”

WDFW’s flight plan has been approved by Snohomish County and visuals will be shared with the county’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. WDFW and county officials will not close wildlife area units or county lands to complete this survey work.

Drone flights will be conducted by WDFW staff with Federal Aviation Administration Small Unmanned Aircraft System Remote Pilot certification, exclusively over WDFW-managed and Snohomish County lands, and adjacent waterways.

Visual line of sight will be maintained to avoid wildlife disturbance. The drone will be grounded immediately if conflict (or the potential for conflict) occurs.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife works to preserve, protect and perpetuate fish, wildlife and ecosystems while providing sustainable fish and wildlife recreational and commercial opportunities.

Request this information in an alternative format or language at wdfw.wa.gov/accessibility/requests-accommodation, 833-855-1012, TTY (711), or CivilRightsTeam@dfw.wa.gov.