Scientists with the Washington Department of
Fish and Wildlife this week flew a drone over a section of the Lower Columbia
River and adjacent areas to collect information supporting river restoration
WDFW scientist Jane Atha said the drone will
collect imagery of a wetland project at South Bachelor Island, where the agency
will be reconnecting off-channel wetland habitat starting later this year.
The drone was flown between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.
for approximately 30 to 60 minute periods within a four day window over
approximately 2,000 feet on South Bachelor Island upstream of the confluence of
Lake River with the Columbia River (river mile 91).
Nicole Czarnomski, lower Columbia habitat
restoration program manager, said participants in the reconnection project will
cut a channel through previously placed dredge material and will deposit the
material along the bank to be entrained by the river in order to create shallow
water habitat downstream for species such as chinook salmon, eulachon, and
lamprey, among others.
WDFW scientists also want to monitor changes
to the constructed channel over time to determine if it is maintaining
connection between the wetland and the river.
Collection of imagery by a drone provides
safer and more efficient river restoration monitoring than would otherwise be
Funding for this project originates from
Washington Department of Natural Resources and Bonneville Power Administration.
Monitoring will be supported by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, among others.