YAKIMA – Starting this week, scientists with the Yakama Nation Fisheries will fly a drone over sections of land managed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) in Kittitas and Yakima counties to collect information for habitat restoration work.

For the next two years, scientists will use a drone to capture high-resolution imagery data along stream corridors and floodplains within the WenasL.T. Murray, and Oak Creek wildlife areas. Data collected from the drone will provide valuable information in assessing the value of wood placement for improving fish habitat and stream function.

Drone flights will take place occasionally on weekdays between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. in compliance with all federal and state regulations.

“We are excited to partner with the Yakama Nation on stream restoration,” said Ross Huffman, Regional Lands Operations Manager for WDFW. “Using a drone gives us an opportunity to conduct monitoring safely, while also efficiently providing a view of the landscape that would otherwise be impossible.”

WDFW actively manages approximately 1 million acres of land and over 500 water access areas across the state to preserve natural and cultural heritage, provide access for hunting, fishing, and wildlife-related recreation, and to foster experiences and exploration for thousands of Washingtonians and visitors each year.

WDFW is the state agency tasked with preserving, protecting and perpetuating fish, wildlife and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing, hunting, and other recreation opportunities.