A 50-acre mud bar created by winter floods at the mouth of the Walla Walla River is being groomed into a winter retreat for waterfowl.
Last week, The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, working with funding from the Tri-State Steelheaders and Pheasants Forever, a sportsmen’s conservation group, used helicopters to seed millet in the mud bar and along another 50 acres of shoreline in the Wallula Wildlife Area.
The grain crop will be a bonus for waterfowl, and it should help to keep the noxious weed purple loosestrife from taking over the area, said Scott Rasley, Washington Fish and Wildlife Department habitat specialist. The mud bar is now a permanent part of the landscape, Rasely said.
Success for the seeding project is expected to be great. The mud bar is wetted periodically by hydro-power-caused fluctuations in Columbia River water levels. Millet can survive being inundated for short periods.