MONTESANO — Starting Sept. 20, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife will restrict access to portions of the Chinook Unit of the Johns River Wildlife Area during work on a salmon recovery project.

Signs will be posted on the northern end of the unit to mark the construction area, which will be closed to hunting through October, said Mick Cope, WDFW regional wildlife manager.

Cope said the closure will most likely affect pheasant hunters, starting with a youth hunt scheduled Sept. 20 followed by a hunt for hunters over 65 years old from Sept. 23 through Sept. 26. The regular pheasant season will begin Sept. 27 and run through Nov. 30.

During that time, work crews will fill drainage ditches, remove culverts and excavate historic channels in about 20 key locations, he said.

“The access closure is necessary to protect public safety,” Cope said. “The restrictions will be removed as soon as construction is completed for the season.”

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