SEPTEMBER 22, 2016
Designation protects unique Pierce County lake popular for hunting, fishing
OLYMPIA – After two years of evaluation and consultation with the east Pierce County community, Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark this afternoon signed an order designating Lake Kapowsin as the state’s first freshwater Aquatic Reserve.
“Lake Kapowsin is one of the few undeveloped lakes in the Puget lowlands. By making this natural treasure an aquatic reserve, we are protecting its unique and special qualities so people can play, hunt and fish it in the future as they do today,” Commissioner Goldmark said.
The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Aquatic Reserve program protects important native ecosystems on state-owned aquatic lands. DNR’s aquatic reserves promote the preservation, restoration, and enhancement of aquatic environments with special educational, scientific, or environmental interest. Lake Kapowsin is the eighth such reserve.
Lake Kapowsin formed when the Electron Mudflow surged down Mount Rainier and dammed Kapowsin Creek some 500 years ago. The dammed lake submerged a cedar forest that now provides prime habitat for warmwater fish, amphibians and migratory waterfowl. The lake covers 512 acres and has predominately-natural shorelines and shallow waters.
DNR worked closely with the community and government organizations over the past two years to develop a management plan for the reserve. The Lake Kapowsin Management Plan is viewable online at: http://file.dnr.wa.gov/publications/aqr_resv_lake_kapowsin_draft_mgmtplan_0716.pdf
This plan is aimed at ensuring the many people who enjoy fishing and hunting on Lake Kapowsin can continue to do so, while also providing research opportunities for geologists and aquatic biologists. Lake Kapowsin is one of the few lakes in western Washington that supports bass fishing and is open for waterfowl hunting. Keeping the lake clean from litter and vandalism and expanding public access opportunities are also priorities in the management plan.
DNR: Steward of state aquatic lands
DNR is steward of about 2.6 million acres of state-owned lands under marine and fresh waters of the state—managed as a public trust for all Washingtonians. DNR strives for a balance of public benefits for all the people of the state, which include encouraging public use and access, fostering water-dependent uses, ensuring environmental protection, and using renewable resources, among other benefits.
Through its management of state-owned aquatic lands, DNR supports navigation, public access, and other water-dependent uses. DNR also manages and authorizes utility easements and outfalls, marinas, docks, net pens for fin fish culture, and energy projects located on state-owned aquatic lands.