After salmon seen, DNR closes trail early

The state Department of Natural Resources has closed a short section of nonmotorized trail between Margaret McKenny Campground and the E-9500 road in Capitol State Forest. Normally, that nonmotorized trail stays open for equestrians and hikers until Dec. 1.

The DNR will close the Margaret McKenny Campground on Nov. 1 for the season, a month early. Both the trail and campground are due to reopen May 1.

Adult salmon have been seen in Waddell Creek recently, so the closures are intended to protect salmon habitat, including redds (spawning areas) seen in Waddell Creek. The loss of a bridge across the creek in a storm two years ago has forced trail users to ford the creek at that point, causing damage to stream habitat.

The DNR is building a bridge to span Waddell Creek near the campground, but it cannot be installed until spring due to stream protection regulations.