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King County Fish Passage Data Gap Evaluation Phase I

WRIA 7Anthropogenic barriers to fish passage  limit the distribution and productivity of migratory fish, and compromise other important watershed processes like the transport of wood, sediment, and water. Without a systematic inventory of the location and status of barriers, and the amount and quality of the stream habitat upstream of those barriers, restoration ecologists and resource managers invariably identify fish-passage projects based on opportunity instead of a science-driven prioritization process.

A systematic fish passage inventory, assessment, and prioritization project is the foundation to responsibly and effectively recovering whole watershed processes. Although many culverts have been assessed and prioritized in the King County portion of WRIA 07 a comprehensive fish passage dataset does not yet exist.  More importantly, the most noticeable data gaps in King County are the culverts and tide-gates located within the floodplain of the Snoqualmie River. Due to their locations within the watershed, these structures can block or limit fish access to entire tributaries and critical floodplain rearing habitats.

This spring and summer Wild Fish Conservancy will complete Phase I of the WRIA 07 King County Fish Passage Data Gap Evaluation Project.  The intent of the project is to fill high priority culvert/tide-gate data gaps, so that prioritization of these culverts can occur utilizing accurate hydro layer and fish passage information. The final report will include a prioritized list of restoration projects, along with a prospectus for one high priority fish passage restoration opportunity and a commitment to work together with partners to fund and implement it within three years of the project completion date.  This project was funded using King County Flood District Cooperative Management funds.  Wild Fish Conservancy would like to take this opportunity to thank the King County Flood Control District for their support!

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