Two Large-scale Restoration Projects in Snoqualmie Valley
Protecting intact stream habitats and restoring them where they have been compromised are important components of Wild Fish Conservancy’s mission. This summer Wild Fish Conservancy will be implementing two large-scale habitat restoration projects in the Snoqualmie Valley. The projects are designed to restore, to the extent possible, the natural processes that create and maintain a diverse suite of habitats used by native fish. They will increase the amount and quality of habitats available to fish and wildlife, improving the abundance and resiliency of the fish populations within the watersheds. Funding for these important habitat projects was awarded by the King County Cooperative Watershed Management grant program, the Salmon Recovery Funding Board, the Department of Ecology Section 319 grant program, and the North American Wetlands Conservation Act.
Cherry Creek is a substantial Snoqualmie tributary, and its location in the Snoqualmie encourages use by fish from other Snoqualmie tributaries as well. It currently supports populations of chinook, coho, and chum salmon, as well as steelhead, cutthroat trout, and a host of other native fishes including Olympic mudminnow. The lower reach of Cherry Creek where it flows into the Snoqualmie River just north of Duvall, WA, was ditched, straightened, diked, and armored in the first half of the last century. This summer Wild Fish Conservancy with Sound Salmon Solutions will be implementing the first of a three phase restoration project on lower Cherry Creek. In Phase I we will reconfigure the channel geometry at the stream’s mouth to increase the amount and complexity of important edge habitat. Log jams, large woody debris, and an extensive native tree and shrub planting project will begin to restore riparian processes while allowing the landowner to continue farming the property. Phases II and III, in coming years, will extend the restoration work further upstream in Cherry Creek.
Approximately 15 miles further upstream the Snoqualmie River, Wild Fish Conservancy will implement a habitat restoration project to naturalize a ditched portion of Langlois Creek, a small tributary located just south of Carnation, WA. This summer the project will replace several hundred feet of ditched stream with a sinuous channel, including large woody debris and native vegetation, to increase the quality and quantity of habitat and restore the channel to more historical conditions. Project partners include Sound Salmon Solutions and Ducks Unlimited.
Permitting for both projects is currently underway. Watch for updates in the coming months!