The Chehalis Basin is Washington’s second largest river system, home to some of the state’s most important salmon rivers and one of the only major basins without any federally-listed endangered salmon. At the same time, salmon runs within the basin are returning at a fraction of their historical abundances, with fish passage barriers and other habitat loss representing one of many causes for this decline.
The project area includes an intermittent fish-bearing tributary to Scatter Creek, a tributary to the Chehalis River, that passes under a small residential road where an undersized and oversteep culverts blocks coho, cutthroat, and other native fishes from accessing vital stream and wetland habitat. By interrupting habitat connectivity, even a single barrier can have a disproportionately large impact on the abundance and resiliency of wild fish populations.
The Family Forest Fish Passage Program (FFFPP) assists private forestland owners in removing culverts and other stream crossing structures that prevent ESA listed salmonids from migrating upstream. Through the management of DNR’s Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office some 376 landowners have taken advantage of the program to remove 433 barriers since 2003.
WFC removed the undersized culverts and installed a 13’x12’x6′ precast box culvert to restore the passage of fish, water, sediment, and wood through this stream reach.
Scatter Creek, a tributary to the Chehalis River, Thurston County
The goal of the project was to connect isolated habitat to increase the range and distribution of salmon. The objective of the project was to increase fish access to areas blocked by human-caused impediments.
Primary Habitats Impacted By Project:
Managing Agency/ Organization:
Riparian Stream Channels
Wild Fish Conservancy
Budget or Project Cost:
Family Forest Fish Passage Grants
Landowner Wayne Bray