Anthropogenic barriers to fish passage not only limit the distribution and productivity of migratory fish, but they compromise other important watershed processes like the transport of wood, sediment, and water. In the absence of knowing the location and passability of barriers, and the amount and quality of the stream habitat upstream of those barriers, restoration biologist 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 within the existing data set are the culverts and tide-gates located within the floodplain of the Snoqualmie River.
Using state sanctioned protocols, WFC used WDFW protocol to evaluated fish passage of thirteen culvert/flood-gates within the Snoqualmie Mouth and Mainstem Snoqualmie sub-basins which have been identified as data gaps in our current database. In addition to the formal survey of the thirteen culverts WFC conducted informal surveys on approximately twenty-two culverts. Stream channels which appear to have been incorrectly mapped (based on WDNR and KC hydro layers) and associated with the identified culverts within currently classified fish-bearing waters and/or within high priority sections of selected sub-basins were mapped correctly (to the extent possible) using the State’s WAC222-16 protocol.
Floodplain of the Main stem Snoqualmie Mouth, and Middle-Main stem Snoqualmie priority sub-basins
The intent of the project is to fill high priority culvert/tide-gate prioritization data gaps, so that prioritization of these culverts can occur to the extent possible utilizing accurate hydro layer information.
The final product includes a prioritized list of potential culvert/flood gate restoration opportunities in WRIA 07, and a list of prioritized restoration opportunities in the Phase I focus area along with a prospectus for one high priority fish passage restoration project.
Primary Habitats Impacted By Project:
Managing Agency/ Organization:
Stream reaches within the Snoqualmie Floodplain
Wild Fish Conservancy
Budget or Project Cost:
Mary Lou White
King County Flood District, Sponsor Match
King Conservation District, King County