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5,000 Native Trees Planted to Improve Wild Fish Habitat

North Fork Cherry CreekWild Fish Conservancy (WFC), in partnership with the King Conservation District, recently completed a floodplain restoration project on a farm on the North Fork of Cherry Creek near Duvall, WA. The purpose of the project was to fence and revegetate a 25ft-wide buffer along each bank of the ~3800ft stream channel to improve instream habitat and water quality for native fish and wildlife including coho salmon, steelhead, and cutthroat trout. WFC planted the riparian buffer with approximately 5,000 native trees (Western red cedar, Sitka spruce, and others); shrubs (red osier dogwood, Pacific crabapple, stink currant, and others); and live-stakes (Pacific willow, hookers willow, and others) at a ratio of approximately 40% trees, 10% shrubs and 50% stakes.

WFC installed temperature data loggers in the stream channel for the past three summers to establish a water temperature baseline against which future measurements can be compared. WFC also established a vegetation flag line for 100 randomly selected plants which was monitored to evaluate the success of the riparian plantings during the three year project. During the three years in which the flag line was monitored, only four of the 100 plants surveyed died, providing an overall survival estimate of 96%.

Projects like these are important not only for the improvements they provide to water quality and fish habitat.  They are excellent examples of how responsible farming and habitat management can go hand-in-hand.  We are especially grateful to members of our local community who continue to work with us to improve our natural heritage.

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