The Stormy A Restoration Project
Project Sponsor: Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation
Funding: $1.6 million
- Yakama Nation (Fish Accords): $570,535
- Chelan County Public Utility District: $823,161
- Grant County Public Utility District: $230,000
Project Restores Important Side-Channel Habitat
It might look like a large pile of tree debris but to fish, it’s a glorious place for resting and hiding from predators in the Entiat River. Located in Chelan County, the Entiat River joins the Columbia River near the town of Entiat. In the past, the land along the river was logged extensively and the river was cleared of its large tree root wads and logs, a common practice historically. The result was a river channel that didn’t contain the variety of habitats (fast moving water, slow water to rest, deep ponds with cool water for the summer) that salmon need to survive. In addition, the river was disconnected from its adjacent floodplain, where young spring Chinook salmon and steelhead often feed as they grow in preparation for their ocean journeys.
To restore the river, the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation used a complex “inside-out” construction method to rebuild side channels while leaving most of the floodplain undisturbed.
The Yakama Nation increased floodplain access, created perennial side channels, and built engineered log structures at the head of two side-channel inlets to increase the types of habitat in the river. The Stormy A project restored thousands of feet of side-channel habitat in this important spawning and rearing area of the Entiat River.
This project is part of a larger restoration effort in the middle Entiat River to enhance fish habitat and floodplain connectivity along a 4-mile stretch of the river. Learn more about the larger project.
Restored habitat absorbs carbon, offers refuge for wildlife, and provides economic opportunities for rural communities.
Project Sponsor: North Olympic Salmon Coalition
Funding: $15.2 million
- Estuary and Salmon Restoration Program grant: $2.4 million
- Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration grant: $7.2 million
- Fish Passage Barrier Removal Program (Washington Department of Transportation): $2 million
- U.S. Navy: $1 million
- Coastal Resiliency Grant (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration): $1.5 million
- Washington Department of Ecology: $1 million
- Donations: $41,237
A Road Between Them
The views across Kilisut Harbor, which lies between Marrowstone and Indian Islands on the Olympic Peninsula, are beautiful. Until recently though, when a closer look was taken, visitors could see dead fish and algae-filled water.
The problem was an earthen berm and two, 1950s-era pipes under State Route 116 that were too small and restricted the flow of water between Oak Bay and the 2,285-acre Kilisut Harbor. The berm and highway above couldn’t simply be removed because they provided the only route to the islands by car.
To remedy the situation, the North Olympic Salmon Coalition and Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe teamed up to replace the road. Gathering more than $15 million in funding and multiple partners, they removed the earthen berm and the two pipes and replaced them with a 440-foot-long, four-lane bridge over Kilisut Harbor. The Washington Department of Transportation administered the construction contract and Cascade Bridge LLC crews built the new bridge.
The work restored 27 acres of tidal channel, increasing feeding opportunities for migrating salmon, including Hood Canal summer chum salmon, Puget Sound Chinook salmon, and Puget Sound steelhead, all of which are species listed as threatened with extinction under the federal Endangered Species Act. Not only is tidal flow restored, but the estuary is returned to a more natural state and fish will be able to more easily travel between the harbor and bay.
The road was opened to both human traffic and fish traffic in October 2020.
Salmon habitat restoration projects like this are happening around the state to return rivers and bays to more natural states, while still accommodating people.