The Brian Abbot Fish Barrier Removal Board has awarded some $25 million in grants for removing barriers to Washington’s migrating fish, roughly $2.5 million will be awarded to Kitsap County.
The board will fund more than 50 projects in 20 counties in efforts to remove fish passage barriers that block salmon and steelhead from swimming upstream to their spawning areas.
“These projects build on previous fish passage investments by the Washington State Department of Transportation, forest land owners and local governments,” said Tom Jameson, fish passage manager for the Department of Fish and Wildlife and chair of the Brian Abbot Fish Barrier Removal Board.
“We’re excited that several projects will focus on watersheds that are particularly good habitat for Chinook salmon, which are the main food source for southern resident killer whales (orcas). We appreciate the Legislature’s support so we can continue contributing to salmon and orca recovery.”
Most of the $2.5 million awarded to Kitsap County will be going toward the Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group to replace a culvert in Seabeck Creek under Holly Road Northwest. The $2,066,837 project will remove a fish ladder, replace an undersized culvert with a bridge, re-grade the creek channel, and add logs and tree root wads.
The other $494,500 will go toward the Kitsap Conservation District to restore fish passage at Dickerson Creek. The scope of the work includes removing roadbed fill in the floodplain and weeds along the stream banks, and planting native trees and shrubs along the banks, according to the Fish Barrier Removal Board. The restoration will improve floodplain connectivity and increase habitat complexity. The project will benefit coho and chum salmon, as well as steelhead and cutthroat trout.