Few things are as widely revered in the Pacific Northwest as the salmon. The fish’s esteem here runs deep, from the Native Americans who for millennia thrived on salmon to the tourists who delight in watching fishmongers hurl an ice-bathed sockeye at Seattle’s Pike Place Market. Given the fish’s iconic status, it’s no surprise that improving salmon habitat is a high priority for our agency when we look for ways to mitigate the environmental effects of our construction projects.
|Juvenile Chinook salmon (photo by Roger Tabor)|
located in or around Lake Washington, including:
A restored section of Yarrow Creek
and a new, fish-friendly culvert
built beneath SR 520.
- The East Approach project, where we’ll enhance spawning habitat for sockeye salmon beneath and alongside the SR 520 floating bridge’s east approach. Key elements involve supplementing lake-bed gravel along the shoreline, removing an existing bulkhead and rubble, and restoring and replanting the shoreline.
- The Yarrow Creek project, where we made channel improvements to this urban creek and adjoining Eastside streams, and installed larger culverts under the roadway to eliminate potential barriers to fish migration. We also upgraded numerous culverts and stream channels.
- The Evans Creek project, which included substantial improvements to the creek and its wetland floodplain. Evans Creek contains three distinct Chinook salmon populations.
- The Bear Creek project, where we improved salmon habitat by restoring portions of this Redmond creek through realignment and reconstruction of the channel, riparian and floodplain restoration, and planting of native riparian vegetation.
These steps will help re-establish vital rearing habitat for migrating salmon; improve water quality with a healthy upland habitat of native trees, bushes and grasses; and provide essential shallow-beach habitat in the lake that supports many other wildlife species. The project also involves pre- and post-project monitoring that will provide information about the success of the restoration and use of the site by juvenile salmon over time.
|The south Lake Washington site before restoration.|
|The south Lake Washington site after restoration.|
Our agency works on a variety of mitigation projects to improve the region’s parks, natural areas, and historic and cultural resources. These mitigation projects are part of our overall commitment to environmental stewardship. For more information on the additional 14 SR 520 mitigation projects, check out the SR 520 website.