Salmon spawning in Barnaby Slough — The Nature Conservancy in Washington



By Amber Parmenter, Puget Sound Stewardship Coordinator

The mighty Skagit River supports all of Washington’s native salmon and trout species, including about 60 percent of the state’s wild Chinook salmon. It’s upriver sloughs and backwater areas provide important freshwater spawning and rearing habitat for anadromous fish like salmon and steelhead. Two of TNC’s preserves along the Skagit are involved in a multi-phase restoration project being implemented by Skagit River System Cooperative (natural resource management for the Sauk-Suiattle and Swinomish Tribes) along with land owned by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and Seattle City Light.

This summer, SRSC completed phase one of the project! This phase included the removal of old steelhead hatchery infrastructure and removal of rearing pond dikes, opening flow to a portion of Barnaby Reach that has been blocked since the early 1960’s. I went out to see the construction in progress and was struck by just how much work was being done in the area. It looked like a completely different place as the construction crew erased the old infrastructure.


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