Following our 2020 Grant Round, our Lead Entity is proposing the following projects for grant funding from the Salmon Recovery Funding Board and Puget Sound Acquisition & Restoration dollars:
Lower Dungeness Floodplain Restoration – This is the River’s Edge Phase, located river mile (RM) 1.75 to RM 2.70, of the US Army Corps of Engineers dike setback project. Proposed by the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, this phase will further enlarge and enhance the levee setback project currently being designed by Clallam County which will remove a portion of the dike, thereby restoring, conserving and reconnecting 65 acres of historic Dungeness River Floodplain. Phase 2 is the River’s Edge project. Property acquisitions are well underway. In March 2020 the Tribe, working with the North Olympic Land Trust; purchased a 41-acre property and another 24-acre property in May 2020 needed for the restoration. This grant will fund River’s Edge design and permitting. The Tribe is working to get this phase designed in time to integrate with the County’s dike setback. Recovering and restoring lost floodplain is the top-ranked habitat restoration action needed on the Dungeness River, per the Puget Sound Chinook Recovery Plan. Healthy salmon runs require healthy floodplain habitat.
Twin River Acquisition – The Twins Nearshore and West Twin River acquisition project seeks to permanently conserve coastal shoreline, riparian, wetland, and forested upland habitat within the Hoko-Lyre River Watershed. Acquisition of this property by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is an opportunity to protect and enhance the natural processes, conditions, functions, and biological responses of 216 acres of significant habitat in one of the remaining functional ecosystems in western Washington. This reach of the nearshore central Strait of Juan de Fuca contains some of the most complex shorelines of the Salish Sea, and within this reach the Twins Nearshore is one of the most diverse. The Twins Nearshore and West Twin River provides priority habitat for multiple species of concern, including critical habitat for ESA-listed Bull Trout, highly productive Coho, Winter Steelhead, and Coastal Cutthroat spawning and rearing habitat, prey production habitat for Southern Resident Killer Whales, migratory and rearing habitat for federally listed Puget Sound Chinook and Hood Canal Summer Chum species, supports intact eelgrass and kelp beds, and spawning habitat for salmonids and forage fish. Additionally, WDFW acquisition of this property provides public access for a myriad of outdoor recreation activities.
Hoko River Conservation– This project aims to conserve 229 acres of land in the Hoko River watershed that is identified as a high priority in The Western Strait of Juan de Fuca Salmonid Habitat Conservation Plan. This conservation effort is proposed by the North Olympic Land Trust and the Makah Tribe. The Hoko River watershed is known to support important habitat for salmon and steelhead productivity and survival, making them a high priority for conservation. Research of Water Resource Inventory Area 19 (WRIA 19) in 2011 resulted in The Western Strait of Juan de Fuca Salmonid Habitat Conservation Plan, which prioritized conservation of specific parcels most important for fish productivity. All properties are within the Hoko River watershed, including the mainstem of the Hoko River, the Lower Hoko wetland complex, Talbot Creek, Johnson Creek, unnamed tributaries, and portions of the Johnson Creek wetland complex. The primary types of habitat to be protected include off-channel wetland habitat, large river mainstem habitat, mature riparian floodplain forest, and some of the highest use Chinook spawning habitat in WRIA 19. The primary species supported are Chinook, chum, coho, steelhead, and cutthroat. There will likely be access for outdoor recreation, particularly for lands acquired fee-simple. Uses could include non-motorized daytime activities like bird and wildlife viewing, and picnicking.
Lower Hoko Wetland– This is the next phase in a project lead by the North Olympic Salmon Coalition which is currently at the preliminary design stage. This phase will include final design, permitting and complete construction to restore a tributary of the Hoko River and improve salmon access to the 40-acre Lower Hoko Wetland Complex(LHWC). Restoration elements include widening the confluence of LHWC and adding structure within the tributary and LHWC . The project goal is to increase frequency of connection of LHWC with the Hoko River and make entrance easier for fish to access critical rearing and high flow refugia habitat, particularly juveniles. High flow refugia habitat is structurally complex habitat needed by juvenile salmon to survive and thrive during winter high flows. Wetland complexes and side channels are constructed to connect the floodplain at low flows. This off-channel habitat provides winter rearing and high flow refugia habitat for juvenile salmon that would otherwise be swept away during high flows prevalent during winter.
Upper Cowan Ranch The project will complete preliminary design for the construction of approximately 25-30 engineered log jams (ELJs) between Hoko River Mile 4.0 and 5.2. The project, proposed by the North Olympic Salmon Coalition; will reconnect approximately 46 acres of Hoko River floodplain. The project is designed to benefit various salmon populations within the Hoko River through the reduction of bed scour and reversal of channel simplification that has resulted from the absence of large wood within the system. Large wood helps slow water flow which helps traps gravel and sediment, creates pools and places for fish to hide and seek refuge, helps streambanks by preventing erosion of soil along banks. This projects targets restoration of spawning and rearing habitat for chinook, coho, chum and steelhead.
McDonald Creek Fish Passage This project rectifies a long-known fish passage barrier and removes sources of fish mortality associated with operation of an irrigation diversion. Proposed by Clallam County, the project will also improve habitat conditions, sediment, and wood transport in McDonald Creek. All life stages of ESA-Listed Puget Sound Steelhead, Coho, Cutthroat and Pacific Lamprey will benefit from this project. Improving fish passage will open up 4.5 and 6.1 miles of access to moderate to high quality habitat upstream of the diversion dam for Coho and Steelhead, resulting in improved spawning and rearing habitat. The project will improve fish passage and enhance conditions for fish and wildlife while also improving Agnew Irrigation District’s ability to divert water according to their water right.