The Suquamish Tribe Salmon Recovery Program has been engaged in numerous habitat protection and restoration projects over the decades. Whether as project lead or in collaboration with other interdisciplinary team member, projects typically deliver multiple benefits. Examples of efforts in East Kitsap include projects in the Dogfish Creek system, Barker Creek, Salmonberry, Gorst Creek, Chico Creek, Carpenter Creek Estuary and Cowling Creek.
The South Fork Dogfish Creek Restoration Project is an example of a collaborative effort which will result in improved surface water management and flood mitigation as well as habitat protection and increased abundance and diversity of salmonids in Dogfish Creek. The South Fork Dogfish Creek Master Plan project can be found at www.cityofpoulsbo under Public Works – Engineering-Projects.
Chico Creek produces the largest run of wild chum salmon –from 30,000 to 80,000 chum per year -- in Kitsap County. The creek also supports coho, steelhead, cutthroat trout and occasional stray Chinook salmon. The Suquamish Tribe has monitored the watershed and salmon returns for 30 years. Recent project focus has targeted culvert removal, fish passage and riparian and instream habitat restoration. The Suquamish Tribe has received grants totaling $1.7 Million to address habitat restoration, including the removal of a box culvert that blocks passage of salmon except at high tide.
A 2009 Cowling Creek culvert removal project led by Friends of Miller Bay and supported by the Suquamish Tribe focused on the removal of a culvert that was a barrier to fish passage and that also contributed to sediment overload in the creek:
In 2010, the culvert on Elders Tributary was removed and replaced with a bridge.
Both projects will result in recolonization of the upper reaches of the creek system by sea run cutthroat, coho, chum and other fish. The Friends of Miller Bay and Suquamish Tribe Salmon Recovery Program staff offer educational opportunities for school children, the public, and visitors to the Cowling Creek Center to learn about benefits of such projects for fish and wildlife, the estuarine habitat, and the community.
Carpenter Creek Estuary Restoration Project
Three salmon creeks feed into the large, high quality Carpenter Creek estuary near Kingston that plays a critical role in the life history of Chinook, chum, coho, and steelhead, sea run cutthroat trout, as well as other fish and wildlife. This restoration project will re-establish natural shallow tidal flow to approximately 30 acres of estuary and salt marsh habitat by replacing the undersized 10 foot wide culvert at South Kingston Rd. with a single-span bridge. The project is scheduled for construction in the summer of 2012 by Kitsap County Public Works. The Tribe was a strong proponent of this project, participating in the design and testifying for the congressional appropriation.
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