Puyallup Tribe eyes Boise Creek restoration

Puyallup Tribal News looks at the tribe’s plans for Boise Creek:

One of the most critical spawning areas for salmon in the Puyallup River Basin is about to get some much-needed attention.

A section of Boise Creek, one of the heaviest fish rearing creeks in the basin, will be the focus of a Salmon Recovery Funding Board grant recently awarded to the Puyallup Tribe.

The area of concern in the otherwise abundant river is the more than 2,000 feet of channel that runs through the Enumclaw Municipal Golf Course.

The course, which was built in the 1940s and subsequently re-routed the creek’s original path, has had some “negative impacts” over the years, according to Russ Ladley, environmental biologist for the Puyallup Tribe.

“Upstream and downstream of the golf course, we see higher densities of spawning. This (section of creek in the golf course) is a compromised spot at this point.”

Russ Ladley noted lower spawning numbers within the course could be due to a variety of environmental and landscaping factors, such as manufactured golf greens up to the creek’s edge. There are also flooding and long-term drainage issues, which if mitigated should not only improve salmon habitat, but also increase the course’s playability.