State of Our Watersheds: Pump stations block salmon access

Culverts aren’t the only barriers preventing salmon from accessing spawning and rearing habitat.

In the Snohomish watershed, flood control facilities at the mouths of the Marshland and French Creek watersheds are primarily responsible for the approximately 95 percent loss of chinook rearing and coho smolt production capacity.

As documented by the Northwest Treaty Tribes in the recently released State of Our Watersheds Report, removing the French Creek pump station would open access to at least 50 miles and upwards of 115 miles of floodplain side-channel and tributary habitat, as well as potential access to floodplain wetlands for anadromous fish. Removing the Marshland watershed pump station with accompanied restoration could provide anadromous fish access to between 400 and 500 acres of floodplain wetland habitat.


From the report:

The Marshland pump station is a key component of the Everett Marshland sub-area plan, and moving it to the south end of the Everett Marshland project area will restore fish access to 400 to 500 acres of wetland habitat within the Snohomish River floodplain.

Both French Creek and the Marshland watersheds have a legacy of water quality issues that will need to be addressed to restore healthy anadromous fish use to those areas. Removal of their fish-blocking pump stations is one integral step in that process.

Learn more about the 2016 State of Our Watersheds report.