Seven treaty tribes and a tribal organization will use almost $9 million in grants to complete nine salmon recovery projects in western Washington. The grants were part of the recently announced results of the competitive salmon recovery funding round (details here).

Treaty tribes work with their neighbors to develop the salmon recovery projects, oftentimes acting as the watershed lead.

These projects result in more salmon returning for everyone. They will also contribute to what is being called the “restoration economy.” Money invested in salmon recovery spread across these often rural communities, boosting the economy for everyone.

From a local study on how the restoration economy works:

The multiplier represents a ratio of proportionality, for example in Chelan County in 2005 1 direct job created 4.26 total jobs, and 2 direct jobs created (2*4.26) 8.52 total jobs. The effect of the multiplier, in Chelan in 2012, was one direct job from salmon restoration created 4.02 total jobs. One direct job in Douglas County produces 2.36 indirect jobs, and 1.63 indirect jobs are generated in result from one direct job creation in Okanogan. It is important to recognize that this multiplier is not specific to restoration jobs, but rather represents the whole local economy.

Here is a list of all the grants awarded to treaty tribes in western Washington.

Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe
Restoring Deep Creek Grant
$600,546

The Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe will use this grant to place tree root wads and large logs in Deep Creek to improve salmon habitat and reconnect the creek to its floodplain. The wood will be placed at 15 sites in lower Deep Creek. Tree root wads and logs create places for fish to rest and hide from predators. They also slow the river, which reduces erosion and the amount of sediment in the river and allows small gravel to settle to the river bottom for spawning areas.

Finally, they change the flow of the river, creating riffles and deep cold pools, giving fish more varied habitat. The creek is used by steelhead, which are listed as threatened with extinction under the federal Endangered Species Act, and by coho and chum salmon and cutthroat trout. Visit RCO’s online Project Snapshot for more information and photographs of this project.

Quileute Tribe
Removing Barriers to Fish Migration under Thunder Road
$235,249

The Quileute Tribe will use this grant to remove four barriers to fish migration under Thunder Road, in La Push, on the Quileute Reservation. The barriers will be replaced with larger or different types of culverts, which are structures that carry streams under roads. The streams flow into Smith Slough, which is at the mouth of the Quillayute River and is used by Chinook and coho salmon, steelhead, and sea-run cutthroat and resident cutthroat trout, none of which are listed under the federal Endangered Species Act. As the Quillayute River has moved around in its floodplain and widened, some off-channel habitat has been abandoned, making it not accessible to fish. Fixing the barriers at these four sites will open more than 22 acres of habitat for use in the winter. The Tribe also will improve 1 mile of road by laying gravel on the surface, improving ditches and drainage structures, and reshaping the forest floor to reduce runoff impacts to fish-bearing streams. The Quileute Tribe will contribute $133,879 in cash and a federal grant. Visit RCO’s online Project Snapshot for more information and photographs of this project.

Quinault Indian Nation
Designing Fish Passage in Halbert Creek
$48,645

The Quinault Indian Nation’s Division of Natural Resources will use this grant to complete engineering designs and a cost estimate for a project to remove a pair of barriers to fish passage in Halbert Creek, a tributary to the Moclips River, and replace them with a bridge. The barriers are culverts, which are large pipes that carry Halbert Creek under roads. The culverts are on Quinault Indian Reservation in Grays Harbor County. Replacing them will restore access to 2.2 miles of habitat for coho salmon and cutthroat trout. The Tribe also plans to assess stream habitat conditions and complete stream rehabilitation designs for up to .8 mile of the creek. Visit RCO’s online Project Snapshot for more information and photographs of this project. (16-1322)

Quinault Indian Nation  
Treating Invasive Knotweed in the Lower Quinault River Floodplain
$150,000

The Quinault Indian Nation’s Division of Natural Resources will use this grant to survey and treat 2,555 acres of invasive knotweed plants in the lower Quinault River floodplain. Knotweed grows vigorously, creating dense colonies that make it hard or impossible for native plants to survive. Its ability to out-compete other plants results in an altered natural landscape. Once established, they are very difficult to remove. The Quinault River is used by Chinook, chum, coho, and sockeye salmon, steelhead, and cutthroat trout. The Quinault Indian Nation will contribute $26,471 in staff labor and a federal grant. Visit RCO’s online Project Snapshot for more information and photographs of this project.

Puyallup Tribe of Indians
Assessing the Condition of Wild Salmon in the Puyallup River
$58,825

The Puyallup Tribe of Indians will use this grant to assess the health and condition of wild salmon in the Puyallup River. Scientists will collect and analyze data on the abundance, run timing, size, and other biological characteristics of Puget Sound Chinook salmon, which are listed as threatened with extinction under the federal Endangered Species Act, of Puget Sound steelhead, which are proposed for listing, and of bull trout. The data will be used to support the protection of functioning, high priority salmon streams including South Prairie Creek, the Carbon River, and the upper Puyallup River. This Tribe will use a rotary screw trap that already is in the Puyallup River to collect the data. The Puyallup Tribe of Indians will contribute $10,400 from a federal grant. Visit RCO’s online Project Snapshot for more information and photographs of this project.

Skagit River System Cooperative
Prioritizing Steelhead Fish Passage Projects
$121,863 

The Skagit River System Cooperative, working with several partners, will use this grant to improve knowledge of fish barriers in the Skagit watershed in order to identify and scope eight to ten fish passage restoration projects on local government roads and private property with willing landowners. This project will fill an important knowledge gap about what fish barriers remain in the watershed and which ones will provide the most benefit to steelhead. The river is used by Puget Sound steelhead and Puget Sound Chinook salmon, both of which are listed as threatened with extinction under the federal Endangered Species Act. This project is part of a larger project, which is seeking additional grant funding. The Skagit River System Cooperative will contribute $35,259 from a private grant. Visit RCO’s online Project Snapshot for more information and photographs of this project. (16-1642)

Skagit River System Cooperative
Restoring Nookachamps Creek
$50,000

The Skagit River System Cooperative will use this grant to restore Nookachamps Creek near Barney Lake and at the confluence of its east and west forks. Near Barney Lake, the cooperative will plant native trees and shrubs on 25 acres along Nookachamps Creek and in the Skagit River floodplain, install fences to keep cattle out of the creek, and control invasive weeds. The new trees will be maintained for at least 3 years following planting. The new plantings will help shade the water, cooling it for fish. The plants also drop branches and leaves into the water, which provide food for the insects salmon eat and places for salmon to rest and hide from predators. Finally, the roots of the plants help keep the soil from entering the water and reducing water quality. The river is used by Puget Sound Chinook Salmon, Puget Sound steelhead, and Coastal Bull Trout, all of which are listed as threatened with extinction under the federal Endangered Species Act. This project is part of a larger project, which is seeking additional grant funding. The Skagit River System Cooperative will contribute $7,500 in state and federal grants. Visit RCO’s online Project Snapshot for more information and photographs of this project.

Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians
Conserving Stillaguamish Floodplain
$401,613

The Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians will use this grant to partially fund the purchase of 56 acres of priority floodplain along the Stillaguamish River. This purchase is a step toward the long-range goal of creating a corridor of protected lands along the Stillaguamish River and its forks. The corridor will be a place where natural river processes can be restored and allowed to proceed, uninhibited by infrastructure or bank armoring. The river is used by Puget Sound Chinook salmon and steelhead, both of which are listed as threatened with extinction under the federal Endangered Species Act; Puget Sound/Strait of Georgia coho salmon, which are a federal species of concern; and pink and chum salmon. The Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians will contribute $72,000 in a federal grant towards restoration of the acquired land. The remaining funds for the land purchase will come from a previous Salmon Recovery Funding Board grant. Visit RCO’s online Project Snapshot for more information and photographs of this project.

Nooksack Indian Tribe
Placing Logjams in the South Fork Nooksack River
$517,519

The Nooksack Indian Tribe will use this grant to install five logjams in the South Fork Nooksack River, upstream of Acme. This project is the second of three phases of restoration in the broader Nesset reach of the river. The South Fork Nooksack River suffers from a lack of deep pools with hiding cover and water that is too warm for salmon. Logjams provide cover for fish to rest and hide from predators. They also slow the river, which reduces erosion and allows small gravel to settle to the river bottom for spawning areas. Finally, they change the flow of the river, creating riffles and deep cold pools, giving fish more varied habitat. This project implements high priority restoration in a high priority reach for South Fork Nooksack early Chinook salmon, which are essential for recovery of Puget Sound Chinook, which are listed as threatened with extinction under the federal Endangered Species Act. The South Fork Nooksack River also provides important habitat for Puget Sound steelhead and bull trout, both of which are listed as threatened; Puget Sound/Strait of Georgia coho salmon, which are a federal species of concern; sockeye, chum, and pink salmon; and cutthroat trout. The Nooksack Indian Tribe will contribute $91,330 from a federal grant.

photographs of this project.