Restoring a Salmon Stream

For a client with a wooded, shoreline property in the village of Holly on Hood Canal, Seattle Landscape Architect Brooks Kolb generated a landscape master plan that included restoring a salmon stream.  While salmon had been entering the creek for several years on their journey to spawn, they were blocked by a culvert under a highway that had filled with sediment.  After Brooks’ client convinced Kitsap County officials to remove the debris, the stream still needed to be dredged and reshaped.  Brooks reached out to Tom and Kathy Smayda of Smayda Environmental Restoration (SMAYDA ENVIRONMENTAL ASSOCIATES, INC) for assistance with the hydraulic engineering and vegetation restoration.  Tom, a civil engineer, personally shaped the creek with his earthmoving equipment, while wetland biologist Kathy recommended a palette of native creekside plantings.  Brooks designed plantings along the creek banks and on the beach, where the goal was to anchor the sands to prevent littoral drift.  Then nature took over.  The stream realigned itself several times; native plants seeded themselves largely to replace the original nursery plants; and the salmon returned by the hundreds.  Originally installed in 2009 and 2010, the culvert has now been cleaned out several times and in this year’s 2021 fall run, three species of salmon were spotted in the creek, including Coho and Chum.

The salmon stream in October, 2017

 


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