The conservation district's plans include using $305,213 to develop a list of areas where logjams could be used in the upper south fork of the Skokomish River floodplain to slow the river and reduce erosion and $265,302 to design and analyze logjams to improve fish habitat.
"Streams in the watershed have lost structural and habitat diversity," stated the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office, which administers salmon recovery funding, in a release. "Logjams will help keep sediment in the upper watershed and stabilize channel patterns."
Logjams also stabilize the flow and sediment of the river, creating a more varied habitat for the fish that use it, including chinook salmon, steelhead and bull trout, all of which are listed as threatened with extinction under the federal Endangered Species Act.
The Mason Conservation District will contribute $53,900 from another grant and donations of labor, as well as another $468,937 from a different state grant, toward the project.
The conservation district was awarded another $224,692 from the Salmon Recovery Funding Board to place 22 logjams in the Holman Flats area of the south fork of the Skokomish River and $362,990 to realign Skokomish Valley Road.
"The (Holman Flats) area was logged and cleared in preparation for a new reservoir, which was never built," state the Recreation and Conservation Office. "As a result, the watershed has excess sedimentation, which buries fish spawning gravel and degrades the entire downstream system."
The conservation district will also use those funds to develop designs to move Skokomish Valley Road to the outside of the south fork of the Skokomish River's banks, reconnecting the river to as much as 60 acres of floodplain.
The end result would restore the right bank of the Skokomish south fork, remove 800 feet of rock bank armor, place large tree root wads and logs along the river bank and possibly add engineered logjams in the river to increase habitat complexity and improved channel flow.
The Mason Conservation District will contribute $64,175 in a federal grant toward that project.
The conservation district will also use $199,574 in salmon recovery funding to create a 750-foot channel that will connect a stagnant portion of Weaver Creek to the free-flowing Purdy Creek in Mason County, improving the water quality and oxygen levels for fish in Weaver Creek.
Elsewhere in Mason County, the Squaxin Island Tribe received $1,265,116 for several projects at the Goldsborough Creek estuary in Oakland Bay and the South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group received $124,550 to improve salmon habitat in Anderson Creek, southwest of Allyn.
The four components of the Squaxin tribe's project include installing up to 14 logjams at the mouth of Goldsborough Creek, removing a quarter-mile dike and adding material to build up creek banks, removing a bulkhead at the Port of Shelton and buying 14 acres of habitat at the Shelton harbor.
The 14 acres of habitat include 2 acres of wetlands and 4 acres of tidelands at Eagle Point on the Shelton harbor and will benefit steelhead, chinook, coho and chum salmon and cutthroat trout.
The Squaxin Island Tribe will contribute $286,000 from another grant toward the project.
The South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group plans to use its funds to place tree root wads and logs in a lower section of Anderson Creek, which is a major tributary of Sherwood Creek and serves as a rearing area for coho salmon.
"Many of the streams in the Sherwood Creek basin are too warm for salmon in the summer," stated the Recreation and Conservation Office. "Planting trees and bushes along a shoreline helps shade the water, also cooling it for fish. The plants also drop branches and leaves into the water, which provide food for the insects salmon eat."
The South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group will contribute $23,450 in another grant and donations of cash toward the project.
Three other organizations also received funds to improve fish habitat around Hood Canal.
The Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group, based at the Salmon Center in Belfair, was awarded $66,567 and $300,000 to design restoration plans for the Duckabush and lower Big Quilcene Rivers in Jefferson County, respectively.
The nonprofit Long Live the Kings, which has a fish hatchery in Lilliwaup, received $687,766 to study the deaths of juvenile steelhead at the Hood Canal Bridge, while Wild Fish Conservancy Northwest was awarded a total of $506,900 in two grants to map 34 miles of streams in Mason County and to study Hood Canal summer chum's use of nearshore habitat.