Snohomish County will receive several salmon recovery grants, two of which will benefit the Stillaguamish River.
The county Department of Public Works will use $55,125 to monitor Chinook salmon habitat in side channels of the Stillaguamish River with funds from the Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration fund.
SnoCo Public Works was awarded $201,750 to try and control knotweed in the north and south forks of the Stillaguamish. The knotweed control plan includes controlling 140 acres of knotweed on 42 river miles between Oso and Arlington and planting about 3,000 trees to prevent the knotweed from returning.
Knotweed inhibits the formation of functioning riverbank habitat, which is one of six primary factors limiting chinook salmon populations, which are currently at about 1 percent of historic numbers, in the Stillaguamish.
Knotweed has been shown to damage salmon habitat by reducing shade and food supply in the water. Planting trees and bushes along a shoreline helps shade the water, cooling it for fish. The plants also drop branches and leaves into the water, which provide food for the insects that salmon eat.
Snohomish County also received approval for $250,000 to prepare preliminary designs to remove a fish passage barrier at Meadowdale Beach County Park, a project of the county’s Department of Parks and Recreation. That park is at the northern end of Browns Bay in Puget Sound.
The design will focus on removing about 130 feet of armored railroad embankment, replacing a small pipe that carries Lund’s Gulch Creek under the railroad with a bridge, creating up to nearly an acre of tidal marsh pocket estuary and near-shore and shoreline buffers.
Snohomish Conservation District was approved for two grants, including $408,445 to re-establish the Moga Back Channel along the Snohomish River and to remove two barrier crossings on the Skykomish and Snoqualmie Rivers.