Skokomish River Restoration of Natural Hydrology
The Skokomish River is located in Mason County, Washington and is the largest tributary to the Hood Canal. It is the most flooded river in Washington State and home to several listed salmon stocks including Fall Chinook and Summer chum. Stakeholders in the Skokomish River have been working since 2005 to restore natural functions to the watershed. This included upper watershed work to control sediment sources and one of the first estuary restoration projects in the Puget Sound. In 2015, attention has shifted to addressing issues within the mainstem of the Skokomish River. It has high sediment loads, simplified channels that are extra wide and dry up at certain locations each summer, preventing fish from accessing the upper watershed.
Mason Conservation District is working to complete construction of the first major engineered log jam project in the mainstem river. The project includes placement of 16 engineered log jams to reduce the width-to-depth ratio of the river, increase in-stream habitat, stabilize gravels bars to encourage revegetation and increase the quantity of pools through this 2-mile reach of the river. This project is the first of many that will install engineered log jams on 7.5 miles of river design to increase habitat in the mainstem Skokomish River.
* Project restores natural hydrologic conditions to facilitate improved capture and infiltration of surface water and groundwater recharge