Bacon Creek is an important salmon-producing tributary that enters on the right bank of the Skagit River near River Mile 83. The project relocated the lower 0.9 miles of Bacon Creek Road onto the adjacent hillslope, outside of the active floodplain and alluvial fan of Bacon Creek, which included removing rip-rap bank armoring along approximately 400 feet length of stream bank and along another 1200 feet length of road prism. The old road was scarified and planted with native trees. Prior to this project, rip-rap bank armoring associated with the road was degrading habitat conditions and restricting channel migration, floodplain connectivity, and habitat development in this area. The road was damaged during the flood of October 2003 and additional rip-rap bank armoring would have been required to maintain the existing road location if it had not been relocated by this project. This road is managed by the Forest Service, but the relocated portion is on land that was acquired by Seattle City Light for conservation purposes.
The purpose of the project was to directly restore natural bank conditions in the Bacon Creek channel by removing rip-rap bank armoring and also to restore the natural processes of channel migration and habitat creation in the project area by relocating the road. There were approximately 4,600 square meters of historic channels and 11 acres of floodplain/alluvial fan that were isolated from Bacon Creek by the road in its original location. No habitat was created directly through excavation or other methods, but it is expected that habitat will develop over time as Bacon Creek migrates and historic channels become wetted from ground or surface water sources. This will provide benefits for chum salmon and other salmon species that use Bacon Creek, including Chinook, coho, pink, steelhead, and native char. While it is still too early for the full benefits of the project to be realized, peak flow events during the winter of 2005 caused the Bacon Creek channel to shift toward the east and occupy the previous location of the road where the rip-rap was removed.
Construction was completed in 2004 and the project is currently being monitored.
Primary Project Contact
Devin Smith, Senior Restoration Ecologist
Seattle City Light Non-Flow Coordinating Committee (NCC)
Seattle City Light
United States Forest Service (Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest)