The Deepwater Slough Restoration Project is located in the South Fork Skagit River delta.
The Deepwater Slough Restoration Project is located in the South Fork Skagit River delta.

The Deepwater Slough Project is a 200-acre estuary restoration project at the mouth of the Skagit River that was constructed in 2000. The estuary and delta areas of the Skagit Basin have been identified as key habitat by the Skagit Watershed Council’s Strategy for Protection and Restoration of salmonids in the Skagit watershed. When the project was initially funded in 1999, the Deepwater Slough Project ranked first in priority for all isolated habitat projects that existed in the Skagit Estuary, according to the Application of the Skagit Watershed Council’s Strategy (1999). Specific research has shown that estuary habitat in the Skagit Basin is limiting for ESA-listed chinook and ESA species of concern coho.

The project actions involved setting dikes back in order to restore estuary habitat for salmonids. Skagit River System Cooperative (SRSC) acted as the project lead. WDFW is landowner of the project area and the Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group (SFEG) supported adaptive management and site revegetation.
Dike removal provided in-channel habitat and restored fish access to an important migratory corridor for juvenile Chinook and other salmon in the Skagit Delta. Dikes blocking the channel were removed from a site near the upstream end of the distributary channel and downstream from this location. Monitoring for site revegetation, fish use, and channel cross section and planform development are ongoing.

Map of the Deepwater Slough Restoration Project.  Dikes that were removed are shown in red.  Current dikes are shown in yellow.
Map of the Deepwater Slough Restoration Project. Dikes that were removed are shown in red. Current dikes are shown in yellow.

 

Project Status/Timeline
This project was constructed in 2000. Adaptive management and monitoring for site revegetation, fish use, and channel cross section and planform development are ongoing.

Primary Project Contact
Steve Hinton – Director of Restoration

Funding Sources
SRFB – Salmon Recovery Funding Board

Project Partners
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group

Documents:
Beamer, EM, R Henderson, K Wolf. 2006. Effectiveness monitoring of the Deepwater Slough restoration project for wild juvenile Chinook salmon presence, timing, and abundance.
Hood, WG. 2004. Deepwater Slough restoration monitoring report: 2000-2003.
Hood, WG. 2006. Deepwater Slough restoration monitoring: Channel cross section comparisons, 2000-2006.
Klochak, J, C Tanner, P Cagney. 1999. Deepwater Slough restoration project monitoring plan.