Between 2007 through 2010, the SRSC acquired land for conservation purposes with funding from the Salmon Recovery Funding Board and the Sauk-Suiattle Indian Tribe. The 232 acres have been designated the Sauk-Suiattle Conservation Area, and are being actively managed for fish and wildlife species by the SRSC and the Sauk-Suiattle Natural Resources Department.
Lyle Creek flows under Highway 530 then through the Conservation Area just north of the Sauk-Suiattle Indian Tribal community, and then joins the Sauk River just upstream from its confluence with the Suiattle River. Much of the floodplain area adjacent to Lyle Creek was formerly a managed as a pasture. In maintaining the pasture, Lyle Creek was ditched and simplified, and periodically dredged to deal with sediment deposition and the resultant flooding issues. Now that the creek property is under SSIT ownership, the house and barn have been demolished and the property is maintained with a goal of conservation. Dredging is no longer a practice appropriate for the creek. As the creek has been aggrading, the creek goes subsurface seasonally to the detriment of fish habitat, and the likelihood of Lyle Creek jumping from its current channel to an adjacent low-lying flowpath has become increasingly likely.
In 2001, prior to the conservation acquisition, a CREP buffer was installed on the property. In 2011 and 2012 much of the pasture was planted in native trees, shrubs, and traditional cultural plants. The purpose of this proposed project is to provide improved habitat conditions for salmonids including steelhead, chum, and coho. This will be accomplished by regrading the banks and floodplain of Lyle Creek, preparing a new channel location along an aggrading reach of Lyle Creek, and installing large woody debris elements, enhancing the stream substrate, and restoring riparian vegetation throughout the reach.
SRSC is currently securing funding to implement this project.
Primary Project Contact
Nora Kammer – Restoration Ecologist
Sauk-Suiattle Indian Tribe