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Hood Canal is a natural fjord separating the Olympic and Kitsap peninsulas. It stretches 68 miles from the northern tip of the Kitsap peninsula to Lynch Cove, forming an L shape that remains narrow, only one and a half to two miles across ... Precipitation is variable – Port Townsend receives only 19 inches per year, while 90 inches annually fall at Skokomish. (From Encyclopedia of Puget Sound, 2021)
On the Kitsap Peninsula side of the Canal is drained by a series of small lowland rivers, from south to north: Union River, Mission Creek, Tahuya River, Rendsland Creek, Dewatto River, Anderson Creek, Seabeck Creek, and Big Beef Creek.
The Olympic Peninsula side of the Canal is drained by a series of steep rivers, starting with the Skokomish River at the southern hook, and from there to the north: Hamma Hamma River, Duckabush River, Dosewallips River, Big and Little Quilcene Rivers, and a series of lowland creeks in Jefferson County, Tarboo Creek, Thorndyke Creek, and Shine Creek and from there into the lowland creeks of Admiralty Inlet.
Hood Canal is covered by Mason County, Jefferson County, and Kitsap County, with no large urban areas in the watershed, however the Bangor Navy Reservation is a significant area of development. These are the usual and accustomed areas of the Skokomish Indian Nation and Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe as well as the Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe.
"Water circulation in the Canal is a serious issue. The average depth is only 177 feet, but it reaches a maximum depth of 600 feet, and circulation is poor, especially in the southern portion. Water from the Strait of Juan de Fuca mixes poorly due to an underwater sill south of the Hood Canal Bridge, and freshwater entering the canal often forms a layer at the surface. Algal blooms reduce dissolved oxygen, providing a poor habitat for marine species. However, fisheries and aquaculture are economically important to the region, and the Canal is famous for its oysters and other shellfish species. Many salmon populations, including an evolutionarily significant unit of summer chum, spawn in the streams of Hood Canal and migrate through on their way to other waters. The Hood Canal region is less developed than other Puget Sound basins, and around 90 percent of the drainage area is forested. The shoreline is the most utilized, with an estimated 33 percent modified by human activity." (From Encyclopedia of Puget Sound, 2021)
- Hood Canal Summer Chum are a ESU under the Endangered Species Act which has been a focus of Salmon Recovery in Hood Canal with its own "Recovery Domain" (a designation used by NOAA during its listing process).
- The Hood Canal Bridge has been identified as a large-scale barrier to normative salmon migrations, and is under study as of 2021.
- Low oxygen events are not uncommon in hood canal. There is extensive study and ongoing monitoring of nitrogen loading, temperature, and circulation by USGS and UW that should be documented on a Hood Canal Low Oxygen Levels topic page -- https://www.eopugetsound.org/articles/dissolved-oxygen-and-hypoxia-puget-sound
- The Hood Canal Coordinating Council is both the Lead Entity for salmon recovery, and the manager of the summer chum recovery domain.
- Primary tribal restoration actors include Skokomish Indian Nation, Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe, and Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe, from south to north.
- Mason County, Jefferson County, and Kitsap County share jurisdiction over Hood Canal, with distinct social-political character. Kitsap County is part of the Puget Sound Regional Council with a distinctly urban flavor, Jefferson County is a small county influenced by the liberal politics of City of Port Townsend, while Mason County is distinctly rural and more politically conservative. Each county also has a conservation district with the Mason Conservation District having significant large project management capacity.
- Non-profit restoration entities include the Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group part of the Regional Fishery Enhancement Groups, Wild Fish Conservancy, and Great Peninsula Conservancy.
- The Basin is part of 4 Watershed Resource Inventory Areas, WRIAs 14-17. Both historical limiting factor analysis under Salmon Recovery and modern stream flow analysis under the The Hirst Decision are organized around WRIA.
- WDNR has an extensive forest reserve on the East Shore in Kitsap County including an exceptional pocket estuary restoration site (the only know complete reconstruction of a small barrier estuary embayment.
- There are a number of noteworthy restoration efforts in the hood canal basin, usually organized around watersheds, summarized here from head to mouth.
- Union River Watershed at Lynch Cove has had several estuary restoration efforts.
- Tahuya River Watershed is largely rural, with a restoration of the mouth identified by the PSNERP effort.
- Skokomish River has complex fishery and flooding problems and is the homeland of the Skokomish Indian Nation which has been a constant leader in the Skokomish Watershed Action Team and working closely with Mason Conservation District. Extensive work for Skokomish Delta Restoration is now being followed by large efforts in the Skokomish Floodplain supported by Floodplains by Design (FbD) and the US Army Corps of Engineers who completed a General Investigation for floodplain ecosystem restoration.
- Extensive landslides in the Lilliwaup Watershed has led to aggredation of the floodplain, and impacts to a unique population of Hood Canal Summer Chum leading to proposals for restoration by Long Live the Kings.
- The Hamma Hamma Watershed is among the most intact river deltas in Puget Sound (Cereghino et al 2012), and the PSNERP investigation identified bridge modification as a large scale restoration action.
- The Dosewallips Delta has had treatments by Wild Fish Conservancy to restore wood jams that distribute water across the delta.
- As of 2021, the Duckabush Delta is the target of work to increase tidal connectivity by the Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group initially supported by TNC. There is community infrastructure in the floodplain.
- Quilcene Bay Watershed has been the subject of a series of restoraiton actions, almost completely restoring historical tidal flow at the mouth of big and little Quilcene rivers. A large final effort at the mouth of the Big Quilcene River in the unincorporated Town of Quilcene has both restoration and Flood Hazard Management objectives.
- The Tarboo Watershed has been the subject of a long-term effort by Northwest Watershed Institute a small non-profit that has removed all fish passage barriers, is restoring floodplain spruce swamp, and is increasingly expanding WDNRs effective marine reserve in Tarboo Bay.
- Salmon-Snow Coastal Inlet has been the target of extensive restoration led by the North Olympic Salmon Coalition, including an old mill site with wood waste lechate. Ongoing work as of 2021 is focused on restoration of the mouth of Snow Creek
- Jimmycomelately Estuary has been the target of restoration led by the Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe.
Pages using Hood Canal Category
- Kitsap Forest and Bay
- Skokomish River
- Mason County
- Bangor Drift Cell
- Dosewallips Delta
- Duckabush Delta
- Hamma Hamma Delta
- Lynch Cove
- Port Gamble Ecosystem
- Skokomish Confluence
- SPU 2071
- SPU 2086
- Tahuya Estuary
- Teekalet Point
- File:WRIA 16 2006 watershed management plan skokomish-dosewallips.pdf
- Great Peninsula Conservancy
- Hood Canal Summer Chum
- Hood Canal Bridge
- Hood Canal Low Oxygen Levels
- Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe
- Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe
- Jefferson County
- Kitsap County
- Mason Conservation District (MCD)
- Hamma Hamma Watershed
- Union River Watershed
- Tahuya River Watershed
- Skokomish Delta Restoration
- Rendsland Creek Watershed
- Dewatto River Watershed
- Anderson Creek Watershed
- Seabeck Creek Watershed
- Big Beef Creek Watershed
- Duckabush Watershed
- Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group
- Dosewallips Watershed
- Quilcene Bay Watershed
- Tarboo Creek Watershed
- Shine Creek Watershed
- Cushman Hydroelectric Project
- Dabob Bay Ecosystem
- Skokomish Delta
- File:Hood Canal Summer Chum Escapement.jpg
- File:Tuohy et al. 2018 chum non-natal habitat use.pdf