Skokomish River

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The Skokomish River system is the 9th largest of 16 major rivers entering into the Puget Sound Basin. includes the South Fork Skokomish River where extensive forest harvest and resulted in large sedimentparticles of clay, silt, sand, gravel, or cobble, transported by water, are called sediment. inputs, which flows into the Upper Skokomish Floodplain where it is joined by the Vance Creek Watershed. The North Fork Skokomish River has been controlled and diverted by the Cushman Dam since the 1920s flows into the floodplain over an alluvial fan. After the north fork confluence, the channel becomes more stable in the Lower Skokomish Floodplain, where it is joined by Purdy Creek before flowing into the Skokomish Delta and Anna's Bay at the crook of Hood Canal. The watershed lies within Mason County with tracts of wetlands around the delta within the Skokomish Indian Nation reservation.

Big Picture

  • In 2006 the Skokomish Watershed Action Team formed to increase collaboration between watershed partners.
  • WRIA 16 published a watershed management plan in 2006 (File:WRIA 16 2006 watershed management plan skokomish-dosewallips.pdf)
  • In 2009 a settlement between TPU and the Skokomish Indian Nation resulted in a 2010 amendment to the FERC licensing agreement. This resulted in reassertion of tribal sovereignty, including restoration of channel maintaining flows, and potential for restoration of salmon populations on the north fork severely affected by dam operations. Sediment and flow of the North Fork is regulated by the Two Cushman Dams managed by Tacoma Public Utilities.
  • The Chinook recovery plan for the watershed (File:WDFW 2010 skokomish chinook recovery plan.pdf) was completed in 2010.
  • In 2014 the final phase of the Skokomish Delta Restoration increased connections between the restored delta and vast freshwater wetlands of the Tribal Reservation.
  • In 2016 a USACE General Investigation was authorized to implement an ecosystem recovery project addressing mainstem floodplain degradation.
  • 2016 marked the reintroduction of early-return Chinook salmon to the North Fork, as part of a strategy to reintroduce a free-spawning wild population, driven to extinction earlier in last century. The first spawning adults returned in 2018.

Notes

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