Deer Lagoon

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Also known as Useless Bay

Deer Lagoon is known to host non-natal populations of juvenile salmon including: chinook, coho, pink, and chum. Fish-use studies conducted by the Wild Fish Conservancy along the western shoreline of Whidbey Island have documented extensive use of nearshore habitats by both wild and hatchery origin juvenile chinook, including CWT recovery from chinook populations tagged in the major rivers of the Whidbey Basin, the Hood Canal, and central Puget Sound.

A series of dikes has truncated tidal influence in the western lobe of Deer Lagoon, limiting its value as habitat for juvenile salmon. These dikes have resulted in the loss over 450 acres of potential salt marsh and mudflat habitat in the western lobe of Deer Lagoon. These dikes have also degraded ~100 acres of existing salt marsh on their seaward side, through decreased tidal prism. The reduction of flushing power (sediment transport capacity) from lost tidal prism has decreased the width and depth of the opening of the lagoon, as well as decreasing channel depths throughout the remnant marsh.