Snohomish Delta Ecosystem Monitoring and Evaluation

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This effort is linked to Coordinated Investment pilot work

The Northwest Fisheries Science Center in collaboration with the Tulalip Tribes and Snohomish County has implemented a long term research program to evaluate Chinook salmon use of estuarine habitats and response to restoration in the Snohomish Delta. Through comprehensive monitoring of biological and physical conditions across the estuary, the program aims to characterize spatial and temporal variability in Chinook salmon distribution and habitat conditions/availability and document changes due to restoration within the delta. Specifically, the research program will develop/implement protocols and build a framework for intensive and extensive monitoring of topography (elevation, accretion), hydrology (temperature, salinity), vegetation, invertebrates, and fish and use the information to evaluate fish-habitat interactions and Chinook salmon response to current and future restoration projects.


  • Characterize trends in fish density/distribution throughout the delta and relative to project sites before/after restoration. Relate trends to temperature, salinity, and outmigration abundance.
  • Track changes in elevation and vegetation communities at project sites to help inform restoration trajectory.
  • Evaluate population-specific timing, distribution and sue of Snohomish delta habitats.
  • Provide support for comparisons among the Snohomish Delta and other larger river deltas across Puget Sound (Skagit Delta and Nisqually Delta) to better understand river delta restoration.

Research Leads

Reports, Publications, and Presentations

Related Reports

  • File:Yang & Khangaonkar 2007.pdf
  • O'Neill, S.M., Carey, A.J., Harding, L.B., West, J.E., Ylitalo, G.M. and Chamberlin, J.W., 2020. Chemical tracers guide identification of the location and source of persistent organic pollutants in juvenile Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), migrating seaward through an estuary with multiple contaminant inputs. Science of The Total Environment, 712, p.135516.
  • SBSRF 2005 is the published salmon recovery plan

Related Projects