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Three Edmonds streams in good health but few hurdles remain for salmon

But three south county creeks each have barriers that would make it challenging for fish to travel upstream, an ecologist says.

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By Mina Williams
For The Herald
EDMONDS -- An ecological audit of three Edmonds-area streams say that each has a good habitat supporting fish but barriers remain that prevent salmon and trout from traveling to the streamhead to spawn.
Adopt A Stream Foundation surveyed the three streams: Perrinville, Lunds Gulch and Picnic Point.
"We walked each of the entire streams from the mouth to the headwaters," said Loren Brokaw, ecologist with the Northwest Stream Center. "We took photos to document our findings."
The habitats, each within county parks, were determined to be in good shape. They are supporting coho salmon and cutthroat trout plus salamanders and crawdads.
Still, they also share barriers making it challenging for fish to travel the entire length of a stream.
Perrinville Creek has a culvert, running under Talbot Road. Fish making the run must jump up 2.5 feet into a pipe that has water shooting out of it. The city of Edmonds is seeking solutions to this obstacle with the foundation's help and technical assistance.
Lunds Gulch Creek, which runs through Meadowdale Park, has an upstream portion with banks in developed neighborhoods. The resulting runoff, along with the ravine it runs through, causes water levels to rise and drop quickly. Erosion and fine sediment contribute to the problem.
Adopt A Stream, using a recently awarded grant, will install log structures into the creek to create back pools and to filter sediment. The project will begin next summer, Brokaw said.
Additionally, there is a lack of evergreen conifers along the creek. The foundation has already planted 200 trees in the area. Another 800 will be planted next spring in the watershed.
The challenges facing Picnic Point Creek were similar.
Another grant has funded the purchase of native plants, which the foundation then provides to property owners for planting along the stream beds. Proper vegetation helps keep soil in place, preventing erosion that can clog streams and make them impassible for fish.
Adopt A Stream is also offering a Rent A Tree program for Christmas trees. For $25 to $30 trees can be picked up 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Northwest Stream Center in McCollum Park, 600 128th St. SE, Everett, and dropped off after the holidays. Those same trees will be planted in parks along the shores of these streams.
Brokaw also suggests that people who live within the watershed areas be mindful of what could end up in stormwater drains, which ultimately run into Puget Sound.
"Don't dump things into the drains," he said. "Wash cars on the lawn. Plant yards with native plants, not necessarily lawn grass. Reduce or eliminate pesticides and fertilizer usage in yards."
People can take a virtual tour of the creeks at the Streamkeeper web site at
Story tags » EdmondsSalmonWater SuppliesWildlife Habitat

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