Andy Bronson / Herald file                                 A joint project by the Tulalip Tribes and the city of Snohomish will see to the removal the Pilchuck River Dam by summer 2020.

Andy Bronson / Herald file A joint project by the Tulalip Tribes and the city of Snohomish will see to the removal the Pilchuck River Dam by summer 2020.

Pilchuck Dam removal would clear the way for salmon

Backers of the fish-habitat project near Granite Falls have scheduled a March 19 open house.

GRANITE FALLS — Plans are moving ahead to get rid of a major barrier to fish on the Pilchuck River.

Anyone who wants to learn more about the Pilchuck River Dam demolition is welcome to attend a March 19 open house. It’s scheduled from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Granite Falls Library on 815 E. Galena St.

“The demolition timeline is still looking like summer (August) 2020,” said Brett Shattuck, a restoration ecologist with the Tulalip Tribes. “We continue to develop designs, permitting and conduct community outreach.”

The city of Snohomish joined forces with the tribes to work on removing the structure, which the city owns. For more than a century, the dam and its forerunner supplied drinking water to town. It’s unclear why city leaders chose the spot about 15 miles away.

The dam blocks about 14 miles of the upper Pilchuck River. There is a fish ladder, but it isn’t effective.

By restoring access to habitat, the tribes hope to boost the recovery of fish species that once thrived there. Steelhead and chinook salmon are both listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Coho salmon, a species of concern, also could benefit.

The first wooden diversion dam was built in 1912, a year after a fire destroyed part of downtown Snohomish. The concrete dam went up in 1932.

About two years ago, the city decommissioned the dam and a nearby water-treatment plant. They now serve no practical purpose.

Snohomish has relied on the tribes’ expertise to navigate federal and state regulations. “The tribes have been instrumental in helping us move it through the permitting process,” said Steve Schuller, Snohomish’s city administrator and utility general manager. “It would be laborious for us as a smaller city.”

The governments have made progress in securing grants for the work, which is expected to cost at least $1.8 million. It would involve heavy equipment working in and around the water.

Staff from the tribes and city plan to attend the upcoming meeting to answer questions about the project. At least one more public meeting is expected, Shattuck said, likely this summer.

Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465; nhaglund@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @NWhaglund.

Talk to us

More in Local News

“We are still trying to figure out what to do with him,” said Everett Police Department property crimes Det. Adam Gage, who transports the statue back to a room using a rolling chair on Tuesday, April 13, 2021 in Everett, Washington.The Batman statue was recovered after it was stolen from an Everett comic book store last year.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Batman returns! Stolen Funko statue is in police custody

The supersized bobblehead was taken from Everett Comics in an October “smash-and-grab.”

Eric Adler, the mystery man who is on Twitter as @EdmondsScanner (E. Wong)
Revealed: The mystery man behind the @EdmondsScanner tweets

He’s a 50-year-old mail carrier who dusted off his English degree to curate 6,000 tales on Twitter.

As eligibility expands, 4,700 flock to local vaccine clinics

It might be difficult to secure a dose right away in Snohomish County, but keep trying, officials say.

Father who fled state with 3 sons arrested in New Mexico

Richard Burke reportedly didn’t trust masks or vaccines. He was charged with custodial interference.

Brian Baird, a former congressman who lives in Edmonds, hopes to create a National Museum and Center for Service in Washington, D.C. (contributed photo)
‘The time is right’ to honor helpers, says former congressman

Brian Baird, of Edmonds, is working to establish a National Museum and Center for Service in D.C.

Man identified in fatal Mill Creek crash

Ian Jensen, 32, died after a multi-vehicle accident Saturday on 35th Avenue SE.

Package funding U.S. 2 trestle, Monroe bypass on the move

A $17.8 billion plan dealing with highways, ferries and transit has cleared the state Senate transportation panel.

Explosion shatters Everett apartment complex windows

Police were called to the Monte Cristo apartment complex, 2929 Hoyt Ave., Tuesday night.

Firefighters work to put out a blaze at a house in the Meadowdale area of Edmonds early Saturday morning.  (South County Fire)
Man, woman seriously injured in Meadowdale house fire

They were taken to Harborview Medical Center. Three other adults and a dog escaped with no injuries.

Most Read