Construction begins on trout habitat exhibit

  • <br>Enterprise staff
  • Monday, March 3, 2008 12:00pm

The cutthroat trout habitat exhibit at the Northwest Stream Center in McCollum Park took a step toward becoming reality on March 8, when concrete was poured to create the viewing area of the exhibit.

The exhibit will be a 200-foot-long channel flowing to a 6-foot-deep pond that will be a third of an acre in size. The pond was part of a recent Adopt-A-Stream fish and wildlife habit restoration, replacing a parking lot that had built on top of a wetland in the 1960s. The entire exhibit will replicate a natural stream habitat.

“We have been planning this for a long time,” said Adopt-A-Stream Foundation Director Tom Murdoch. “It has been like a slow Amish barn building exercise, but momentum is building rapidly.”

The facility will feature a large viewing window where visitors will be able to see into a deep pool at the headwaters, and a second window where, in winter, trout will spawn in gravel on the stream bottom.

“This is a teaching exhibit,” said Murdoch, “but it is going to function like it was created by Mother Nature.”

Many building industry members are donating labor, equipment and materials. Overall 40 firms from the engineering and building industry, Snohomish County Parks &Recreation and the Tulalip Tribes are donating materials, labor or money to build the exhibit.

“Many of our members thought that the trout stream exhibit would be a terrific asset for the community where people will learn about how streams work and steps that they can take to protect their local streams,” said Jerry Dinndorf, Seattle district manager for the Associated General Contractors of Washington.

Tom Zamzow, manger of Wilder Construction, which is donating its services as the project’s general contractor said, “My kids learned a lot about streams by helping the Adopt-A-Stream Foundation plant trees next to North Creek. When we finish the exhibit, more than 45,000 people a year will learn about stream ecology just by walking by, looking in the windows, and reading the interpretive signs next to the stream.”

The earliest the project could be complete is late summer, Murdoch said, but could take until fall of 2008 to complete, depending on funding.

The project, however, still needs help. Construction companies can still offer to donate labor. For information, call Steve at 425-508-3249. To make a cash donation and earn a place on the Trout Stream Exhibit’s “wall of fame,” call Tom Murdoch at 425-316-8592.

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