Hwy 20 Skagit River "Permanent" Restoration

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by smc, Mar 31, 2014.

  1. smc

    smc Active Member

    I've been watching this project along hwy 20 and the Sakgit, about 3 miles north of Rockport across from Cascadian Farms, with great interest. Time will tell regarding the permanence of the structure, but it does seem (from a layman's perspective) that they've put a lot of study into the hydrology of the impacted area. If it does last, it will provide some dandy fish habitat.

    More information: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/projects/sr20/skagitriverrestoration/

    Looking up river:

    Across to the island:

    Looking down river:

    Home sweet home:
    David Dalan likes this.
  2. Preston

    Preston Active Member

    I saw those giant concrete "jacks" stacked alongside the road last spring on my way back from Chopaka and assumed they part of an effort to stabilize the river's course. Rather impressive.
  3. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

    In the long run of things. Aren't they afraid that over time the log jams will close off the river. Where one log is fine, but it will attract more logs as time goes by. Just a thought.
  4. bennysbuddy

    bennysbuddy the sultan of swing

    It looks like the beach at Normandy prior to the D-day invasion,maybe we will have a steelhead invasion soon!
    Josh and smc like this.
  5. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

    Did I read the price tag right? $10,000,000!!
  6. bennysbuddy

    bennysbuddy the sultan of swing

    This is one of the few times I approve of how they spent my tax money,makes me feel good about going to work today,finally a government pork barrel project I can support!
    fredaevans likes this.
  7. wadin' boot

    wadin' boot Donny, you're out of your element...

    They did some similar re-engineering though not on as grand a scale on the Cedar in Renton. Sockeye returns have been improving since those went in.

    In an alternate world I would love to have a gig taking a mostly sterile river, maybe like the LA Aqueduct, and designing into a full-on fish-filled pleasure, with all kinds of recycled water moving into that system...Sort of like the way they build golf courses, only with way less anti-environmental shenanigans than on a golf course...
    Pat Lat, fredaevans and smc like this.
  8. smc

    smc Active Member

    They have narrowed the entrance to the smaller right side channel considerably, but the placement of those anchors at the head of the island looks like they are trying to encourage some scouring and widening on the upper left side of the channel.

    This is above where the Sauk enters the Skagit (as you know Old Man). Still plenty of opportunity for timber, say from the Cascade, to come down and jam, but not as much as down river.

    But I guess your post points out how questionable the term "Permanent" is when used to describe pretty much any section of the Skagit when taking a long view.
  9. smc

    smc Active Member

    There's steelhead in that river...


    flybill, fredaevans and wadin' boot like this.
  10. smc

    smc Active Member

    But it looks a lot better when stated $10,714 (in thousands)
  11. David Dalan

    David Dalan 69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E

    Bank to bank log jams are great cover. They don't seem to have a ponding effect like a beaver dam would, especially if wedged up onto rocks. Makes boating through that section tricky...but that could be OK too.
  12. KerryS

    KerryS Ignored Member

    Ha, ha, no photoshopping in that steelhead pic.

    Habitat improvement? Well ok, but in the end the project's primary purpose is to save the road. Dumping in a bunch of Xblocs and some logs makes it a habitat project. Sure. That crap isn't gonna slow the sled traffic one bit. It might kill an eagle gawker in a kayak when one gets into that stuff by gawking at eagles and not paying attention to the water. Lots of eagles to gawk at in that stretch.
    Pat Lat and smc like this.
  13. cuponoodle breakfast

    cuponoodle breakfast Active Member

    Must have been quite a show getting those blocks out to the island.
    Even though it's a big project with big, heavy pieces, it looks like they were quite specific about how things were placed. Cool.
  14. Preston

    Preston Active Member

    The channel on the north side of the island represents less than 1/4 of the river's flow and was not the sort of place I would be willing to try to put a boat through. In fact, over the last few years, the north channel was being gradually being choked off; the lower end used to form a nice pool but the last time I fished it there was barely any current through it. I'll be curious to see what the work will do to the flow there.
  15. fredaevans

    fredaevans Active Member

    Keep us all posted on this progresses!

  16. Chris Johnson

    Chris Johnson Member: Native Fish Society

    They have been doing similar projects on the Nooksack ( though not as large), except there is a zero rise policy, so they build them next to the river and hope it migrates into them.

    In David Montgomery's book " The King of Fish" he talks of a jam @ Mt Vernon that was thought to be 100 yrs old. There were trees growing out of it and the settlers used it as a bridge.
  17. KerryS

    KerryS Ignored Member

    Chris, some accounts of the history of the Skagit Valley say that log jam on the Skagit is how Mt. Vernon was started. It was as far up the river a boat could travel. I can't remember when but they finally blew the jam up with dynamite. Something else you might find interesting is all over the lower valley buried under those tulip fields the tourists like so much are remnants of old log jams. Huge wads of cedar jammed together where the old river channels were.
  18. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

    Yeah, the Tulip fields. They grow the Tulips in Skagit Co. Ship the bulbs to Holland and then they sell them to the public and tell them they a genuine Holland Bulbs.