The Cedar's last mile and a half (rant)

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by wadin' boot, Jun 16, 2014.

  1. A while back the whole west run had shrubs and trees over it, now it looks like a defoliant has been applied for long stretches, nary a weed grows. The whole run is bland and dull and begging for some kind of engineered and growing structures. I get the airport and the boeing factory and downtown renton are important enough to not be jeopardized by altered flows/streambeds, that and the boeing bridge is really low for how important it is, but sheesh, if ever there was a place for some twists and turns with underwater structures, some logs and something interesting that would be it.

    There are predatory birds that work that stretch, lots of blue herons, it's definitely not sterile. And sure there are fish there, tons of whitefish, a smattering of trout too, but good lord if there was more boulders and logs, not to mention trees over the water, what a neat, neat run that could be...rant over
  2. It's an Airport. Would you want something in the way when you try land a big or a small plane. I know the river at that point is a straight shot to the lake. It probably wandered at some point in time. You just can't get everything you wish for.
  3. I'm pretty certain that the river didn't used to exist there at all. The Cedar used to flow into the Duwamish River at Tukwila.
    The channel was built and the river re-routed into it to provide adequate inflow for the locks at Ballard.
    I agree that structure and low growing plant/shade/cover would be of benefit to the fish (and to the fishing) along that stretch.
    Rich Schager and Old Man like this.
  4. I'm all for shrubs and trees, but I think a lot of the lower section was invasive blackberries and knotweed. There's a big effort to clear these invasive plants, let's hope that this is just the first step in some larger plan.

    I support the Friends of the Cedar River Watershed, and would recommend signing up for one of their Cedar river volunteer days. You can get some really useful inside info on the Cedar with a bit of free labor.
  5. Correct, before the Montlake cut, the lake used to drain from the south into the cedar, which then became the Black River. That flowed to the Duwamish.

    The previous connection of the green and cedar (and the genetic similarities of the fish) is part of the myopic logic used to basically write off the Cedar steelhead. I guess because the wild winters in the Green are so abundant.

    Oh wait.

    At least you can still fish for Baker Lake stock (out of basin) Sockeye.

    Oh, double wait.
  6. Up until the early/mid 1910's, the Black River used to drain the south end of Lake WA at Renton, and flowed into the Duwamish R near Tukwila. The Cedar R entered the Black R about a half mile downstream of where the Black R flowed from Lake WA.
    Construction of the Lake WA Ship Canal changed all of that.

    Do a search for "Black River, Renton, WA" and choose the result from "historylink. org" relating to the 1916 diversion. I found the article to be very interesting and informative. I'm sure that any local history buffs will, too.

    I worked briefly as an "Extra Board Telegrapher/Tower Clerk" for the UPRR at the Black River Tower back in Winter of 1979 thru Spring of1980. Then, almost immediately after the job got a pay raise, I got "bumped" out of that job by someone with higher seniority.
    Black River Tower is now long gone, since all of the switches and signals were automated, but you can visit the Northwest Railroad Museum in Snoqualamie and see the "interlocking device" that we had to use to throw the switches there.
    constructeur likes this.
  7. I remember reading about that someplace. When you get as old as I am. Your brain cells don't work like they used to.
    Greg Armstrong likes this.
  8. I have friends that live on the Cedar in town and they walk the trail to the lake all of the time. They did mention that the beavers have been damaging and killing the trees along the river. Many have been trapped and relocated in an attempt to save the trees. Not sure if the beavers have also destroyed the smaller vegetation as well. Without natural predators the beavers will do some serious damage.
  9. In defense of beavers: they can be annoying, disruptive, and destructive in our built environment, but they are darn good fish habitat engineers.
  10. So lets get this straight; we come in and dig a straight-line ditch, re-route an entire river into it, disrupt established anadromous runs and destroy an entire stretch of free flowing stream, de-water a natural riverbed and re-engineer a totally natural ecosystem.
    Then we plant non-native plants along said ditch and get annoyed with once abundant beavers that try to move back in and "do some serious damage"?
    I think your friends have got this backasswards...
    Skysoldier and Old Man like this.
  11. Cedarcutt.jpg

    Boot, that whole stretch used to put out some great fish. This cutthroat isn't even close to the biggest I caught down by the airport below the Boeing bridge before bulldozers assaulted the streambed and ruined a great stretch of river in 2008. A stretch with 5' to 8' deep fish-holding slots was reduced to 8" of sterile riffle, with all the brush and trees torn out and replaced by riprap boulders. I still get angry when I think about what we had and why they did that. It was unnecessary. The channel had already been a straight-shot to the lake for decades. But there was GREAT underwater structure there...submerged boulders and logs, old pilings that slowed the flow, overhanging trees that held huge trout waiting to pounce under their branches. A tragedy. A fantastic TROPHY urban trout fishery needlessly destroyed by government idiots with an agenda and the need to spend 'improvements' budget before the end of the year.
  12. turn that golf course into a beaver pond

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I537 using Tapatalk
  13. Don't take what I wrote as an assault on beavers. I simply passed on a message that beavers may be responsible for some of the defoliation of that area that Wadin' boot mentioned and that they are being relocated (by officials). Beavers are a natural part of the ecosystem, but this area is now a one-sided ecosystem with no or few natural predators to keep the beaver population in check - hence the need for relocation.
  14. There was a 4point buck by the aquatic center on the trail side of the river the other day. Maybe natures moving back in, now we just need more wolves!
    Sawyer and plaegreid like this.

  15. I, for one, welcome our new wolf overlords.

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