Major Fish Barrier Coming Down - Pilchuck River

Old Man

A very Old Man
WFF Supporter
I tried to find that dam a few times but gave up.

There is a road That follows the river up stream. It has been gated off for many years now. It is FSR 6126. At one time you were able to go up in that area. Lots of Beaver ponds up in there and a few feeder streams. One time I ran across a few Game wardens in Snohomish and asked them since the river is closed in the Summer time how about those feeder streams. They told me I could fish them so I tried. Nothing But 3" fish. Probably Salmon and Steelhead fingerlings. I've driven all that way to the Spada reservoir. But it was all cut down the time I could get in there. Now it's probably all grown back up.

Yup. It's all grown up. Could barely find the road in all the trees there now.
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Active Member
WFF Supporter
Love your post, brings back memories. Spent many a day doing that and can clearly remember my boss floating down the river in neoprene waders one day, lost the rod. He was back on the instrument the rest of the summer.
It sucks when those guys are fish and your working. I never took a rod to work though, didn't seem right.


Chucking a dead parrot on a piece of string!
This is good news. After it stopped having a purpose, it could have been left there for decades, just another zombie dam.


Active Member
When something like this happens, does WDFW raise the escapement level for salmon and steelhead in the watershed? You would think that more habitat would produce more fish. If it doesn't, WDFW would be effectively lowering the population density in the watershed by spreading the existing escapement over a larger habitat base.


Active Member
A good buddy of mine is heading that project up. So cool to see it make front page news. This wet spring has been making it harder on them to get that thing going.


Active Member
It will be great to see this dam out of the river! At the same time this Poly-anna hype by the media and others about the Chinook benefits of such projects is tiresome. As mentioned near the end of the article this projects is a small piece the Chinook recovery needs - I would argue a very tiny piece. Seriously doubt this dam removal by itself will create enough additional Chinook to feed a single adult orca for a single day!

The article mentions opening up 37 miles of habitat - actually it is 37 miles of tributary habitat the vast majority of which is not accessible to anadromous salmonids. Of the 25% or so that is accessible the vast majority is in Worthy Creek - a wonderful coho stream and whose lower 2 miles support winter steelhead (A WDFW steelhead spawning index- or at least it was) but not Chinook habitat. Of the 40 or some miles of the mainstem Pilchuck the dam (at river affects the upper 14 miles or so of which maybe 5 miles would be marginal Chinook habitat - at least under current land management.

Such hype is only slightly better that the continuing myth of the Chinook and steelhead benefits of $2 billions to be spend on the culvers under State roads under the Washington Culvert case.



Active Member
WFF Supporter
i lived on the banks of the lower pilchuck for 10 years, from about 2006 to 2016. saw lots of pinks and a couple of coho carcasses. snorkeling i saw some nice cutts and lots of smolts. i don't think i ever saw a single chinook dead or alive. granted i was only looking casually. i'm curious what the estimated returns are now, if anyone knows or has a source.

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