View All Posts

May 03

SOUTH PRAIRIE CREEK PRESERVE PROJECT UPDATES

Posted on May 3, 2021 at 3:44 PM by Allan Warren

WCC Planting 2Construction Complete, but Restoration Work Continues.

The major earthwork and construction of the South Prairie Creek floodplain and salmon habitat project wrapped up last fall and has performed well during its first winter (so far). The new side channel, in particular, is expected to experience some changes as it adapts to seasonal flow fluctuations and other natural processes.

Project partners are also excited by evidence of fish using both new and improved habitat within the project area. Last October, Chinook salmon were seen spawning in the structures installed in the mainstem of South Prairie Creek. And a survey of the new side channel in February confirmed it was being used by young steelhead and Chinook!

Photos: Washington Conservation Corps crew members, as well as numerous volunteers helped install 9,575 plants, restoring 12.7 acres of habitat. We’re already seeing endangered salmonids return, such as this Chinook fry that was caught while sampling the new channel. Photos courtesy of Kristin Williamson, SPSSEG and Kayla Ink, WCC.

Also completed this winter was the installation of 9575 plants over more than 12.7 acres. MostChinook 2 of the planting has been done by the District’s dedicated WA Conservation Corps (WCC) crew, with assists from Pierce County Surface Water Management’s WCC crew, and the volunteers who joined us in a COVID-safe manner for Orca Recovery Day last October.

SPCP PROJECT FACTS:
  • Demolition of 11 buildings and a creosote bridge over South Prairie Creek.
  • Installation of a new bridge over Silver Springs Creek.
  • Restoration of 2,600 linear feet of side channel on the north floodplain.
  • Installation of 113 engineered log structures, resulting in 4,648 new pieces of wood in the project reach.
  • Noxious weed treatment and re-vegetation of up to 50 acres of floodplain and riparian forest.
  • Project cost: $4.85 million.