Projects to restore the Satsop & Wynoochee rivers starting soon

Work to restore five rivers in Washington will begin soon and features local waterways.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is sponsoring these projects, taking place on the Wynoochee, Satsop, Skookumchuck , and Newaukum rivers, and on Stillman Creek, a tributary to the South Fork Chehalis River.

Funding for the projects is provided by the Washington State Legislature through the Department of Ecology’s Office of Chehalis Basin.

The Satsop and Wynoochee River Restoration Projects are part of the new Aquatic Species Restoration Plan.

That science-based plan was designed to rebuild and protect a productive ecosystem that is resilient to the impacts of climate change.

  • Streamside plantings: Native trees and shrubs provide shade, insects, nutrients, and wood for the river system. Invasive species will also be removed such as blackberry and knotweed.
  • Engineered log jams: Large woody debris helps stabilize stream banks and keeps our rivers healthy, improving the survival of salmon and other native fish and wildlife.
  • Reconnecting floodplain and off-channel habitats: Allowing the flows of the river to connect with side channels and wetlands helps to keep cool water in the rivers when fish need it most, enhance salmon spawning grounds up and down the river, and support overall ecosystem resiliency.

Construction activities

  • Work hours: From mid-June through mid-September, construction is expected to occur up to seven days a week from approximately 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Noise: Expect to hear noise from construction work associated with pile driving, moving materials, and various heavy machinery.

Restricted river access

During the in-water construction window, which is the period when environmental impact is minimized, there will be limited or restricted access for recreational use on certain areas of the river. From mid-June through mid-September in 2021 and 2022, public river access will be restricted.

Satsop River

Access restricted from Schafer State Park to the West Fork Satsop Boat Launch (River miles 14 to 16.2). People can safely enter the river for recreation downstream from the West Fork Satsop Boat Launch. View map of restricted access.

Wynoochee River

Access restricted from the Old White Bridge to the Wynoochee-Wishkah Crossover Bridge (River miles 7.8 to 9.4). People can safely enter the river for recreation downstream from Crossover Bridge. View map of restricted access.

The Satsop and Wynoochee River Restoration Projects will start construction in Summer 2021 and are expected to be completed in 2022.