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Fish removed from Glendale Creek in ongoing restoration

Nick Weatherly holds one of the rainbow trout his crew worked to remove from Glendale Creek.  - Ben Watanabe / The Record
Nick Weatherly holds one of the rainbow trout his crew worked to remove from Glendale Creek.
— image credit: Ben Watanabe / The Record

GLENDALE — It was catch and release all right.

The four men netting more than 200 fry from Glendale Creek were from the Tulalip Tribes Natural Resource Department. They were catching the fish to relocate them while the water from the creek is redirected and pumped out for reconstruction along Glendale Road.

On Monday, workers placed nets across the creek at an upper and lower segment. Then they made a sweep to stun and net the fish. Nick Weatherly was in charge of the light shock to the fish with the electro-fisher that he slid around rocks and under embankments.

Once the fish, almost entirely rainbow trout, were stunned, Josh Kubo and crew leader Derek Marks netted them downstream and placed them in a bucket, carried by Brett Shattuck.

The fry ranged in size from a half-inch to three inches. The crew made a few sweeps along each of the 50-yard segments before moving the nets. They began their day at 8:30 a.m., by noon they had collected more than 200 fry.

All the fishy business was the first phase of Island County’s efforts to restore salmon to the creek. The county has focused on the stream after a study in the early 1990s identified it as a fish-bearing waterway.

“An important part of our road system is to support several crossings of fish-bearing water,” said Island County Public Works Director Bill Oakes. “We’re always cognizant that we need to protect our resources.”

A flash flood in April 2009 damaged the creek and washed out a portion of Glendale Road. The resulting damage cost more than $5 million.

The estimated cost to repair the creek is between $65,000 and $100,000, money already allocated in the public works department budget, Oakes said.

The project includes placing rocks, timbers and pilings to create a fish-jump pathway along approximately 800 feet of the lower portion of the creek ending near where Glendale’s houses begin.

As work began to repair the creek on Tuesday, Glendale Road, from Humphrey Road to approximately a half-mile northeast, will remain closed from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays until Sept. 16.

The same section of road will be reduced to one-lane of traffic on Fridays through Sundays.

Work is being done now during the fish window, from July through September, when salmon suspend their annual migration. The next two parts of the three-phase project will be completed in the following summers.

The total cost was estimated at about $350,000.

Ben Watanabe can be reached at bwatanabe@whidbeynewsgroup.com.

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