Salmon return to Glendale for third year

"Salmon are returning to Glendale Creek for the third consecutive year since the big New Year’s Eve storm of 1997.The torrential rain and snow melt caused the creek to detour around a culvert that had stopped salmon from coming upstream for some 50 years. Area residents and environmentalists were delighted to see the first salmon return in the fall of 1997. Some were coho that were raised as young fish at the nearby Possession Point Bait Co., and others were chum that were somehow attracted by the new opportunity.Longtime Glendale resident Thor Mohn said Monday that the run of returning salmon seems to be tailing off after several weeks. He personally saw six to 10 silvers beginning Nov. 14, but there wasn’t much of a silver (coho) run. “The chums have been pretty steady,” he said.The salmon have dug reds and spawned in the creek. “I’ve watched them spawning in the morning,” Mohn said. He expressed some concern, however, that the number of silvers is less now than it was in 1997.Glendale Road has been closed for the nearly three years since the storm. County plans to rebuild it were put on hold for design changes aimed at protecting salmon. Most area residents signed a petition asking that the road remain closed, but the county is proceeding with planning for repairs.A new plan for road reconstruction will be submitted this week, said Island County Senior Planner Donna Keeler on Tuesday. The road plan underwent further environmental review, and staff worked closely with the Department of Fish and Wildlife, Keeler said, focusing on the portion of creek in the “downtown” Glendale area.Keeler said the revised plan will be available for public review after next week. It needs approval from County Planning Director Phil Bakke, as well as the state Department of Ecology, Fish and Wildlife, and the Army Corps of Engineers.The county is hoping to begin construction work next June, Keeler said."

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