Summer was a busy time of year in the Ohop Valley!
The final construction of Phase 3 began in early July. This involved digging a new, meandering creek bed to replace the old ditch. Ohop Creek has flowed through this ditch for over a century, but it provides very little habitat for fish and insects. The new creek bed will allow for deep pools, shallow riffles, and large wood debris–all of which is necessary for the survival of sensitive fish species like salmon.
Right now, construction is almost over! Before directing water into the new creek bed, however, the old ditch had to be drained. This exposed many fish and insect larvae. In order to prevent the deaths of many critters, the project partners, including Nisqually Indian Tribe, Nisqually Land Trust, South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group and Nisqually River Council organized a fish-out. The fish-out lasted for two days, with many volunteers using nets or electroshockers to move as many critters from the old ditch to the new creek as possible!
Some of the highlights of the event included rescuing a Chinook salmon, several coho salmon, and freshwater mussels! Final numbers of the species rescued are being added now, and will be shared when possible. As for next steps, project partners are gearing up for another round of fall plantings in order to establish native trees and shrubs in the area.