Critical Salmon Habitat Restored at Springbrook Creek Preserve

Another win in the recovery of threatened and endangered species such as Puget Sound Steelhead.

© Cameron Karsten Photography – The remnants of the underground culvert after removal from Springbrook Creek.


In a landmark restoration effort, the Bainbridge Island Land Trust has restored a critical section of Springbrook Creek by removing an underground culvert to allow free fish passage through Springbrook Creek Preserve. The restoration efforts were made possible through the support of dedicated volunteers, partners, and neighbors.


© Cameron Karsten Photography – Field scientists from Wild Fish Conservancy relocate cutthroat trout upstream in preparation for the culvert removal.


© Cameron Karsten Photography – Wild Fish Conservancy scientists collect 39 native cutthroat trout from Springbrook Creek.


This September, volunteers helped prepare 800 biodegradable bags of soil that were strategically placed to stabilize the streambank while native plants take hold. Port Madison Enterprises and Wild Fish Conservancy played a pivotal role in ensuring the project’s success. After removing the culvert, the Land Trust installed a 30-foot-long pedestrian bridge over the stream, allowing the creek to flow freely. This bridge will provide future public access across the stream.


© Cameron Karsten Photography – Land Trust volunteers prepare soil to be used in the stream restoration project.


The new pedestrian bridge over the recently restored section of Springbrook Creek.


The Glanzrock family, who reside near the Preserve, expressed their excitement with the results of the project, stating, “We have been happy working together with the Land Trust to protect the 23 acres of wetland and wildlife habitat now known as Springbrook Creek Preserve. Over the years, as parcels of land have been divided and built upon it’s satisfying to know that another large tract of Bainbridge Island will be kept mostly wild and undeveloped.”


© Cameron Karsten Photography – The underground culvert, prior to removal, blocked fish passage to the headwaters of Springbrook Creek.


The 23-acre Preserve was strategically chosen following a multi-year stream assessment, and conserved through the Stand for the Land movement in 2019. The Springbrook Creek Watershed Assessment identified future restoration opportunities within the nearly 1,000-acre watershed, such as removing other fish passage barriers and enhancing stream habitats.


Springbrook Creek serves as critical native fish habitat on Bainbridge Island, as part of the Springbrook Creek Watershed.


Springbrook Creek (which drains into Fletcher Bay on the west side of the Island) is important in a region-wide context. Its protection is a priority of the Puget Sound Partnership Action Agenda, which is the State’s directive for recovering threatened and endangered species such as Puget Sound steelhead, Chinook salmon, and orcas. Bainbridge Island Land Trust Executive Director, Cullen Brady, added, “This is just the beginning of our mission to restore the Watershed. It is vital that we continue our efforts to protect stream habitat, to ensure that both our native wildlife and our community continue to thrive.”