During the Wild Fish Conservancy stream typing work, an impressive number of landowners in the Springbrook Creek Watershed (see map below) participated in the stream inventory – many of them walked the stream with the field crew and offered information about the stream, its history or things they’ve done or wanted to do to care for the stream. Springbrook Creek is a historic steelhead stream, and one of the most productive salmonid streams on Bainbridge Island. It supports populations of cutthroat trout, coho and chum salmon.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife performed a fish passage barrier inventory of the streams at public street crossings in June, 2014. The City of Bainbridge Island evaluated the potential of repairing several of the culverts in the watershed. The West Central Local Integrating Organization identified the Fletcher Bay and Springbrook Creek area for focused efforts to address salmon, shellfish and stormwater issues.
With all these pieces of information, and so many partners and landowners interested and engaged, the energy in the Springbrook Creek Watershed was something the Land Trust wanted to capture. Working with the West Sound Watersheds Council, the City of Bainbridge Island, Wild Fish Conservancy, and the Bainbridge Island Watershed Council, the Land Trust proposed completing a watershed scale assessment of Springbrook Creek to identify, prioritize and sequence conceptual designs for future habitat improvements and/or protection projects.
Projects that could be identified through the feasibility and assessment work include restoration opportunities such as removing anthropogenic fish passage barriers and enhancing riparian habitats, evaluating the possibility of restoring the stream to its historical path, and protecting intact fish habitat through land acquisition or conservation easements. The evaluation of existing watershed and stream data, collection of new stream data, and a geomorphic and hydrologic assessment will help guide project partners in understanding the dynamics of the stream.
The Land Trust submitted a grant proposal to the State Salmon Recovery Funding Board, which was funded in December 2014. The project is currently underway. Please contact the Land Trust’s Conservation Director, Brenda Padgham, for more information.