Makah tribe replaces culvert with bridge over Grimes Creek
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Debbie Ross-Preston
Makah Forestry Enterprises Operations Manager Jim Haney stands, at right, on the new bridge over Grimes Creek.

By Debbie Ross-Preston
Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission

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NEAH BAY –– The Makah tribe is working to improve salmon habitat on Grimes Creek in the Tsoo-Yess River watershed by replacing a fish-blocking culvert with a 60-foot-long bridge.

The watershed is home to coho, chinook and steelhead.

“This particular culvert replacement has been on Makah Forestry Enterprise's radar for some time, and they finally had the resources to get it done,” said Ray Colby, water quality specialist for the Makah tribe.

The culvert had become perched with a large drop that prevented salmon from moving upstream in all but the highest flows.

More than a mile of spawning and rearing habitat will be opened to fish, according to Jim Haney, operations manager for Makah Forestry Enterprise.

Haney noted there will be an additional project in the future to increase access for fish to a wetland nearby.

The tribe has worked steadily to improve fish habitat in the Tsoo-Yess River watershed southeast of Makah Bay.

Projects have included land acquisition from private timber companies.

The 16-mile long Tsoo-Yess is a source of drinking water for the tribe.

It is one of the few river fishing opportunities for Makah tribal fishermen, as well as some non-Indian sport fishing when the tribe assesses there is enough surplus to open it.

The $70,000 project was funded by the Makah Forestry Enterprise with assistance from Makah Fisheries personnel to protect fish during the project.

Debbie Ross-Preston is the coastal information officer for the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission.

Last modified: December 03. 2012 5:59PM
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