Efforts are underway to restore Northwest Chum Salmon spawning grounds in North Bonneville's Hamilton Creek. Sponsored by the Lower Columbia Fish Enhancement Group and funded by Washingon's Salmon Recovery Funding Board the Hamilton Creek Restoration project is a multi-year two-phase project that will restore 5,000 feet of stream channel to increase the quantity and quality of rearing and spawning habitat and bolster future production of salmon species returning to the Hamilton Creek watershed
Hamilton Creek is home to one of only two chum salmon populations surviving in the Columbia River watershed. While targeting the restoration of spawning grounds for the endangered salmon, the project will be beneficial to steelhead, Chinook and coho salmon as well. All of these species have been designated by federal government as threatened with extinction.
Phase One of the project began in 2010 with:
- Logjams created throughout the creek to create pools and a branching island network.
- Spawning gravels sorted.
- Stabilization of eroding stream banks.
- Trees planted over 5 acres of floodplain and creek bank to increase shade, help stabilize the creek banks, and provide a source of woody material to the creek.
Phase Two of the project consists of complete resoration of the Hamilton Springs Chum Channel. The channel was cleared of encrouching vegetation and the gravel beds repaired or replaced. Overhanging barriers were constructed to prevent vegetation encroachment while providing need concealment for spawing as well as juvenile salmon. In addition, another 400 foot groundwater-fed spawning channel was build next to the existing channel.
Phase Three of the project consists of creek bed restoration for the lower Hamilton Creek area with channel restoration and artificial log jams to improve spawning beds and pools.