Burien Washington - Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Services

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Preservation Efforts
The Question of the Salmon
In 1993, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife proposed adding more woody debris to Salmon Creek to improve pool habitat for fish, if the County removed the blockage beneath Shorewood Dr. Salmon Creek is currently believed to support small numbers of cutthroat trout and sculpin, as well as planted juvenile coho salmon.

Groups such as the Shorewood Community Club and Trout Unlimited have worked to restore Salmon Creek Ravine, remove blockages, and re-establish salmon runs. Property owners along the mouth of Salmon Creek, however, are still concerned about odor from spawning salmon carcasses and question public investment in restoring the runs.

Erosion and Drainage Issues
The Salmon Creek drainage basin, containing Salmon Creek and several tributaries, is just under two square miles in size. Much of the current basin once flowed northward toward Longfellow Creek, with the old divide lying between Mallard Lake (Kingston Pond) and Lake Garrett (Hicks Lake). Salmon Creek today meanders for three-fifths of a mile between Ambaum Boulevard, where it spills out of a 48-inch pipe, and Shorewood Dr. Despite encroaching suburbia, Salmon Creek has avoided the severe erosion problems plaguing most urban streams. This is due to an 18-inch, high-flow bypass pipe (an old government sewer line), used since the late 1970s to channel stormwater directly into Puget Sound.

Prior to 1980, high water flows eroded banks and carried large amounts of sediment down Salmon Creek into Puget Sound during large storms. Erosion and blockages in the channel and culverts caused flooding to private property in both the upper and lower stream basin. In 1980, the White Center Drainage Improvement Project resulted in more consistent and less destructive stream flows in Salmon Creek.

Continue on to learn more about the later efforts at developing the area.

14700 6th Avenue SW   /  Burien, WA 98166  /  Ph: (206) 988-3700  /  Fax: (206) 243-2784
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