This video shows juvenile coho salmon in their natural habitats in Tolt-MacDonald Park, near Carnation, Washington. These fish are using habitats that formed after the old levee was removed and 'set back' away from the river back in 2009; nearly five years ago. The project had three goals: 1) To restore the physical processes and functions that create beneficial fish habitat to the lower reaches of the Tolt River and its floodplain and to enhance spawning and rearing habitat for Chinook, chum salmon, steelhead trout and other salmonids; 2) To prevent any increase in flood hazards and, if possible, reduce existing flood hazard, and 3) To preserve recreational opportunities wherever possible and, where changes are unavoidable, to replace those opportunities. Accordingly, the project consisted of the following 'on-the-ground' actions :
Remove approximately 2,460 feet of existing levee along the north (right) bank of the river to allow the river to reoccupy its historic floodplain; Construct a new setback levee and revetment system roughly 800 feet north of the existing levee to provide at least the same level of flood and erosion protection for the park and adjacent properties as the existing levee currently provides; Place large woody debris (LWD) in the floodplain to direct river water to desired flow routes within the floodplain, to diffuse energy from the flowing water, and to encourage the formation of desired habitat features; Excavate a new outlet channel in the floodplain; Plant native vegetation in the floodplain and in all areas disturbed during project construction; and Provide trails and parking to enhance recreational use in the area.
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