Chehalis Basin Surge Plain

The Chehalis Basin Surge Plain Bridge Project restored fish passage to upper Preacher’s Slough, an extraordinary Sitka spruce-forested tidally influenced wetland within a Washington Department of Natural Resources Natural Area Preserve.  This project will provide juvenile salmon with access to high-quality rearing and feeding habitat as well as enhance public access to the Chehalis River.  WDNR completed the project while continuing to provide public access to the Chehalis River across the Chehalis River Surge Plain Natural Area Preserve.

Preacher's Slough Barrier

BEFORE.  The panoramic view above shows the Preacher’s Slough barrier preventing the flow of an incoming tide.  During the ebb time, the left (upstream) side of the barrier retains water while the right (downstream) side of the barrier remains dry.  On the flood tide, both sides of the slough fill as water backs up into the slough from seven miles downstream.

preachers slough after

AFTER.  The new 80-foot concrete bridge now allows natural tidal and freshwater flow in Preachers Slough, allowing the floodplain to function naturally.  The Chehalis Basin Fisheries Task Force used a Salmon Recovery Grant along with $231,387 in its own cash and donated labor for the project.   

Restoration of Fish Passage in Preacher’s Slough, A Tidally Influenced Side Channel of the Chehalis River

View the PowerPoint created by project managers, Birdie Davenport, Washington Department of Natural Resources, Natural Areas Program and Lonnie Crumley, Streamworks Consulting, and Chehalis Basin Fisheries Task Force:

PowerPoint Davenport, Crumley