Protecting Salmon through Culvert Replacement

The Suquamish Tribe is moving full steam ahead on its work to restore floodplain, riparian, and instream habitat conditions on the mainstem of Chico Creek,  one of the largest and most productive salmon streams in the West Central LIO geography. To achieve this restoration, the Tribe is replacing the triple box culvert located on Golf Club Hill Road with a bridge.

The Golf Club Hill Road culvert is the highest priority culvert for replacement in Kitsap County based on its potential to block fish passage.  Without frequent and ongoing maintenance of log weirs below the culvert, adult salmon would be unable to pass the culvert.  Replacing the culvert with a bridge will eliminate the need for these structures and will allow for habitat improvements to be incorporated into the downstream design.  

In 2014, the Technical Review Panel of the Salmon Recovery Funding Board approved conceptual designs for the floodplain restoration, allowing for design work on the bridge and other elements of the project to proceed. The Tribe is focused on completing full design by early 2016.  The final design will reflect the recent inclusion of in-channel restoration actions through the Kitsap Golf and Country Club reach in the scope of work.

The Tribe and Kitsap County Public Works met in March of 2015 to kick off design of the bridge which will eventually replace the culvert.  The Tribe and County will consider a number of bridge alignment options and will advance a preferred alternative through the design and permitting process.  

Taken together, the culvert replacement, floodplain, riparian, and in-stream restoration will improve conditions for rearing, spawning, and migrating salmon, steelhead, and cutthroat trout and will increase habitat resilience.  

For more information about  this project, contact Tom Ostrom, Salmon Recovery Coordinator, Suquamish Tribe, 360-394-8446,

Triple box culvert in Chico Creek. Image Source: West Sound Watersheds Council

Triple box culvert in Chico Creek. Image Source: West Sound Watersheds Council


The location of the Golf Hill Road culvert