Conserving land along our waterways protects important habitat and helps keep our rivers healthy, clean, and more resilient to drought. Riparian Protection projects conserve and restore fresh and saltwater habitat while protecting fish habitat. In doing so, the grants help provide our families, farms, and fisheries with clean water across the state.
The Department of Fish and Wildlife acquired a total of 83.97 acres total. Two parcels totalling 56 acres were acquired on Dike Road approximately 3 miles north of the town of Conway. The North and South Forks of the Skagit River merge at this location and this property includes approximately 1,700 lineal feet of waterfront along the easterly bank of the Skagit River. Mature lowland riparian forest was once the dominant habitat type along the lower Skagit River. These properties consist mainly of wetlands and contain some of the highest quality stands of riparian forest remaining in the area. Listed species that will benefit from these acquisitions include Chinook salmon, bald eagle and peregrine falcon. Other species that are considered priority species include steelhead, chum, coho, pink and sockeye salmon, great blue heron, wood duck, hooded merganser, pileated woodpecker and Columbian black-tailed deer. One parcel consisting of 27.9 acres was acquired on the south side of Skagit River on Debay’s Slough within the WDFW game reserve (Skagit River Wildlife Area) that was established as an area where wintering Trumpeter and Tundra swans can rest, feed, and roost. DeBay’s Slough is a night roost for many other waterfowl as well as bald eagles, peregrine falcons and other species such as song birds. Other listed species benefiting from this habitat include Chinook salmon; species also benefiting from this habitat that are considered priority species include steelhead, chum, coho, pink and sockeye salmon, great blue heron, wood duck, hooded merganser, pileated woodpecker and Columbian black-tailed deer. The site is two miles southwest of Sedro-Woolley, two miles east of Burlington, and one mile west of SR-9 in unincorporated Skagit County. This acreage includes approximately 1,100 lineal feet of frontage along the southerly bank of the Skagit River and consists mainly of wetlands, open areas, and riparian forest.