"Restoring the Skagit"

"Last week, 150 acres of farmland were flooded in Skagit County. This wasn't a natural disaster — it was intentional. For decades, public land around Wiley Slough was diked off and planted with corn and barley. Those crops attracted ducks and made a good spot for releasing and hunting Asian pheasants. But since Chinook salmon and killer whales were listed under the federal Endangered Species Act, the state wildlife agency has changed its priorities in the Skagit Delta.

It's the first time in nearly half a century that seawater has been allowed on this tideland on Fir Island. That's near the mouth of the South Fork of the Skagit. It's part of an effort to restore the estuary of the Skagit River and keep Chinook salmon, and even orcas, from disappearing from Puget Sound."

John Ryan reports for KYLast week, 150 acres of farmland were flooded in Skagit County. This wasn't a natural disaster — it was intentional. For decades, public land around Wiley Slough was diked off and planted with corn and barley. Those crops attracted ducks and made a good spot for releasing and hunting Asian pheasants. But since Chinook salmon and killer whales were listed under the federal Endangered Species Act, the state wildlife agency has changed its priorities in the Skagit Delta.

It's the first time in nearly half a century that seawater has been allowed on this tideland on Fir Island. That's near the mouth of the South Fork of the Skagit. It's part of an effort to restore the estuary of the Skagit River and keep Chinook salmon, and even orcas, from disappearing from Puget Sound.

John Ryan reports for KUOW August 27, 2009.

Friday, August 28, 2009