State diverts river to help salmon

Drew Mikkelsen reports

NEAR FORKS, Wash. -- Mother Nature is putting men to work.

For the first time in state history, the drought and low river levels have caused the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to alter the flow of the Sol Duc river to help salmon get upstream.

Tuesday morning an inmate crew from the Olympic Corrections Center, with the help from 400 sandbags, narrowed a portion of the river to make it deeper and easier for salmon to spawn.

"Sometimes fish will hold out there when the water's not deep enough to pass," said Fish and Wildlife manager Rob Allen. "Now we have an increased velocity here which attracts the fish to get them up stream."

If the Sol Duc project ends up helping salmon spawn, it could be implemented on rivers throughout the state flowing at their lowest levels in decades.


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