SEATTLE — A stretch of riverfront along the Skagit River near Rockport totaling 61 acres (25 hectares) has been permanently protected by Seattle City Light for fish and wildlife habitat.

The Seattle Times reports the land connects to other protected parcels to create a wildlife corridor for elk and other wildlife.

The purchase was made with $248,000 from the Seattle City Light Endangered Species Act Lands Program funds, and a $6,000 grant from the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office Salmon Recovery Funding Board.

The utility closed on the property last month.

The Skagit is Puget Sound's premier salmon river, home to chum, king, sockeye, coho and pinks, as well as steelhead.

The river also is an important source of Chinook for killer whales.