November 4, 2002
Community groups work to restore salmon in Lake Joy
by Leah Hausman
Outreach Coordinator, Washington Trout
On Saturday, Oct. 19, staff from Washington Trout, a wild-fish conservation organization headquartered in Duvall, and volunteers with the Lake Joy Community Club joined forces to stabilize the streambank at the site of the recently removed Lake Joy Creek culvert by planting native vegetation.
Volunteers hauled equipment, plants and grass seed for nearly one mile to the restoration site, located about a quarter-mile downstream of Lake Joy along an old, abandoned logging road. This event was a culmination of community effort that began five years ago to restore historical fish passage to Lake Joy and all of its tributaries.
The culvert was identified as a passage impediment to coho salmon, steelhead and resident trout in 1996, during a Washington Trout culvert survey of the Snoqualmie watershed.
Shortly thereafter, Washington Trout and the Lake Joy Community Club came together to seek funding for this project, but none was immediately available and the project was put on hold. Patience paid off this fall with a unique donation from the Washington Department of Natural Resources and a generous grant from the Trout and Salmon Foundation that made the project possible.
Washington Trout and the Lake Joy Community Club quickly took advantage of the new funding opportunities. The partnership formed between the organizations complemented each other's strengths and capabilities.
Sharon Osgood, the Lake Joy Community Club's environmental chair, spearheaded local involvement with the project by rallying the community, coordinating volunteers and gaining the permission and support of the private landowner whose property would be affected by the project.
Washington Trout staff, led by MaryLou White, provided technical expertise for the project by locating a funding source, developing the project plan design, acquiring permits and overseeing the culvert removal and streambank restoration processes. Thanks to these combined efforts, the culvert was successfully removed Oct. 8.
Volunteers celebrated the completion of the project on Oct. 19 with a feast of cookies, donuts and champagne.
"All I can get out of this whole project is that if there's something wrong, just fix it," said Osgood. "I feel good. I feel like I've done something." She is already planning the community club's next project.
The partnership formed during the Lake Joy Creek culvert removal project is an outstanding example of the kind of community initiatives Washington Trout tries to support and encourage through its Habitat Lost and Found program.
Washington Trout Executive Director Kurt Beardslee reflected, "This project was a perfect example of how the right partners can make great things happen for people and fish."
Residents and visitors to Lake Joy should soon begin seeing an increase in salmon returning to spawn in the little creeks around the lake.
If anyone or their community group has a project they would like Washington Trout (HYPERLINK "http://www.washingtontrout.org" www.washingtontrout.org) to become involved with, they can call (425) 788-1167 or stop by the office at 15629 Main St. NE in Duvall.