Tag Archives: Kitsap Golf and Country Club

New bridge could improve salmon viewing

It was great to see more than 100 people turn out Satuday to remove weeds at Salmon Viewing Park on Chico Way. Check out my story in Sunday’s Kitsap Sun.

Dan Mullen and his daughter Hailey, 7, remove brush last Saturday along Chico Creek. Kitsap Sun photo by Larry Steagall
Dan Mullen and his daughter Hailey, 7, remove brush last Saturday along Chico Creek in Salmon Viewing Park.
Kitsap Sun photo by Larry Steagall

Some people came out to do a little volunteer work and get some exercise. Others had a special connection to this undeveloped park property on Chico Creek. And others wanted to get in on the ground floor of an effort to transform this overgrown property into a splendid park.

It is too early to say how this park will look a few years from now, but most everyone wants to keep it natural. Trails, interpretive signs, a couple viewing platforms and some picnic tables are being considered. I discussed the plans briefly in a story on Jan. 27.

Did I mention that this park is one of the best places to view salmon on the Kitsap Peninsula? I list it prominently on my salmon-viewing map and encourage people to visit this spot throughout the salmon-spawning season.

The old culvert under Golf Club Road.
The old culvert under Golf Club Road.

One thing being discussed at Saturday’s outing was the likelihood that a corner of this park would be needed for a new bridge to replace a culvert under Golf Club Road. The culvert, which impedes the migration of adult salmon, serves the only road that goes up to Kitsap Golf and Country Club. The county will save money by building the new bridge before taking out the old culvert.

Planners tried hard to avoid construction of a bridge altogether. One idea was to build a road that connects with Chico Way on the south side of the Chico Way bridge. Such a road would eliminate the need for Golf Club Road and allow the culvert to be removed. But planners could not find a route for a new road that would work for local residents and not do extensive damage to wetlands in the creek’s floodplain.

The new bridge will cut off a corner of Salmon Viewing Park.
The new bridge will cut off a corner of Salmon Viewing Park.

Losing a portion of the park to build a new bridge sounded like a bad thing until I talked to Steve Heacock of the Kitsap County Department of Community Development. Steve told me that planners are working on a design that would allow a trail to be built from Salmon Viewing Park under the new bridge, providing access to a salmon viewing area on the north side.

Furthermore, the bridge itself could include a viewing platform to watch salmon from above.

To span the creek, designers have proposed an arch design using precast concrete pieces that span the creek with extra room for the stream to alter its channel and overflow into its floodplain, Steve told me. The arch design, called BEBO by the company that holds the trademark, is expected to keep the cost of the new bridge within reason. County officials are seeking grants to complete the design of the bridge and move on to construction.

The artist rendering below is just one idea provided by the engineers who did the preliminary design. The plan could be altered for a more natural look.

One possibility for the new bridge over Chico Creek on Golf Club Road.
One possibility for the new bridge over Chico Creek on Golf Club Road.

Streamflows are creating good conditions for salmon

It appears that our summer and fall weather around Puget Sound has been very good for chum salmon.

A chum salmon navigates its way upstream in Chico Creek past new weirs installed at Kitsap Golf and Country Club.
Kitsap Sun photo by Meegan Reid

I’m getting reports that good numbers of chum are swimming up into sections of streams where they have not been seen for years. This means that conditions are ripe for watching salmon. Check out our salmon-watching map of the Kitsap Peninsula, and read my latest reports in the Kitsap Sun and Watching Our Water Ways. Also, Kitsap Visitor and Convention Bureau has created a special website for visitors who want to see salmon.

Jon Oleyar, who counts salmon in the East Kitsap streams for the Suquamish Tribe, offered the example of Johnson Creek, which flows into Poulsbo’s Liberty Bay.

“These chum were thick from the mouth all the way up,” Jon told me after checking out the stream this week. “There was decent flow, and I was amazed to see them all the way up.”

Reports of unusual numbers of salmon have been coming in from other streams as well, including Strawberry Creek, a small, heavily impacted stream that flows through Silverdale.

Most of these salmon appear to be coming in much earlier than normal, Oleyar said.
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A roundup of local water stories plus odds and ends

If you haven’t heard, our blog server crashed on Monday and was on and off all day Tuesday. Hopefully, it’s back to normal, but the situation has thrown me off my game.

I’m taking the next two days off, so I may not post much, if anything, more until Monday. But feel free to comment on any of the items below or any other postings. There shouldn’t be much, if any, delay for your comments to appear.

So let’s catch up on a few local water-related stories in the news:

Haven Lake weed treatment: Lake resident Monica Harle turned up the heat on plans to treat the lake a second time when her attorney sent letters to area property owners. She has taken the legal position that the homeowners association, which ordered the treatment, cannot speak for all the property owners. As a result, killing the weeds could violate the property rights of those who don’t want the treatment. Read more in today’s story.

Seabeck Marina: Washington Department of Ecology has not squashed this project. In fact, agency officials seem to be saying that they’re looking for a way to approve it. Meanwhile, the Suquamish Tribe has indicated that it won’t stand in the way. Read Brynn Grimley’s story.

Shellfish settlement: Some commercial shellfish growers are wondering if the tribes will reject their claims for an exemption from 50-50 sharing. In comments on the story, some people are reacting by attacking the tribes. Please don’t overlook the most significant point: Attorneys for the growers helped negotiate a $33 million deal with the tribes that required certain documents as proof of commercial ownership. Since all the parties approved the deal, the tribes cannot be blamed if these documents are difficult to come by. It’s actually a pretty complicated issue, and I’ve tried to explain the basics in a story.

Chico Creek: The long-awaited Chico Creek restoration at Kitsap Golf and Country Club is under way, as I mentioned in a story Tuesday. It is unfortunate that the project had to be broken into two parts — three if you count the culvert replacement — but this should be a great improvement for salmon migration. By the way, planners are trying to decide where to install a salmon-viewing platform that I’m sure would get a lot of use.