Engineered logjams rebuilding fish habitat

Juvenile coho and steelhead stocks are rebounding on the Pysht and Lower Elwha rivers thanks to “engineered logjams’ being installed by the Lower Elwha Klallam tribe.

The Lower Elwha tribe is putting rootwads and more than 30 large logs and hundreds of small timber pieces in the two rivers to create logjams.

“We always made sure everything was taken out of the river,” said Roger Hopie, an Elwha tribal member and former timber worker who was installing logjams Wednesday. “Now, we find out that was wrong and we are putting the logs back in.”

Workers use a large backhoe “that can pick up anything” to place huge logs and root wads in a river, he said.

Once in the water, the logs become part of the natural river system, he said.

This full report appears in today’s Peninsula Daily News, on sale throughout Clallam and Jefferson counties. Click on “Subscribe” to get your PDN delivered to your home or office.

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