Wednesday July 3, 2024

The Leavenworth Echo

After decades of degradation and reshaping, Lower Peshastin Creek will be returning to near its historical shape, providing better habitat for Spring chinook, steelhead, and bull trout.

The project to restore Lower Peshastin Creek, led by Cascade Fisheries, will clean up toxic lead waste, rebuild fish habitat, and preserve a critical cold water refuge where Peshastin Creek meets the Wenatchee River, known as a confluence. The project is located at the Dryden Dam public access site, on Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) land.

Peshastin Creek is not only an important spawning and rearing site for natal fish, but it also provides cold water refuge for both natal and non-natal fish, or those coming from other locations along the Wenatchee River. According to the Washington Department of Ecology, Peshastin Creek is approximately two degrees Celsius cooler than the Wenatchee River.

“Peshastin [Creek] is one of the only cold water refuges in the lower Wenatchee basin, and in drought years, that can be really important for fish to have refuge to survive when the main stem of the river can be excessively warm and inhospitable for fish. So, that’s one unique feature about Peshastin here, that this project will help improve those conditions going forward,” said Amanda Barg, Assistant Regional Habitat Program Manager of WDFW.

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