Wednesday August 17, 2022
For four days in late July, crews were on a muddy rescue mission in the south fork of Skagit River.
With net mesh protecting their faces from mosquitoes, rescuers pulled aside sticks and logs in search of fish — particularly the chinook salmon that use the channel as rearing habitat — that were now cut off from the main stem of the river as water levels dropped.
They were removing salmon from side channels with their bare hands, transferring the fish into buckets of fresh, cold water, and taking them to another channel where the fish were released.
The rescuers were members of the Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group, Skagit County Conservation Corps and Washington Conservation Corps. The fish were moved as part of the South Fork Restoration Project in the upper reaches of the estuary near Conway, which will bring improvements to the side channel from which the fish were removed.