Sustaining our Traditions and Culture
Sustaining our Traditions and Culture
Tulalip Natural Resources Department image of near Tulalip estuary and uplands with urban development encroachment
Sustaining our Traditions and Culture

Pilchuck River Dam

Restoring Connectivity in the Pilchuck River for Fish and People

The Tulalip Tribes removed the Pilchuck River Diversion Dam in Summer 2020 restoring connectivity and fish access to over 37 miles of priority habitat for virtually all of the salmonid species found in the Snohomish River Basin including Chinook, Steelhead, coho, bull trout, and others. The project was a collaboration with the City of Snohomish after an agreement was finalized to work together to restore the Pilchuck River in June of 2018. The City of Snohomish owned the diversion dam located southeast of the City of Granite Falls on the Pilchuck River. This diversion structure was operated for city drinking water withdrawals, but became obsolete once the City obtained drinking water from a more reliable and less costly source. Dam removal restored natural river conditions with mutual benefits to fish, Tulalip, the City of Snohomish and other stakeholders in the area. Following the removal of the dam in 2020, Chinook, Coho, and Pink salmon have been frequently observed utilizing previously cut-off habitats of the Pilchuck watershed above the old dam site to complete their life’s journey and successfully spawn in the abundant gravel substrates of the Pilchuck River.

The Pilchuck River is a culturally and environmentally important watershed for salmon and other species. The Tulalip Tribes work to protect and perpetuate the salmon and other resources their people have depended on for thousands of years. This includes both on the reservation, and within historic territories such as the Pilchuck River watershed where Tulalip retains fishing, hunting and other rights along with deep cultural connections.

Pilchuck River Dam Story Map

To interact with the Pilchuck River Story Map Community Update, click here

To view information about how you can get involved with monitoring and observing the river, click here

Tulalip Natural Resources Department line art image of forest or wetland area