Conservancy group buys 183 acres along Tahuya River for restoration, salmon habitat

For decades, a piece land along the Tahuya River in Mason County was used as a pasture to raise horses. Since a Gabion wall — a steel mesh cage filled with rocks — was built along the river to secure the farm and its horse racing tracks, the river couldn’t flood.

Preventing the river from flooding meant that the adjacent floodplain, just off Tahuya River Road approximately between Maggie Lake and North Shore Road, couldn’t become a wetland that allows salmon to come and go. It also couldn’t help slow the river, which meant flowing water scoured off the bottom of the river and washed away salmon nests.

The ecological situation could soon change, as Great Peninsula Conservancy acquired 183 acres of property there last year and is working with the Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group on plans to remove the Gabion wall. Eventually, they will restore the floodplain and allow salmon and other wildlife to explore habitat there again.