Ovenell Slough is documented and identified as “extremely good rearing area that needs to be protected” during a 2002 Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) survey of the site. Before restoration, a two-foot-wide, 80-foot-long culvert was blocking fish from accessing high quality habitat upstream in Ovenell Slough, and the existing culvert was covered by 18 feet of fill, severely affecting successful fish passage and habitat access.
Before removal of two-foot culvert
Skagit Fisheries worked with Skagit County to remove this culvert and install a pedestrian bridge crossing the slough. These actions restored crucial rearing habitat for Chinook salmon and recreational opportunities on the property were greatly expanded thanks to the addition of the 120-foot-long foot bridge. This new footbridge is ADA accessible and provides access to a trail through WDFW owned property that provides excellent access to the Skagit River.
Volunteers assisted with enhancing this trail as well as installing interpretive signs and benches. To protect and reestablish areas disturbed during construction, Skagit Fisheries worked with volunteers from Fourth Corner Fly Fishers to plant a diverse community of native trees and shrubs suited for wetlands that enhance riparian conditions and functions.