Snohomish Watershed Salmon Recovery Planning

Watershed Overview

Covering an area of approximately 1,856 square miles in both King and Snohomish counties, the Snohomish River Basin contains about 2,718 miles in stream length, making it the second largest basin draining into Puget Sound. The Skykomish and Snoqualmie rivers originate in the Cascade Mountains and flow along chains of rural communities and state highways (2 and 203) to join near the City of Monroe where they become the Snohomish River. The Snohomish River flows into the estuary near the City of Snohomish and finally joins Puget Sound between the urban centers of Everett and Marysville.

Nine salmonid species use these fresh waters for spawning and rearing:
  • Chinook, Coho, Chum, Pink, and Sockeye Salmon
  • Steelhead and Rainbow Trout
  • Cutthroat Trout
  • Bull Trout
  • Mountain Whitefish

There are two populations of threatened Chinook salmon: Skykomish and Snoqualmie—both are below 10% of their estimated historic population levels. The four listed bull trout populations – North Fork Skykomish, Troublesome Creek, Salmon Creek, and South Fork Skykomish – have populations estimated at less than 100. The basin produces between 25-50% of coho salmon in Puget Sound.

Cooperating Parties

Cooperative recovery planning efforts in the basin date back to the mid-1990s. The 41-member Snohomish River Basin Salmon Recovery Forum includes members from Snohomish and King counties, Tulalip Tribes, 14 cities, many special purpose districts, interest groups ranging from conservation to farming and business, and citizens. The group set the recovery priorities for the basin in the Snohomish River Basin Salmon Conservation Plan.

4-Year Work Plan

The Snohomish Basin 4-Year Work Plan process lays out the implementation approach, complete with an identified sponsor, goals, and associated costs of large capital restoration projects. This allows the Lead Entity staff and partners to track the protection actions, implementing groups, and needed funding in a manner consistent with restoration. The 4-Year Work Plan is updated every biennium to record project accomplishments, identify the current status of recovery actions, and to propose future actions and any changes in recovery strategies in the next 4 years necessary to implement the local recovery strategies. For more information contact