Buckmire Slough Tidal Reconnection: Vancouver Lake, Washington
Otak worked with the Columbia River Estuary Study Taskforce to restore estuary function and wildlife habitat to the Buckmire Slough near Vancouver Lake, Washington. The slough had poor water quality conditions and two large berms blocking fish passage. We removed four in-stream barriers to restore full estuarine tidal processes and improve juvenile salmon access to the slough and wetland habitat. Installing two new bridges, we improved floodplain habitat and placed logs and other low-lying features to support native vegetation (e.g., sedges and wapato) and prevent juvenile fish from getting stranded. The design included fish-friendly features, ecological features to support native wapato, and large wood habitat structures. We used hydraulic modeling to assess water quality, fish passage conditions, and scour potential at the bridge sites.