Forage Fish Spawn Habitat Rehabilitation

Salmonid Habitat Restoration and Acquisition

Project ID15-1289 R
Recovery DomainsPuget Sound
Start Date12/09/2015
End Date03/15/2020
Last Edited04/19/2022
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The forage fish spawn habitat rehabilitation project removed rock, concrete and metal failed armoring, groins and derelict structures from over 1,350 linear feet of privately owned shoreline property at Blind Bay Shaw Island, San Juan County. Working wth four private waterfront owners, FSJ removed intertidal debris and nourished the upper intertal beach with fish mix sand and pea gravel suitable for forage fish spawning at this known, year round surf smelt spawning site. The project engaged the local and regional community through hands-on pre and post project monitoring, assistating with hand labor to remove rock, and educational field trips. Participating groups included FSJ staf, board and volunteers (10); Shaw Island School (12), the Orcas Island Youth Conservation Corps (14), the Washington State Conservation Corps (11), and the Three Seas program students (16). The site was also visited during Friends of the San Juans 2017 annual meeting (65). The project was implemented in three phases- hand and mechanical sites implemented in fall of 2017 and an additional mechnaical construction site in fall of 2019. Incubating forage fish eggs have been documented at the newly restored beach in all three sites/phases. Multiple local contractors were engaged in the project, including Shaner Excavation (2017) and Shaw Island Excavation (2019), as well as Sea Island Sand and Gravel and the Pintal barge.

Because of issues with the protection of a primary county road and significant cultural resources, the project occurred along Blind Bay, Shaw only, the West Sound Orcas work site was not addressed.

Project Benefit    

The purpose of this project was to remove riprap that has fallen from armored shorelines onto the beach, recovering spawn habitat at multiple documented surf smelt spawning sites in a priority forage fish spawning region of San Juan County. Surf smelt are an important component of juvenile chinook diet. Healthy forage fish spawning habitat is essential for the recovery of chinook salmon.


Metric Completed Originally
Estuarine Habitat
  Acres Created
  Acres Treated .8 1.8

Funding Details

In-Kind Other$88
Report Total:$206,012

Project Map


1-Blind Bay    

  • Worksite Identifier: 1-Blind Bay
  • Start Date:
  • End Date:
Area Description

No Area Description data was found for this worksite.

Location Information

  • Basin: Puget Sound
  • Subbasin:
  • Watershed:
  • Subwatershed:
  • State: Washington
  • Recovery Domain: Puget Sound
  • Latitude: 48.57369337
  • Longitude: -122.93241655


  • Puget Sound/Strait of Georgia Coho Salmon ESU
  • Puget Sound/Strait of Georgia Chum Salmon ESU
  • Odd-year
  • Puget Sound Chinook Salmon ESU




  • C.0 Salmonid Habitat Restoration and AcquisitionY (Y/N)
    •      . . C.0.a Habitat restoration and acquisition funding 206,012.13
    •      . . C.0.b Length of stream treated/protected .25
    •      . . C.0.c
      Project identified in a Plan or Watershed Assessment
    •      . . C.0.d.1 Project Monitoring (LOV)
    •      . . C.0.d.2 Monitoring Location (LOV)
    •      . . C.9 Estuarine/Nearshore ProjectY (Y/N)
      •      . . . . C.9.a Estuarine/nearshore funding 206,012.13
      •      . . . . C.9.b Total amount of estuarine/nearshore area treated .8
      •      . . . . C.9.l.1 Beach nourishmentY (Y/N)
        •      . . . . . . C.9.l.3 Miles of shoreline treated .20
        •      . . . . . . C.9.l.4 Acres treated 1.0
      •      . . . . C.9.n.1 Debris removalY (Y/N)
        •      . . . . . . C.9.n.2 Acres treated 1.0