Puget Sound Innovation Stories

Dickerson Creek

Dickerson Creek’s upper reaches have some of the best salmon spawning and rearing habitat in Puget Sound. But Dickerson Creek and adjacent Chico Creek have been affected by streamside residential development and aging, undersized culverts. The culverts were identified as significant barriers to fish migration, blocking fish during high and low flows, and making it difficult for salmon to access upstream habitat. In addition, the creeks were disconnected from their floodplain and prone to overtopping their banks during big storm events, flooding streamside residents and damaging habitat.

A culvert replacement project at Dickerson Creek benefits both salmon and their human neighbors. Kitsap County replaced two undersized culverts with larger ones, restoring stream passage for fish and reducing flood risk. In addition, the county purchased three adjacent properties and expanded the floodplain, allowing more room for high-water flow to take a natural course without harming fish or people. Enhancing the floodplain habitat by adding woody material, spawning gravels, and native plants has supported diverse aquatic communities. Removing the barriers and significantly improving habitat has provided multiple benefits for the restoration of the basin and the recovery of Puget Sound.

Funding Sources:

  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Estuary Program
  • Washington State Department of Ecology
  • Kitsap County Public Works Stormwater Division
  • Kitsap County Public Works Roads Division

Congressional District: 6


  • Kitsap County Public Works
  • Northwest Hydraulic Consultants
  • Nordland Construction Northwest
  • Kitsap Conservation District
  • Washington State Department of Ecology
  • Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • Suquamish Tribe
  • Chico Salmon Park Stewards

Further questions? Think you can use this story as inspiration for your own project? Please inquire with:

Chris May–Surface and Stormwater Management Devision Director


More Info

Publish Date: April 19, 2017
Category: Salmon
Congressional Districts: Congressional Dist. 6
Legislative Districts: Legislative Dist. 35
Counties: Kitsap
Habitat Types: Floodplain