Illabot Creek Restoration

Congressional District: 1

Legislative District: 39


City, County: Upper Skagit River, Skagit County


Project Summary

Illabot Creek is a highly productive tributary of the upper Skagit River that supports relatively large populations of Chinook, chum, coho, and pink salmon, native char, and steelhead trout. Due to its importance in providing spawning and rearing habitat, much of the watershed has already been protected or restored except for a heavily degraded half-mile reach. Previous diking in an area near the Rockport-Cascade Road has degraded habitat conditions by straightening the channel, degrading riparian habitat, and reduced area available to salmon. The Illabot Creek Restoration project aimed to connect Illabot Creek to its historic channel, restore degraded floodplain habitat, protect public infrastructure, and provide essential habitat for salmonid species.

Key Results

  • Restored historic connectivity with approximately 12.7 acres of alluvial fan
  • Removed 1,150 feet of dike downstream and 850 feet of dike and rip rap bank armoring removed upstream from Rockport-Cascade Road
  • Created new side channels where fish can rest, feed, and spawn
  • Increased surface area of channels to let Illabot Creek migrate over time
  • Installed log jams to slow water movement, provide habitat, and prey sources for fish
  • Constructed two bridges on Rockport-Cascade Road to maintain fish passage
  • Protection for existing infrastructure – powerline towers and Rockport-Cascade Road

Multiple Benefits

  • Illabot Creek was reconnected with historic channels on the floodplain that allows natural processes of erosion, deposition, and channel development to occur across the alluvial fan
  • Preserved farmland adjacent to the restoration site from development, while providing important salmon spawning and rearing habitat
  • New and existing infrastructure including an existing bridge, two new bridges, and powerlines will be maintained and protected from erosion

Project Partners and Funders

  • Skagit River System Cooperative
  • Skagit County
  • Puget Sound Acquisition & Restoration (PSAR) Fund
  • Salmon Recovery Funding Board
  • Landowner


Total cost: $4.4M, including $3.3M in PSAR funding

Related Projects: 01-1356 Illabot Alluvial Fan Assessment/Feasibility , 07-1786 Illabot Creek Design Study, 11-1542 Illabot Creek Alluvial Fan Restoration Phase I

More Info

Publish Date: June 13, 2018
Category: Salmon
Congressional Districts: Congressional Dist. 1
Legislative Districts: Legislative Dist. 39
Counties: Skagit
Habitat Types: Rivers & Streams