Long Live The Kings Lilliwaup Hatchery Repair
After The 2007 Flood

History of the Area & the Hatchery:
The property where the Long Live The Kings Lilliwaup Hatchery is situated is near the mouth of Lilliwaup Creek on Hood Canal.   Which is a short stream that in years past supported large runs of chum salmon.  This stream flows out of Price Lake, near Lake Cushman, and is joined by flows from Lilliwaup Swamp and numerous other springs.  Less than 2 miles from the canal's shore, the creek has a HIGH falls impassable to fish.  The hatchery complex sets very near the base of the falls.

A sawmill was built at Lilliwaup Falls in the late 1800s. In the 1940s it was purchased by the Beardsley family, who established the first hydroelectric facility.  The property changed hands several times in ensuing decades, and in the 1980s the hydroelectric plant was refurbished.  Fully operational but now setting idle, it features seven turbines and can generate enough electricity to power more than 1,000 homes.

The Lilliwaup Hatchery complex was built in 1993 after the acquisition of the property by Long Live the Kings board member William G. Reed, who single-handedly funded it for the purpose of aiding salmon restoration.  The water supply for the hatchery is gravity-fed from a large spring on the property named Beardsley Creek.   

It is located on the end of the N Lilliwaup Street, which is a dead-end road that leaves US Hiway 101 at the small community of Lilliwaup.  Just after passing the store & before you cross the hiway bridge, take a left off the hiway & follow it about a mile to the road's end & across the bridge to the hatchery complex.

A computer link for more information to Long Live The Kings website, click here

Long Live The Kings office upstairs with the hatchery below & rearing tanks in the foreground Lilliwaup Falls area after the flood cleanup

Information below was copied off Long Live The Kings website, pertaining to the hatchery damage received during the December 3 & 4, 2007 storm.

Extent of the Damage & Aftermath of the storm:
“The extent of damage to the west bank of Hood Canal is hard to describe,” reported Michael Schmidt, LLTK Director of Fish Programs, who traveled to the area on December 4.  “Much of highway 101 is inaccessible, with at least twenty landslides having occurred between Quilcene and the Skokomish River on the south end of the Canal.  In some areas, the highway is covered with up to five feet of sediment.”

Lilliwaup Hatchery, which is the primary rearing facility for the Hood Canal Steelhead Project and also houses yearling Chinook and summer Chum programs, experienced extensive damage from flash flooding.  Hatchery Manager Rick Endicott was on site during the storm.

“This is dramatically worse than anything that’s happened here before,” Rick said.  “During the storm, there was no power, no phone, no heat, and the road was impassable so no one could get here.  The equipment was submerged in 3 feet of water,” Rick said. “All I had was a flashlight. I felt helpless.”

Landslides in Lilliwaup Creek and in Beardslee Creek, the main water supply for the hatchery, deposited three to four feet of sediment and rock in and around the facility, leaving the hatchery’s main intake clogged with gravel.  The water outlet and the adjacent settling pond were buried, preventing water from draining out of the tanks and the hatchery building once the floodwaters subsided.  Floodwater eroded the gravel base under at least two 20-foot rearing tanks, causing them to sink to one side.

“Hatchery equipment was severely damaged,” Rick said. “We’re covered in mud; everything was submerged in water and mud and all of our gas or electric tools need to be repaired. Two hatchery trucks and a trailer were lodged in sediment and will need to be extracted and moved to higher ground.”

Half of the yearling Chinook (25,000 of 50,000) and all (~70,000) of the Lilliwaup summer chum (listed as threatened under ESA) being reared at the facility died when both the main water supply and backup pumps failed.   All of the 11,000+ steelhead (also listed as threatened), which were located in tanks operated by a separate gravity-fed back-up water supply, were not impacted and survived.  Summer chum being reared at a remote site on John’s Creek also survived.

LLTK staff are currently working to correct the hatchery drainage and restore the main water line.  Staff have reinforced the remaining water supply for the steelhead and borrowed a backup pump from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife while LLTK’s pumps are repaired.  Power has been restored to the facility.

“Although the damage to Lilliwaup Hatchery is serious,” said Michael Schmidt, “gratefully no one was injured and Rick Endicott was on site during the storm to do what he could to keep as many fish as possible alive.”

While insurance will cover damaged property, the most urgent need is to ensure that the Lilliwaup Hatchery is stable.  This will require excavation, dredging, earth moving, and tree removal.

Enter South Sound Puget Sound Anglers:
One of our members, John Wicklund made contact with the hatchery people inquiring as to the possibility of members from our chapter helping out.    The answer was YES.  John presented the situation to the membership at the January 2008 regular meeting & quickly got over 20 potential volunteers.  On Thursday January 17th, 13 members showed up at 9:00 AM prepared to help out.   By a little after 3:00 PM, ALL of Joy Lee's full wish list was completed.  She was one happy camper that afternoon. 

The chain saw and splitting maul crews got a heck of a lot of wood debris cleaned up, and some took firewood home.

The shovel, rake, and wheelbarrow crews moved, spread, and evened out lots of sand and gravel, filling holes, removing mounds & debris that was deposited, making the outdoor part of the hatchery look and work much better.   They even removed a couple of decaying Chum salmon who had gotten lost & trapped in the flooding confusion.

The paint crew painted the hatchery ceiling, partly with rollers and also with plenty of brush work, working in around light fixtures, pipe hangers, etc.
in the ceiling.

Many hands chipped in to move the dozen small fiberglass fish tanks back into the hatchery building, and hook up PVC drains for them.

The last project involved cleaning out the gravel-filled effluent drain ditch with the backhoe so that water from the hatchery building and the outside tanks could drain properly back into Lilliwaup Creek

Two Seattle main office employees of LLTK rode the ferry over to be at the Lilliwaup complex for the day, Barbara Cairns, LLTK Executive Director, and Natasha Dworkin, LLTK Director of Community Development.  They joined Rick Endicott, LLTK Hatchery Facility Manager, and Joy Lee, Steelhead Fisheries Biologist, and all helped to make the day an outstanding success.

LLTK provided snacks and lunch.  The homemade soup & chili were great.  During lunch, Barbara discussed informally the working relationship between LLTK and WDFW, and the “WDFW hatchery reform project”, a newly created idea that is now underway.   I WISH ALL OF YOU COULD HAVE HEARD THAT DISCUSSION! WOW!  It was surprising to hear the “behind the scenes” work that went on with very optimistic end results for new WDFW fish management where supposedly now all phases of fish management will be working together for one common goal.

Barbara and Natasha brought along baseball caps and Polartec vests, each with the LLTK logo, to give to all of us; Yeah!, and THANK YOU!   This was something you are not just given, we worked for them, & we do appreciate the thoughts behind them.

The LLTK people are great folks to assist, they are performing a great need that fit right in with our objectives to preserve, protect & enhance fisheries in Washington State.  As volunteers, and I encourage all South  Sound PSA members to chip in, as time permits, with future work parties.   Joy has some interesting ideas coming up.

For larger photos, click in the image below

The crew
leveling silt
The falls & flume afterwards Flume before work started Flume crew at work Larry at the flume LeeRoy & Clint at the flume Malcolm the athlete
Ron leveling around tanks Charlie & rake Backhoe operator Logging crew Tim the chainsaw man Wood cutting Larry & firewood
Rearing tanks uprooted Hatchery ceiling painted John & more painting LLTK  personnel helping Getting ready to reset the small tanks Ready for lunch Hatchery & office building

Hatchery Manager Rick Endicott, when giving us a tour before getting started said that the gravel just below the flume was about 10' higher than before.  This flume was used to disperse outlet water from the now unused generators back into the creek & is not used for hatchery use.  He also said that the bridge crossing the creek to the complex normally the water was 15' below the bridge, now it is about 8'.  That is a lot of gravel that came downstream, with some of it getting into the hatchery grounds.

When we were getting this tour, from the house above the flume, we could see one lone Chum salmon in the creek below.


  Back to

Originated 01-20-08
Contact the author











21st Century Salmon and Steelhead Project
Since 2005, LLTK has partnered with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) to create a new “All-H” framework that will
guide internal decision making to help recover naturally spawning salmon and steelhead and support sustainable fisheries.  LLTK has facilitated
bi-monthly meetings of a senior Planning Team appointed by WDFW Director Jeff Koenings.  The team is led by WDFW Deputy Director, Phil Anderson, and represents expertise in habitat, harvest, hatcheries, science, as well as legislative and public affairs.  The new framework sets
out what is necessary to meet the twin goals of recovery and sustainable fishing, assesses where the Department is now in relation to those goals,
and identifies benchmarks against which to measure progress.  Recognizing that they cannot accomplish the twin goals alone, and that the Department operates as a co-manager with the treaty tribes, WDFW leadership felt the urgency to reassess, budget, staff, and prioritize Department activities to more efficient, strategic effect in the larger context of salmonid recovery and sustainability.  That said, the Framework is a
living document, and next steps include more broadly sharing--internally and externally--the Planning Team’s work and refining the assumptions
that underlie it.  In 2008, the Planning Team will create the process by which the new Framework will be used and document the project.  Long
Live the Kings will continue to assist.