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Bringing the salmon back to Wilson Creek

Restoring salmon habitat in a stream in Washington State required high-tech modeling along with traditional engineering skills.


Modeling the behavior of rivers, lakes, and other inland waterways may be just as challenging as analyzing oceanfront phenomena.

As part of an effort to restore the salmon fishery in the state of Washington, barriers to fish were removed from Wilson Creek in Kittitas County. Optimizing the habitat required sophisticated analysis.


Mott MacDonald was retained to help increase complexity and enhance fish habitat in the creek. We provided services including data analysis, survey, construction estimate, engineering plans, and construction administration.

We brought an array of advanced tools to the job: US Army Corps of Engineers models such as SED2D and CMS, as well as the advanced 2D and 3D models MORPHO, FLOW3D, and others.


A specially designed weir now ensures the correct flow depth and velocity for fish to pass a decommissioned diversion structure.

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