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“Yelm Creek: The Disappearing Stream”

“As a tributary to the Nisqually River, Yelm Creek is a small, generally low gradient creek that flows nine miles, from its spring-fed source directly south of Yelm, to its confluence with the Nisqually River. A modest stream, about a foot wide near its beginning in rural farm and pasture land, then flows through the more urban area of town where it disappears during much of the year, lost to a low groundwater table and other factors. Eventually, it emerges again – above ground where closer to the river it becomes a robust, bountiful stream flowing over boulders, cobbles and gravels, supporting a healthy run of late run winter chum salmon in its final half mile.

Yelm Creek was part of the traditional territory of the Nisqually Indian Tribe. Yelm is a Native American name translated to loosely mean ‘shimmering heat waves’.”

“Today, the lower half mile of Yelm Creek, still flowing abundantly year round, is essential habitat for a variety of salmon, especially for Nisqually winter chum, a genetically distinct run of chum that is the very last run of salmon that returns to the South Sound, beginning in December and lasting into January,” quoting the Stream Team.
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– “Major phase of Ohop Creek restoration reaches important milestone”
“The project is aimed at improving habitat for Puget Sound chinook salmon, which is listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act. The overall goal is to restore as many as 6 miles of the creek, at an estimated cost of $8 million-$10 million.

Ohop Creek is one of the three streams that support chinook in the Nisqually River watershed. The others are the Nisqually itself and the Mashel River,” by Kari Plog, Tacoma News Tribune.
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Posted by Steve on September 5, 2014 at 6:39 am | Permalink

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