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New Hunter Point bridge gives salmon free passage up stream

Hunter Point ceremony marks new approach to habitat support in Thurston County

A Wednesday ribbon cutting ceremony marked the completion of the Hunter Point Road fish barrier removal project.
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A Wednesday ribbon cutting ceremony marked the completion of the Hunter Point Road fish barrier removal project.

Officials from Thurston County and the Squaxin Island Tribe celebrated the opening of a new prefabricated bridge on Hunter Point Road near Steamboat Island, one of five projects the county is tackling this year to remove culverts and other structures blocking fish passage up streams.

Also on the list are installing bridges at Troy Drive Southeast and Flumerfelt Road Southeast and upgrading stream crossings with fish-passable structures at 26th Avenue Northeast and Waddell Creek Road Southwest. Officials say collectively the projects will provide salmon access to a 7-1/2 miles of stream that have been blocked for decades.

About 50 people attended the ribbon cutting for the finished project Wednesday.

More similar projects are expected throughout Washington state after the U.S. Supreme Court in June let stand a ruling that Washington state must continue restoring salmon habitat by removing barriers such as aging road culverts that block fish migration.

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