Biologists Using Beavers To Bring Back Yakima River Salmon Popul - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Biologists Using Beavers To Bring Back Yakima River Salmon Population

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Biologists are now using some interesting methods to rehabilitating the Yakima River near Ellensburg with beavers. Biologists are now using some interesting methods to rehabilitating the Yakima River near Ellensburg with beavers.
ELLENSBURG, WA-- The people behind the Yakima River rehabilitation project to bring salmon back to the waterway are now looking to use beavers to help with the rehab process.

Biologists said in heavily irrigated areas of the valley where fish, crops and people often compete for water, they are turning to one of nature's best engineers to help restore streams and salmon habitat.

Landowners typically trap or kill beavers that block irrigation canals and flood homes in the valley.

This project is relocating the animals to the headwaters of the Yakima River near Ellensburg, where their talent for chewing trees and constructing lodges can be put to good use.

The project manager for this project said beavers can be really destructive, but in the right places, they can be good ecosystem engineers.

Experts said their dams and ponds add complexity to an ecosystem, slowing the flow of water and sediment downstream, which makes for great salmon habitats.

In our region and other parts of the west, beavers increasingly are being used as an effective, low-cost tool to help restore rivers.
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