YAKIMA, WA- Sixty students from Walter Strom Middle School will be planting trees along the Yakima River to improve salmon habitat. 

Throughout the week Mid-Columbia Fisheries, Trout Unlimited, Kittitas Conservation Trust and, Washington Conservation Corps will also be planting trees. 

Mid-Columbia Fisheries, Yakama Nation and other partners have worked to restore the Yakima river with "wood trapping structures that we would be able to install in the river to catch wood, build log jams and recreate fish habitat," said Rebecca Wassell, Yakima Basin Program Director, Mid-Columbia Fisheries.

"This is the area where Chinook Salmon and Steel had come and they build their red, which are nests out of gravel, they lay their eggs, and this is where the young fish need great habitat to grow up in," said  Wassell. 

The wood trappings have already started to form pools that protect salmon.

Wassell said "for salmon to come back here they have gone almost 500 miles to come up here and spawn. Were working on three to four miles for them but this is a very critical 3-4 miles." 

With the wood trappings in place community members are planting trees to restore even more wildlife in the area

"When we have kids and adults involved in taking care of the resources our hope is that long term they will be people who advocate for it's protection," said Wassell. 

The project began on August of this year and is scheduled to be completed by the Summer of 2020. 

The restoration project will also create new pools for salmon and trout, over time develop new streams and habitat for beavers and reduce fire risk. 

The next planting day will be on Saturday, October 26, 2019 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the I-90/exit 78 Nelson Park and Ride. 

 For more information and to sign up click here.

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