USGS Washington Water Science Center
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Fine-grained sediments in the lower reach of the Sauk River are adversely affecting the health and spawning of Chinook salmon. Climate change and forestry practices have been proposed as suspected causes of a reported increase in sediment loading to the river.
To determine the amount and timing of suspended-sediment loading to the river and possible connections to adverse effects on Chinook salmon, the USGS, in cooperation with the Sauk-Suiattle Indian Tribe, will monitor turbidity (an indicator of suspended sediment) and temperature in the river, examine the relation between salmon life cycle and the timing of sediment loading, and identify any land-cover-related causes of increased sediment loading.