Skagit Environmental Endowment Commission

June 11, 2020
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

“Starting today, mineral prospectors can no longer use motorized or gravity siphon equipment to search for gold in rivers and streams that are designated as critical habitat under the federal Endangered Species Act for salmon, steelhead, or bull trout, and all fresh waters in the state that salmonids use for spawning, rearing, and migration.”

This affects the Upper Skagit and Ross Lake because bull trout are present throughout the basin. In Ruby Creek designated critical habitat includes Ruby Creek and large portions of its major tributaries, Canyon Creek and Granite Creek. Unfortunately, it only extends up to the waterfall barriers so the actively mined section of Slate Creek (trib to Canyon Cr) is not included in the updated regulatory area. However, we are pleased that mining can only proceed under more stringent restrictions.