The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) declared Puget Sound Steelhead as a Threatened Species on 11 May 2007. On 14 January NMFS proposed rules which designates most rivers and streams in Kitsap County as Critical habitat.
The continued destruction and modification of steelhead habitat is the principal factor limiting the viability of the Puget Sound steelhead DPS into the foreseeable future.
Given the best available information, we conclude that there are not specific nearshore areas within the geographical area occupied by Puget Sound steelhead on which are found those physical or biological features essential to their conservation.
Properties excluded in this designation:
- Federal (Military) Property 28 Stream miles
- Conservation Land Trusts 1434 Stream miles
- Indian Tribal properties 68 Stream miles
NMFS is proposing to define the lateral extent of designated critical habitat as the width of the stream channel defined by the ordinary high water line as defined by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
This appears to have its greatest effect on activities that affect the streambed eg. road construction, bridges, culverts and dredging.