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River Health

There are many simple ways you can help protect the Snohomish river.

Why protect the river?

A healthy river benefits the local community and the ecosystem. Clean drinking water, flood risk mitigation, and recreation opportunities are just some of the benefits of a healthy watershed. In Snohomish, the local population of salmon depends on a clean and protected waterway. Other fish, birds, and countless wildlife also depend on the river for food and habitat.

Trade out those lead fishing weights

Locals have fished in the Snohomish river for centuries. With this extensive use, an unfortunate pollutant has accumulated in the river. An intrepid local river advocate has recovered more than 3000lbs of lead fishing weights from just one small section of the river. Lead is a neurotoxin, and was banned from most consumer products in the 1970s, due to the severe impacts on health and development. With alternatives available, it is not necessary to continue dropping toxic fishing weights into our local environment. 

Bullet Weights was founded with the aim to reduce lead pollution in fishing, and have been manufacturing lead free fishing sinkers since 1970. They offer a variety of alternatives to lead, including steel, brass, tungsten, and tin.

Pick up litter

When enjoying the lovely streets of Snohomish, especially beautiful parks along the river, be sure to place any waste into the appropriate garbage or recycle bin. Trash on the street can be carried by wind or rain and will find its way to creeks and rivers. Once in the river, it can quickly be flushed downstream, and could ultimately end up polluting the ocean.

When recreating in riverside parks, practice Leave No Trace principles to keep nature wild and beautiful.


If you have questions about Snohomish River clean up opportunities, contact:

Keep the river wild

Even if you are “allowed” to, never drive a vehicle onto a sand or gravel bar in the river. This compacts soils and degrades the ecosystem, making it harder for plants to grow and wildlife to thrive. It will also crush and destroy fish eggs in the area. Use the public boat launch to access the river safely. 

Leakage of oil, gas, antifreeze, and brake fluid from parked vehicles is being deposited directly into the river ecosystem. Next time you are in a covered parking garage, look at the pavement where each vehicle parks and you will see the stain from such leaks. These fluids are unhealthy to salmon and other fauna, and flora.

Monitor introduced species

The American Bullfrog, native to the southeastern United States, is a voracious predator here in the Pacific Northwest. It is capable of destroying native species of amphibia and fish. Never turn pet frogs loose. Frog-jumping contests in the past in Snohomish purchased hundreds of this species for events and gave them away.