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Oyehut Ditch vegetation removal began this week

Many of you know about the flooding that occurs inside and outside of the City limits as a result of drainage issues associated with the Oyehut Ditch. These problems have gone unaddressed for years, but as your Mayor, I made it a personal priority to work with the affected citizens in addition to WSDOT and our County Commissioner, Vickie Raines to mitigate flooding and improve the flow of water to the canal network.

This process was anything but straightforward as the City needed to work with entities such as the Department of Ecology and the Washington State Fish and Wildlife to design mitigation plans and protect the endangered Olympic Mud Minnow.

Oyehut Ditch2I am pleased to announce that vegetation removal began this week. The focus of work will be done from Shoal street to Arrow Lumber. The crews have been diligently working with local businesses to minimize road closures, and along the way, work crews discovered a dozen tires, bicycles and the infamous Olympic Mud Minnow in the water. With vegetation removal nearing completion, the next phase of the project will involve removing muck from the Oyehut Ditch. Based on the work that has been done so far, we have already seen a significant drop of almost a foot in water levels in the ditch.

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“The Olympic mudminnow (Novumbra hubbsi) is a fish native to the western lowlands of Washington: the Chehalis River basin, Deschutes River basin, and some Olympic Peninsula basins.[2] It grows to 8 cm (about 3 in) in length, and is Washington's only known endemic freshwater fish species. Although they strongly resemble killifish, mudminnows are more closely related to pike and muskellunge.”