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Conserving wildlife habitat, agricultural and forest lands, scenic open space, wetlands, and shorelines for the benefit of our community and as a legacy for future generations.

Illabot Creek Property

Property Description

Skagit Land Trust assisted The Nature Conservancy in acquiring Illabot Creek Conservation Area with funds from the Washington State Salmon Recovery Funding Board. The Illabot Creek Conservation Area is one of nine properties transferred from The Nature Conservancy (TNC) to Skagit Land Trust in 2017. This aquisition of 1,024 acres expands the total area of lands managed by Skagit Land Trust by over one third. 

Click here to read more about the land acquisition between TNC and Skagit Land Trust in our Summer 2017 Newsletter. 

Above: The bright red of vine maples is a sign of fall in the upper Skagit River watershed. Photograph credit: Skagit Land Trust staff.
Above: The bright red of vine maples is a sign of fall in the upper Skagit River watershed. Photograph credit: Skagit Land Trust staff.

Ecology

Illabot Creek begins 7,500 feet high in the southern portion of the Mount Baker - Snoqualmie National Forest and drains into the Skagit River in Rockport, Washington. See this December 2014 news article from the Skagit Valley Herald about the legislative process that led Illabot Creek to be federally recognized under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act by President Barack Obama in 2014. 

Illabot Creek provides exceptional spawning and rearing habitat for summer and fall Chinook, Coho, Chum, Pink salmon, Steelhead, and one of the largest populations of Bull Trout in the Skagit River watershed. Numerous side channels along Illabot Creek also serve as important spawning and rearing habitat for fish. Three of the fish species native to Illabot Creek are listed under the Federal Endangered Species Act: Chinook Salmon, Native Steelhead and Bull Trout. The populations of Chum and Pink Salmon supported by Illabot Creek are some of the highest concentrations in the Skagit River watershed.

Illabot Creek supports a healthy population of salmon. Photograph credit: Skagit Land Trust staff.
Above: Salmon in Illabot Creek. Photograph credit: Skagit Land Trust staff.

The Illabot Creek Conservation Area provides important habitat for bald eagle populations that winter along the Skagit River and feed on winter salmon runs. The Skagit River supports some of the highest concentrations of wintering bald eagles in the continental United State. Land immediately adjacent to the protected property is part of the Skagit River Bald Eagle Natural Area: a mosaic of public and private lands protected and managed to support wintering populations of bald eagles along the Skagit River. 

Illabot Creek supports a healthy population of salmon. Photograph credit: Skagit Land Trust staff.

The Illabot Creek Conservation Area is one of many Skagit Land Trust properties along the upper Skagit River watershed set aside for conservation. The properties directly borders land owned by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WA DFW) to the north and west and land managed by Washington Department of Natural Resources (WA DNR) to the south. Properties managed by Skagit Land Trust and other conservation organizations in the area create a patchwork of protected riparian lands along the Skagit River. 

Illabot Creek Conservation Area protects a mature riparian forest along the Skagit River and Illabot Creek. Flooding is an important ecological process that creates a diversity of habitat types including woodlands, shrublands, wet meadows, and marshes; all of which are adapted to specific flooding cycles. The protected forest provides important ecosystem functions including improving water quality, providing shade to cool stream temperatures, and serving as a source of large woody debris to the Skagit River. Illabot Creek Conservation Area provides habitat for many species of wildlife including beaver, cougar, black bear, coyote, deer and ruffed grouse.

Illabot Creek Conservation Area protects riparian habitat along the Skagit River and Illabot Creek. Photograph credit: Skagit Land Trust staff. 

Stewardship of this property is only possible through the hard work of volunteers.

Click here to view information about the land stewards for this and other Skagit Land Trust properties.

Access

Illabot Creek Conservation Area is open to low-impact public use but is only accessible via the river or a private road. If you are interested in visiting this property, please contact the Skagit Land Trust office. 

 Map of Illabot Creek - Perrigoue Conservation Easement and surrounding conservation lands managed by Skagit Land Trust. Map created using NAIP aerial photograph by Skagit Land Trust staff.
Click on the map above for a larger image. Map generated using 2017 NAIP aerial imagergy by Skagit Land Trust staff.

Skagit Land Trust staff and volunteers help monitor fish populations at Illabot Creek Conservation Area. Photograph credit: Skagit Land Trust staff.
Above: Skagit Land Trust staff and volunteers help monitor fish populations at Illabot Creek Conservation Area. Contact Skagit Land Trust if you are intersted in volunteering! Photograph credit: Skagit Land Trust staff.

How to Get There

This property is open to limited public access via the river or through a private conservation easement owned by The Nature Conservancy off of Martin Ranch Road. Please contact Skagit Land Trust for more information.

Property Info

  • Type: Trust-Owned
  • Location: Rockport
  • Acreage: 262.02 acres
  • Date Added: This property was acquired in 2017.
  • Please visit this property!

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