1Washington’s coast enjoys some of the best remaining habitat and strongest salmon, steelhead, and bull trout populations in the state, with only three listed populations.
2Of the region’s non-listed populations, abundance is mixed. While many coho and chum populations have been increasing, some populations of Chinook in northern watersheds and steelhead in southern watersheds appear to be decreasing.
The Washington coast salmon recovery region, with its predominance of forests and few major cities, represents the last, best chance for the state to protect existing salmon populations from further decline and restore them to healthier levels. The region still has the fish and the healthy rivers, estuaries, and bays. Despite the lack of development, the region’s salmon are at historically low numbers, reminding us that much hard work still lies ahead.
Fortunately, the Coast Salmon Partnership, a strong coalition of local governments, tribes, residents, and nonprofits, recognized the importance of striking a balance between habitat protection and habitat restoration. The partnership continues to be committed to managing for sustainable salmon stocks and averting additional Endangered Species Act listings through strategic project planning and implementation rather than recovery planning.