In the lower Columbia, salmon and steelhead inhabit nearly 2,300 river miles throughout 17 subbasins and the estuary. It is estimated that the habitat has declined anywhere from 30-90 percent. While restoration of all lost habitat is neither practical nor necessary, success in recovering our salmon runs will require both restoring degraded habitat as well as protecting functioning habitat.
The most common impacts to habitat conditions are:
This information forms the basis for identifying priority protection and restoration needs. Referred to as Tier 1 and 2 reaches, these 575 highest priority reaches encompass 675 river miles and are the primary focus of restoration work. To date, lower Columbia sponsors have implemented more than 2,700 projects using a variety of funding sources.