Building a Better Home

Salmon use different habitats at different life stages, including small streams, larger rivers, the Columbia River, and the ocean. Although habitat conditions in most upper Columbia rivers generally are good, especially in headwater streams, humans have damaged habitat near valley bottoms. The Upper Columbia Salmon Recovery Board works with partners to align priorities and implement the region’s recovery plan. Since spring Chinook salmon, steelhead trout, and bull trout were listed under the Endangered Species Act, hundreds of projects have been implemented in the upper Columbia region to restore habitat.

Wildfire significantly affects habitat in this region. Numerous wildfires have burned across swaths of the region in the past 7 years, leading to changes in both the uplands and streamside areas. Scientists still are working to understand the effects wildfires have on fish habitat, such as how changes in riverbank shading and erosion of fine sediment impact fish health and abundance.

  • 222 miles of stream made accessible
  • 163 blockages, impediments, barriers impeding passage
  • 422 riparian acres treated*
  • 43 riparian stream miles treated*

*Riparian areas are streamside forests, wetlands, and vegetated areas. “Treated” usually means fenced to exclude cattle, planted with native trees and shrubs, or removed invasive plants, or a mixture of all.

For more about habitat in this region, read about the work to prioritize specific watersheds and stream sections where habitat restoration projects should take place.

For more information about habitat project actions, visit the Recreation and Conservation Office’s Salmon Recovery Portal and Project Search public databases.

View data on Habitat statewide. Visit the Salmon Data Hub for more of the data behind the indicator charts and graphs used throughout this site.