Aerial view of the Tucannon River

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Habitat in the Snake River region

Fish Passage and Floodplain Connectivity are the Priorities across the region and in-stream flow is the priority for the Walla Walla River

Investing in habitat is key for salmon recovery. The region has emphasized removing barriers to fish migration, planting trees to shade and cool the water, and removing and setting back dikes to allow rivers to meander and connect with their floodplains.  Because of the hot summers, the region also has focused on keeping water in the streams. Recent accomplishments include the following:

  • Four different projects (sponsored by the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, Columbia Conservation District, and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife) will install tree root wads and log structures in 3 miles of the Tucannon River and in Penawawa and Pataha Creeks, all to improve salmon habitat. On the Tucannon River, the Columbia Conservation District set-back more than 1 mile of dike in 2016.
  • Asotin Conservation District restored complete passage at an old irrigation diversion dam in Asotin Creek.
  • Palouse Conservation District will remove a fish-blocking pipe on Steptoe Creek, opening 3.5 miles of habitat.
  • Nez Perce Tribe has completed designs to restore fish passage on Bufford Creek, opening more than 5 miles of habitat.

Increased sediment entering local streams is impacting salmon

Many conditions have made life hard for fish in our region. The floodplains, banks, and channels of our streams and rivers have been altered, which results in water that can be too warm, too low, and muddy. Migrating salmon find blockages and dams.

Indicator data

Habitat projects

Habitat Quality

large wood (volume) – click >> to open legend

For more information about habitat project actions, visit the Recreation and Conservation Office’s Habitat Work Schedule and Project Search public databases.

Visit How we measure for background about this data, and our Salmon Data Portal for original source data behind the indicator charts and graphs used throughout this site.