Heron with a salmon in its bill

Scientific monitoring and evaluation of recovery work must be fully funded

The indicators in this report tell us about the status of fish populations, watershed health, and implementation of recovery and sustainability plans, statewide. For more detail at the regional scale, please visit the individual region pages on this site.

Many of the indicators were adopted in 2009 by the state Forum on Monitoring Salmon Recovery and Watershed Health and today still provide information that is used to tell us how we are doing and whether we need to adjust recovery plan implementation. Salmon and water quality data are the foundation for understanding where we are and how far we still have to go. Although scientific monitoring and evaluation of our recovery investments was written into our plan from the beginning, it’s never been fully funded. It’s never been more important than now.

Fish Populations

Adult Fish Abundance

Washington state salmon recovery status - 2016

Washington state salmon recovery status chart 2016 - mobile

The chart shows broad trends in abundance for fish listed under the federal Endangered Species Act. “Abundance” represents the number of fish returning to spawn (either total number of fish spawning naturally or number of wild-born fish spawning naturally). The type of abundance data available and used for evaluation depends on several factors, including the ability to distinguish between hatchery-origin and natural-origin fish on spawning grounds. In most cases, the fish that are counted towards recovery goals are wild-born (natural-origin) spawners. Abundance is one key piece of information the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) uses to evaluate salmon recovery status. Additional attributes for evaluating population status that are not shown in this report include productivity, life history, genetic diversity, and the spatial structure of the populations (i.e. where and when the fish migrate and spawn). NOAA also considers threats and factors affecting the health of listed fish populations including habitat, harvest, hydro-power impacts.

Data Sources: this is a nonstatistical evaluation of adult abundance trends for wild fish and is based on data provided by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and tribes.  * Recovery goals for Puget Sound steelhead are under development.


Habitat Projects

Habitat Quality

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

Land Use Changes

In general the rate of change in riparian corridors and along shorelines is quite low: for every 1,000 acres of stream-side area we are losing about 1.3 acres of riparian vegetation per year (the goal is to reduce this to 1 acre a year). This low rate is largely attributable to local jurisdictions’ Critical Area Ordinances, which restrict their conversion, as well as conservation efforts that focus on riparian areas. Acquiring accurate data about conversion activity sound-wide is a huge task being achieved as part of ongoing research using remote sensing. As work continues, this rate will be updated and a clearer picture of change in riparian and shoreline areas will emerge. Interact with some of the data in this map, and read more from Results Washington.


Water Quality

water quality index (click >> to open legend)

Water Quantity

water quantity (click >> to open legend)



Recovery Plan Progress

Recovery Plan Implementation Progress

This indicator is measured by comparing the actions implemented against what is recommended in the regional recovery plan. The data sources for this indicator are the Regional salmon recovery organizations. Percentages are statewide averages based on estimates made by each recovery region of its progress implementing actions in recovery plans. These regional estimates are based on best professional judgment. The estimates describe progress in implementing recovery plan actions, and do not reflect the biological response of fish.



Hatchery Genetic Management Plans (click >> to open legend)



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.