Restoring salmon habitat from the top down.
1 The upper Columbia is about abundance–big rivers, big harvests, and big fish. Diverse communities, with different interests, are united by an understanding and appreciation for the role salmon play in our identity as a region.
Upper Columbia River Salmon Recovery Region continues to improve upon last report’s results of:
The upper Columbia River region has spent most of its funding on conserving and restoring habitat for fish. Assessing habitat for restoration needs and planning for restoration also have been an important investment. For the past 20 years, the region, on average, has spent about $2 million annually on salmon recovery through the state’s Recreation and Conservation Office and the Salmon Recovery Funding Board.
In the upper Columbia region, habitat restoration has been focused on the most important actions for recovering salmon and steelhead. The top priority actions have been focused on reconnecting and restoring floodplains and reconnecting side channel and off-channel habitat. Other important work has been restoring riparian areas in forests, which help shade the water, cooling it for fish. The trees drop branches and leaves into the water, which provide
Habitat conditions in each life stage and in tributary streams, the Columbia River, and the ocean, profoundly affect upper Columbia salmon and steelhead populations. Although habitat in most upper Columbia subbasins is good, especially in headwater streams, humans have damaged habitat near valley bottoms. The Upper Columbia Salmon Recovery Board works with partners inside and outside the region to align priorities and implement the region’s recovery plan.
Accomplishments include the following:
The four subbasins of the upper Columbia River support 16 demographically-independent populations of salmon, steelhead, and bull trout. Thirteen of these populations are listed under the federal Endangered Species Act. In the past 3 years we have seen major declines in some salmon runs due to poor ocean conditions and poor habitat conditions caused by drought and fire. Spring Chinook