To protect and maintain existing healthy salmon stocks, restore degraded habitats and recover diminished salmon populations throughout the watersheds that empty directly into the Pacific. In so doing, it is our goal to help maintain vibrant and diverse local natural resource-based communities.
What do we do?
Restore and enhance access to historic habitat
Roads of all kinds were constructed for decades with little or no consideration of fish’s ability to pass through these barriers. Some of the best and most cost effective work we can do is to replace old and often failing culverts with bridges and specifically designed culverts that allow fish upstream into as much of their historic habitat as possible.
Restore and preserve properly functioning riparian areas
Past land use practices have greatly degraded the banks of rivers and streams. A legacy of poor past forestry practices has left many of these riparian zones degraded. In some areas, livestock impacts need to be reduced. Still, many functioning and healthy riparian areas remain and also need protection.
Restore properly functioning hydrology
Ditching, filling and armoring stream banks cause extreme winter high and summer low flows. Abnormally high waters scour spawning grounds, restrict access to rearing habitat, degrade water quality through sedimentation, increase bank erosion, and increase downstream flooding. Reversing this historic manipulation of streams’ and rivers’ landscapes is an important part of improving wild salmon habitat.
Restore floodplain and stream channel function
Human modification of floodplains has had a serious negative effect on off-channel habitat for wild salmon. Levees, dikes, revetments, and roads have disconnected valuable floodplains, off channel habitat, wetlands and sloughs. This has drastically affected how rivers function and has resulted in huge losses of salmon habitat for feeding, spawning, rearing, and refuge from floodwaters. Throughout the region, floodplain restoration is a priority.
Restore, enhance, and protect estuaries
Salmon depend upon Grays Harbor and Willapa Bay for food, rearing, and migration habitat. Although in far better condition than similar habitats in the state, loss of near shore habitat and degraded water quality are among the greatest problems needing work.
Research, surveys and assessments
Much still needs to be learned about the condition of our coastal salmon stocks, their habitats and about the complex interactions between habitat, harvest and hatcheries.