Adapting Together

Sustaining salmon in a changing climate
I’m thrilled my kids and kids across our state are able to learn about the lifecycle of a salmon and the importance of clean, cool water for their survival. This connection will serve them and our larger conservation efforts for years to come.”

If salmon could talk, they'd say thank you.

“Thanks for bridging the way to our spawning grounds, for your unwavering support, and for your tenacity in the face of daunting challenges. Despite our dwindling numbers, those of us who return each year are more determined than ever, offering hope for our offspring and future generations.”

Planting a tree by a local stream always inspires hope, but witnessing thousands of dedicated volunteers creating change fills me with optimism for our future. The dedication and perseverance of volunteers affirms our ability to create a future with healthy watersheds, abundant salmon, diverse wildlife, and an environment where we can all thrive.

Since 1990, the 14 Regional Fisheries Enhancement Groups (RFEGs) that comprise the Regional Fisheries Coalition (RFC) have formed vital collaborations with elected officials, tribes, agencies, schools, businesses, and communities to achieve results greater than the sum of our parts. This collective effort, coordinated through the RFC, is making a notable impact, evidenced by increasing numbers of salmon returning to restored habitats.

If salmon could speak, they’d express their gratitude and plead for us to continue our essential work. We need you now more than ever,” they’d say. 

Thank you for being part of this remarkable work.

Rachel Vasak, Board President, Regional Fisheries Coalition

Making an impact, together, for 30+ years

Fish
Released

92759583

Fish Passage
Projects

1043

Miles of
Stream Opened

1477

Volunteer
Hours

1938633

Salmon
Projects

4759

Miles of
Restoration

2389

THE REGIONAL FISHERIES COALITION

Local dedication; statewide impact.

Our hearts and roots are in our local communities, but the effects of our work span the state. The RFEGs that comprise the Regional Fisheries Coalition collaborate strategically to meet statewide salmon and habitat recovery goals while staying deeply committed to the places we call home.

New solutions for wild places, for salmon,
for all of us.

Habitat

Completing small and landscape-scale habitat projects, often in partnership with private property owners.

Featured Project
Caldero Planting Project

 

RFEG: North Olympic Salmon Coalition

In partnership with the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, 250+ volunteers planted more than 6,700 native plants along the Dungeness River floodplain.

Education

Providing experiences that apply classroom learning to the real world; helping curious students to become environmental stewards.

Featured Project
Salmon
in the Schools

 

RFEG: Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group

In 2022-23, Washington RFEGs and other nonprofit partners worked together to bring Salmon in the Schools programming to high-poverty elementary schools.

Enhancement

Releasing millions of fish yearly, in accordance with regional recovery plans; returning carcasses to provide nutrients to forest & river food webs.

Featured Project
Willow
Creek Coho

 

RFEG: Sound Salmon Solutions

More than 40,000 coho salmon were released into eight local streams by community volunteers who dedicated more than 175 hours to this salmon restoration effort.

Monitoring

Training citizen scientists to track and evaluate restoration impacts; involving communities directly in salmon recovery in their watersheds.

Featured Project
Rue Creek Smolt Study

 

RFEG: Willapa Bay Regional Fisheries Enhancement Group

The performance of wild- and hatchery-origin remote site incubator (RSI) hatched fry was evaluated, to establish fry survival rates and population composition.

funding our work
The importance of these collaborative efforts cannot be stressed enough. The interwoven nature of our state’s rivers and streams crosses through various lands—state, federal, and private. Only through a unified, collaborative approach with all stakeholders can we hope to truly restore and maintain the vitality of these precious watersheds.”

Cultivating Growth: How We Multiply
Public Investment

Habitat restoration projects are intricate and often demand diverse funding sources. Initial funding from state and federal grants, courtesy of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the US Fish and Wildlife Service, acts as the seed money. RFEGs then leverage each dollar, turning it into an additional $8, significantly magnifying the original investment.

featured project
Mill Creek Flood Control Channel Improvements

This year, passage improvements were constructed on 1,200 feet of this concrete-lined flood control channel. The channel, constructed in the 1940’s by the Corps of Engineers, has saved Walla Walla from flooding many times, but presents a barrier to more than 50 miles of headwater habitat for salmon, steelhead, and bull trout.  To date, nearly 70% of the concrete channel has been improved for passage.

Fiscal Year 2022 Funding Sources

This is part of $13.7M invested in Mill Creek by seven funders since 2006. 

Brian Burns, of Tri-State Steelheaders (right) with Washington Governor Jay Inslee, viewing fish passage improvements to Mill Creek.

$1,667,912 – Brian Abbott Fish Barrier Removal Board

$52,876 – Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation through Bonneville Power Administration

$324,923 – Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife

$4,134 – Tri-State Steelheaders’ RFEG Funds

TOTAL PROJECT COST

$2,049,845

Building Bridges:
Sustaining Salmon in a Changing Climate

In the face of a warming climate, salmon need our unity and ingenuity. Only by working together, building bridges, and transcending boundaries can we safeguard these vital species that rely on cold, clean water to thrive.

Removing
Barriers

To restore thriving salmon runs, we must dismantle not only the physical barriers to their migration but also the figurative walls that hinder progress.

Featured Project
Geissler Creek
Fish Passage

 

 RFEG: Chehalis Basin Fisheries Task Force

A partnership with the Recreation and Conservation Office, Salmon Recovery Funding Board, and Grays Harbor County to replace a barrier with a bridge, benefitting five species of salmonids.

Partnering for
Success

Collaboration and partnership are at the heart of salmon recovery. Together, we can amplify our impact, and create a sustainable future for salmon and their habitat in a changing world.

Featured Project
ClimeTime Teacher Training

 

RFEG: Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association

A professional development program that provided workshops for 49 teachers, and helped students improve 7.88 acres of riparian habitat.

Flood
Mitigation

As our planet's temperature rises, so too, does the frequency and severity of flood events. By safeguarding salmon habitat, we help ensure their enduring presence in our ecosystems.

Featured Project
Salmon Friendly
Yards

 

RFEG: Mid Sound Fisheries Enhancement Group 

A community effort to install 25 rain gardens, cisterns, and other projects in the private yards of people living near two important salmon streams.

“The RFEGs and WDFW work together on a wide variety of…projects to recover salmon. The RFEGs leverage funding and bring together partners, landowners, and contractors to complete large and complex habitat restoration and fish passage projects necessary to meet state salmon recovery goals. (They) also conduct robust education and outreach, including educating the next generation on the lifecycles and importance of salmon in Washington. We are proud to work with them to streamline restoration and increase public awareness around salmon recovery.”

2022-23 Featured Projects

Click on an RFEG to view its 2022-23 featured project.

Nooksack Salmon Enhancement AssociationSkagit Fisheries Enhancement GroupNorth Olympic Salmon CoalitionPacific Coast Salmon CoalitionHood Canal Salmon Enhancement GroupChehalis Basin Fisheries Task ForceWillapa Bay Regional Fisheries Enhancement GroupLower Columbia Fish Enhancement GroupSouth Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement GroupMid Sound Fisheries Enhancement GroupMid-Columbia Fisheries Enhancement GroupSound Salmon SolutionsCascade FisheriesTri State Steelheaders

Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association

Featured Project: ClimeTime Teacher Training & Students for Salmon
RFEG: Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association

In 2022-23 NSEA's ClimeTime professional development workshops and Students for Salmon program provided training for 49 teachers, helped students improve 7.88 acres of riparian habitat, led 81 classroom field trips, engaged 280 parent volunteers, supported career pathways for eight AmeriCorps members, created 1,686 Student Scientists, and trained 31 interns.

Learn More >

Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group

Featured Project: Ovenell Slough at Cedar Grove Habitat Improvement
RFEG: Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group

Skagit Fisheries worked with Skagit County to correct a fish passage blockage on Ovenell Slough and restore habitat for Chinook salmon, while also provide ADA via a pedestrian bridge for the community to reach public lands along the Skagit River.

Learn More >

North Olympic Salmon Coalition

Featured Project: Caldero Side Channel Community Planting Project
RFEG: North Olympic Salmon Coalition

In partnership with the Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe, over 250 community volunteers planted over 6,700 native trees and shrubs along a recently-restored Dungeness River floodplain habitat.

Learn More >

Pacific Coast Salmon Coalition

Featured Project: Salmon Camp
RFEG: Pacific Coast Salmon Coalition

In partnership with the the Quillayute Valley School District, 6th and 7th graders participated in six weeks of writing, reading, and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education, based on salmon natural history and societal impacts. PCSC planned several field trips along with many great activities to get kids outside.

Learn More >

Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group

Featured Project:  Salmon in the Schools
RFEG: Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group

In 2022-23, Washington RFEGs and other nonprofit partners worked together to bring Salmon in the Schools programming to high-poverty elementary schools.

Learn More >

Chehalis Basin Fisheries Task Force

Featured Project:  Geissler Creek Fish Passage Restoration
RFEG: Chehalis Basin Fisheries Task Force

In partnership with the Recreation and Conservation Office, the Salmon Recovery Funding Board, and Grays Harbor County, CBFTF replaced a 33% passable barrier with a 44' long bridge, benefitting five species of salmonids.

Learn More >

Willapa Bay Regional Fisheries Enhancement Group

Featured Project:  Rue Creek Smolt Study
RFEG: Willapa Bay

The performance of wild- and hatchery-origin remote site incubator (RSI) hatched fry was evaluated, to establish fry survival rates and population composition.

Learn More >

Lower Columbia Fish Enhancement Group

Featured Project:  Baird Creek Liberation
RFEG: Lower Columbia Fish Enhancement Group

This project will notch a historic splash dam to re-establish fish passage and release trapped spawning gravel into the lower three miles of Baird Creek (a tributary of the Coweeman River).

Learn More >

South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group

Featured Project:  Deschutes River Restoration
RFEG: South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group

Instream log jams, a high water floodplain channel and nine acres of riparian reforestation were installed along a one-mile stretch of the Deschutes River.

Learn More >

Mid Sound Fisheries Enhancement Group

Featured Project: Salmon Friendly Yards
RFEG: Mid Sound Fisheries Enhancement Group

We worked with community members to install 25 rain gardens, cisterns, and other projects in the private yards of people living near two important salmon streams.

Learn More >

Mid-Columbia Fisheries Enhancement Group

Featured Project:  The Little Naches Levee Reach
RFEG: Mid-Columbia Fisheries Enhancement Group

This project improved 1.24 miles of habitat by removing two levees, rebuilding the riverbed, adding wood, and blocking vehicle access.

Learn More >

Sound Salmon Solutions

Featured Project: Willow Creek Salmon & Watershed Education Center Coho Rearing and Release
RFEG: Sound Salmon Solutions

Over 40,000 Coho salmon were released into eight different local streams by 50 returning volunteers, dedicating more than 175 hours to salmon restoration.

Learn More >

Cascade Fisheries

Featured Project:  Big Meadow Creek Fish Passage and Wood Restoration
RFEG: Cascade Fisheries

Cascade Fisheries partnered with the US Forest Service to correct one fish passage barrier and place 40 unanchored trees in Big Meadow Creek, which is home to ESA-listed spring chinook, steelhead, and bulltrout.

Learn More >

Tri State Steelheaders

Featured Project: Mill Creek Passage – Division to Roosevelt
RFEG: Tri State Steelheaders

Passage improvements were constructed on 1,200 feet of the concrete-lined flood control channel.

Learn More >

2023
By the Numbers

Fish
Released

2203213

Miles of
Habitat Opened

53

Volunteer
Hours

76085

Fish Passage
Projects

30

Miles of
Restoration

215

Carcasses
Distributed

77123

Photo Gallery

Click on any image for a closer look.

Learn More & Get Involved

Find Your RFEG

Find the RFEG nearest you and learn how you can support their efforts.

Engage With Us

Donate, attend an event, or volunteer with
your local RFEG.

Help us continue this critical work

Join us in nurturing salmon and communities

RFEG projects not only sustain our salmon resources but also foster vibrant communities, job opportunities, environmental stewardship, and inspire a new generation of salmon advocates. We invite you to show your support by participating, contributing, or delving deeper into our mission today.

“Salmon shape the Pacific Northwest landscape, culturally, economically, and even literally, bringing important nutrients inland to forests when they spawn. While Puget Sound Chinook populations remain at low levels, they are holding steady and that wouldn’t be the case without the hard work of RFEGs. It’s thanks to this local work—local habitat restoration, local stewardship, local monitoring, and education—that we can make progress on salmon recovery. The RFEGs help us restore our salmon populations, uphold Tribal treaty rights, and retain the qualities that make this state and this region so special.”

LAURA BLACKMORE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, PUGET SOUND PARTNERSHIP