Monday, October 28, 2013

Lower Columbia Fish Recovery

One of the yearly activities I engage in is site visits for projects proposed for funding by the Lower Columbia River Fish Recovery Board.   The projects that we are looking at are intended to help recover salmon and steelhead listed under the Endangered Species Act.  Fish recovery boards were established by the State of Washington in the late 1990’s to coordinate recover actions and administer State and Federal funds for fisheries restoration.  Generally, the process works like this:

·        the recovery board announces the availability and timeline for applications for a new funding round;

·        meets with project proponents to explain the application process;

·        receives draft applications from applicants;

·        schedules site visits for proposed projects;

·        schedules a draft review with the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC);

·        provides comments back to applicants to incorporate into final applications;

·        schedules a final project review and ranking with the TAC;

·        presents the TAC recommended project list to the board for approval.

There are a few other steps at the State level, but basically this is the process that starts again the following year.  Below are photos taken during this years’first-day site visits for proposed projects in May.

Rock Creek looking upstream from the bridge.  This is a preservation project to maintain good conditions in a productive stream.

Rock Creek in the Lewis River Basin.  Sometimes conditions can be hazardous.  Proposed project is land acquisition to protect existing habitat values.

This is a side-channel site on the East Fork Lewis River that is being proposed as a design project to improve habitat conditions.  The East Fork Lewis River can be seen in the background.

Upper Daybreak Park site on the East Fork Lewis River, site of proposed project to add cover and habitat complexity for fish.  Note the lack of features in the existing channel, as well as bank erosion on the meander bend.

This is a site on the East Fork Lewis River near the town of La Center Washington.  The project is a design project to augment fish habitat in the existing wetland.

Submitted by Ron Rhew

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