Ten fish passage projects in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho will receive over $3.5 million in fiscal year 2022 funding from President Biden’s . The National Fish Passage Program, facilitated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, supports aquatic ecosystem restoration projects and restores free-flowing waters, allowing for enhanced fish migration and protecting communities from flooding.
Today’s news locally amplifies a Department of the Interior national announcement of 40 fish passage projects in 23 states and Puerto Rico that will receive a total of nearly $38 million in fiscal year 2022 funding from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The funds will bolster efforts to address outdated, unsafe or obsolete dams, culverts, levees and other barriers fragmenting our nation’s rivers and streams, which will help restore fish passages and aquatic connectivity.
“Across the country, millions of barriers block fish migration and put communities at higher risk of flooding,” said Secretary Deb Haaland. “President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides a once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest in our nation’s rivers, streams and communities and help restore habitat connectivity for aquatic species around the country.
A number of the projects receiving funding nationally will directly address issues related to and serve disadvantaged communities, while also spanning the nation geographically and addressing a wide array of diverse aquatic resource issues.
“Aquatic restoration projects funding by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law are important examples of how nature-based projects can enable ecosystems and communities to be more resilient to climate change,” said Service Director Martha Williams. “In addition to providing benefits for fish and aquatic species, the National Fish Passage Program’s work to restore degraded and fragmented aquatic habitats decreases public safety hazards, improves infrastructure resilience, and creates jobs, stimulating the local economy.”
In the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Pacific Region, the bill will support three projects in Oregon, six in Washington, and one in Idaho, totaling more than $3.5 million in fish passage improvements. These projects include:
Mill Creek Fish Passage. Caribou, ID - $60,000
This project will replace an undersized and perched pipe culvert on Mill Creek, a tributary to Blackfoot Reservoir, improving spawning habitat access for Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout.
Illingsworth Creek Fish Passage Improvement. Tillamook, OR - $150,000
This project is part of the Salmon Superhighway strategic effort to restore 95% historic habitat connectivity for five species of anadromous Endangered Species Act (ESA)-listed salmonids and Pacific lamprey while reducing flooding and improving public safety Tillamook County. This project will replace an undersized culvert with a 45-foot bridge, providing nearly two miles of habitat access for Oregon Coast chum, spring and fall Chinook salmon, ESA-listed coho salmon, summer and winter steelhead, sea-run and resident cutthroat trout, and Tribally significant Pacific lamprey.
Myrtle Creek Fish Passage Improvement. Tillamook, OR - $500,000
This project is part of the Salmon Superhighway strategic Fish Passage partnership in the Tillamook and Nestucca Basins of coastal Oregon. These funds will be used to remove an undersized fish passage barrier on Myrtle Creek, reopening a mile of high priority spawning and rearing habitat.
Samson Creek Fish Passage Improvement. Tillamook, OR - $100,000
By relacing an undersized culvert with a 45-foot bridge, the project will provide nearly two miles of habitat access for Pacific lamprey, spring and fall Chinook salmon, ESA-listed coho salmon and chum salmon, summer and winter steelhead, and sea-run cutthroat trout. This project is also part of the Salmon Superhighway.
Anton and Cedar Creek Fish Passage Restoration. Clallam, WA - $992,000
This project will correct two fish passage barriers within the Sol-Duc watershed on the Olympic Coast, opening nearly five miles of anadromous habitat that includes beaver ponds and wetlands.
Johnson Creek Fish Passage Improvement. Okanogan, WA - $600,000
Johnson Creek is a tributary of the Okanogan River near Riverside, Washington. This tributary is important to the overall recovery goals in the Okanogan Basin and is identified as one of few lower Okanogan River tributaries that provide a cold-water refuge for steelhead and Chinook salmon when summer water temperatures soar. The project will replace four undersized culverts and remove two in-channel barriers, reconnecting over nine miles of prime salmon spawning and rearing habitats.
Schafer Boom Road Camp Creek Fish Passage Barrier Corrections. Grays Harbor, WA - $75,900
This project will remove a 33% passable fish passage barrier and replace it with a that is fully passable to fish and other aquatic species in Camp Creek, opening over 10 miles of important aquatic habitat to local wildlife.
South Fork Tieton Bridge Fish Passage Improvement. Yakima, WA - $400,000
This funding will support the construction of a fish passage and enhanced spillway at Tieton Dam to allow fish access to the South Fork Tieton River from Rimrock Reservoir, allowing more flexibility in management of the Yakima Basin, while supporting habitat for Sockeye, Summer, and Fall Chinook in-migration. This project also provides increased drought year flexibility in management of other Yakima Basin Reservoirs which have known bull trout passage blockages during droughts.
West Fork Grays River Fish Passage Project. Pacific, WA - $99,800
Funding will be used to remove a derelict water intake infrastructure which limits fish passage to 33%. The intake removal will also restore fish passage to over 15 miles of upstream spawning and rearing habitat. This project will benefit ESA-listed Grays River populations of winter steelhead, coho, fall chinook, and chum salmon.
Wisen Creek Fish Passage Restoration. Clallam, WA - $551,000
This project will replace three undersized culvert fish barriers with fish passable structures to increase the quantity and quality of accessible spawning and rearing habitat for coho, steelhead, and trout.
For more information about the National Fish Passage Program and the BIL-funded projects, please visit the Service’s Fish Passage Program website.
Enhancing wildlife corridors and habitat connectivity, including fish passage, is an early focus of the Biden-Harris administration’s America the Beautifulinitiative. Today’s announcement comes on the heels of Monday’s launch of a separate $1 billion America the Beautiful Challenge that will leverage federal conservation and restoration investments with private and philanthropic contributions to accelerate locally led land, water and wildlife conservation efforts across the country.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information, visit www.fws.gov/pacific, or connect with us through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Medium and Linkedin.