regional fisheries coalition | 2019-20 annual report
2020 has required it of all of us,
but it's nothing new for salmon.
hello, we’re glad you’re here.
We are the Regional Fisheries Coalition
The 14 nonprofits that comprise the Regional Fisheries Coalition (RFC) have embraced resilience.
Inspired by the return of salmon, despite the many obstacles they face, we continue to restore streams, rivers, shorelines, and floodplains; and to proactively engage our local communities in salmon recovery.
Join us in celebrating the successes that this resilience brought in 2019-20, and as we mark our 30th year of accomplishments on behalf of salmon.
Celebrating 30 Years of Work for Salmon
the unified voice of washington's 14 RFEGs
Our programs are statewide; our priorities are local.
As independent nonprofits, the 14 Regional Fisheries Enhancement Groups (RFEGs) are community-driven. We know the rivers in our regions intimately. And we know our communities. We are nimble, even in the face of challenges; we are resilient.
We address the most critical issues facing salmon recovery
We implement projects to restore watersheds, forests, and shorelines: providing fish passage, lessening flood risk, and improving water quality and habitat for fish and other wildlife.
Replacing a barrier culvert on Carey’s Creek, a tributary to the Skagit River; restoring access for coho salmon, Chinook, steelhead and resident trout.
Educating the next generation is key to salmon recovery, as curious students become stewards of our natural resources. We provide experiences that apply classroom learning to the real world.
A partnership with the Mt. Baker/Snoqualmie National Forest to educate residents and visitors about wild salmon in the Nooksack watershed.
We release millions of fish yearly, in accordance with regional recovery plans, for sustainable fishing. Then we return salmon carcasses to provide nutrients to forest & river food webs.
Distributing 8,000 steelhead carcasses high in the Quileute River watershed to decompose, providing rich nutrients to aquatic life system-wide.
We train citizen scientists to help quantify salmon populations and track and evaluate the long term impacts of restoration, involving communities directly in salmon recovery in their watersheds.
Monitoring summer chum to understand their abundance, productivity, and survival rate in comparison with other watersheds.
funding our work
Creativity + Diversity
= Financial Resilience
We are creative in how we fund our work: expertly knitting together funding from multiple sources to implement large projects, and leveraging volunteer support whenever possible.
In 2019–20, for every $1 in base state and federal funding received, we secured an additional $9 toward salmon recovery, greatly amplifying the initial investment.
This seed money was essential. It allowed us to take projects from ideas into action; bringing together partners, writing grants, and training staff.
featured project: implementation funding
North Fork Teanaway Floodplain Restoration
A collaboration with the Yakama Nation to improve in-stream salmon and steelhead habitat on 1.5 miles of the North Fork Teanaway River.
Salmon Recovery Funding Board: $475,000
Yakima Basin Integrated Plan: $673,500
Bonneville Power Administration: $540,500
Trout Unlimited: $5,000
Volunteer Labor: $1,000
Total Project Cost:
In addition to the above, RFEG funds support early project design and grant writing, making this and other projects possible. A design grant from the Salmon Recovery Funding Board was also critical prior to implementation.
Adaptation + Innovation
Like salmon, we adapted this year to some of the most pressing challenges in our communities.
When the Covid-19 health crisis closed schools and businesses, RFEGs were quick to react. Education staff continued supporting teachers to deliver exciting watershed curriculum remotely. We strengthened the connections between our groups, and shared our lessons learned. We are confident that these connections, and our continued work to support local teachers, will set us up for further success.
A combination of recorded and live virtual field trip lessons to engage local 5th graders in water quality education.
As awareness of our changing climate grows, we incorporate climate resilience into our restoration projects. Stream-side plantings will cool waterways for cold water species, like salmon and steelhead, while absorbing carbon dioxide. As scientists predict that lessened snowpack will lead to more flooding, our work to connect floodplains will protect salmon redds and local communities alike.
South Prairie Habitat Restoration
Improving habitat for juvenile salmon and other species by re-opening and directing flows into an historic side channel.
Partnerships with a range of stakeholders are central to our work. We're especially grateful for our relationships with Tribes. We value their deep connections with salmon, their essential role as co-managers, and their leadership in salmon recovery. We are fortunate to collaborate with Tribes on projects that honor their treaty obligations, First Nations status, and salmon recovery and cultural goals.
Reopening salmon passage by replacing culverts with a bridge. A partnership with Elwha Klallam, Jamestown S’Klallam, Port Gamble S’Klallam tribes, and others.
Video: U.S. Navy Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ian Kinkead
our 2019-20 impact map
Click an RFEG to view their 2019-20 featured project
Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association
Featured Project: Nookack River Stewards Program
RFEG: Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association
The Nooksack River Stewards Program, in partnership with the Mt. Baker – Snoqualmie National Forest, educates residents and visitors about wild salmon and responsible stewardship in the Nooksack River Watershed. All program initiatives aim to foster hope for residents and showcase for visitors how collective action can result in progressive salmon recovery goals.
Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group
Featured Project: Carey's Creek Fish Passage Project
RFEG: Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group
This project will replace a barrier culvert on Carey’s Creek, a tributary to the Skagit River, restoring access to habitat for coho salmon, Chinook, steelhead and resident trout.
North Olympic Salmon Coalition
Featured Project: Killisut Harbor Habitat Restoration
RFEG: North Olympic Salmon Coalition
Reopening the passage from Oak Bay to Kilisut Harbor by replacing culverts with a bridge, in partnership with Elwha Klallam, Jamestown S’Klallam, and Port Gamble S’Klallam tribes, among others.
Pacific Coast Salmon Coalition
Featured Project: Quilleyute Valley School District Partnership
RFEG: Pacific Coast Salmon Coalition
PCSC had the opportunity to mentor a Forks High School Senior, Karma Lapin, in completing her senior project. She volunteered at the Bogachiel Steelhead Hatchery netting, counting, spawning adult steelhead that had returned to the hatchery. The steelhead that were food-quality (about 1500 fish) were processed and distributed to the Forks Food Bank and other local charities. The steelhead that were not food-quality (about 8,000) were distributed as high up the Quileute River Watershed tributaries as possible to decompose in the stream, providing rich nutrients to all aquatic life throughout the system.
Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group
Featured Project: Union River Summer Chum Monitoring
RFEG: Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group
Monitoring Summer Chum on the Union River fish trap from mid August to Mid October. Trap is staffed 24/7 by community volunteers.
Chehalis Basin Fisheries Task Force
Featured Project: Bush Creek Fish Barrier Construction
RFEG: Chehalis Basin Fisheries Task Force
Removal of three fish passage barrier culverts and replacement with structures that are fully passable to all aquatic species at all life stages.
Willapa Bay Regional Fisheries Enhancement Group
Featured Project: Remote Stream Incubators (RSIs)
Staff, board and volunteers of Willapa Bay Regional Fisheries Enhancement Group install Remote Stream Incubators (RSIs) each year. RSIs are systems often installed in streams to allow salmon eggs to be reared and released with minimal handling. Some years, they have released 1.4 million fish!
Lower Columbia Fish Enhancement Group
Featured Project: South Fork Toutle Habitat Restoration
RFEG: Lower Columbia Fish Enhancement Group
A strategic effort of past and future projects in the South Fork Toutle River, including the tributaries. It seeks to enhance off-channel habitat with wood structures, and restore riparian vegetation.
South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group
Featured Project: South Prairie Habitat Restoration
RFEG: South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group
The South Prairie Creek project will allow salmon easier upstream migration during higher flows, and increase cold groundwater to help summer low flow temperatures for juvenile and adult salmonids. It opened a historic side channel and then placed large engineered log jam at the opening to direct flows into the channel. Wood structures in the side channel will provide better habitat for both spawning and juvenile rearing for a variety of salmon species.
Mid Sound Fisheries Enhancement Group
Featured Project: CATS and Sammamish River Riparian Restoration
RFEG: Mid Sound Fisheries Enhancement Group
A participant in the Community Action Training School, 10-session training on the important issues around watershed restoration, chose to partner with Mid Sound on a riparian restoration project along the Sammamish River. Dana Kemmerling worked to organize quarterly work parties filled with local businesses as well as her own co-workers. In 2019, Dana helped Mid Sound conduct 5 volunteer events, engaging 115 people who donated 402 hours of labor. They removed invasives, installed mulch, and planted 564 native plants on 375 lineal feet of stream bank.
Mid Columbia Fisheries Enhancement Group
Featured Project: Brown Bag Summer Solstice Series
RFEG: Mid Columbia Fisheries Enhancement Group
Provided hands-on activities to students and families to learn about watersheds and salmon conservation after in-person and summer kids activities were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Sound Salmon Solutions
Featured Project: Jones Creek Virtual Field Trip
RFEG: Sound Salmon Solutions
This project provided a combination of recorded and live virtual field trip lessons to engage local 5th graders in water quality education.
Featured Project: Entiat Fish Passage and Screening Assessment
RFEG: Cascade Fisheries
Cascade Fisheries, in partnership with Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and Cascadia Conservation District, conducted a comprehensive fish passage and screening assessment of the Entiat watershed of fish bearing waters of the Entiat watershed.
Tri State Steelheaders
Featured Project: Bridge to Bridge Restoration, Phase II
RFEG: Tri State Steelheaders
Improving instream and riparian habitat through installations of woody structures and plantings on 0.6 mile reach of the Walla Walla River; adjoining previously completed work.
our 2019-20 projects
By the numbers
The year in pictures
After the coronavirus pandemic prompted a Stay at Home order in Washington in March 2020, many of our educational field trips, habitat restoration efforts, community work parties, and other events had to be cancelled or reimagined. When we did gather, our groups were careful to comply with all CDC guidance for safe assembly. Click on any image to zoom in for a closer look at our year in pictures.
Help us continue this critical work
Your support is key to our success. Thank you.
It is absolutely essential that RFEGs are able to maintain consistent funding so that we can meet our commitments to local partners to continue conducting this important work. RFEG projects support the sustainability of the salmon resource but they do more than that: they build community, create jobs, encourage environmental stewardship, and activate a new generation of salmon advocates. Please show your support by getting involved, donating, or learning more today.
Learn more and get involved:
Find Your RFEG
Search the RFEGs to find the group nearest you and learn how you can support their efforts. Click through to our RFEG map to locate a group in your community.
Donate, attend an event, or volunteer with your local RFEG. Your involvement supports our efforts to protect and restore Washington's vital salmon resource.