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

Fish Released


Fish Passage Projects Completed


Miles of Stream Opened


Volunteer Hours


Salmon Projects Completed


Miles of Restoration


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.

Featured Project

Carey’s Creek Fish Passage

RFEG: Skagit
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.

Featured Project

Nooksack River Stewards

RFEG: Nooksack

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.

Featured Project

Nutrient Enhancement

RFEG: Pacific Coast 

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.

Featured Project

Summer Chum Monitoring

RFEG: Hood Canal

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

NOAA: $120,000

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.

Covid-19 Crisis

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.

Featured Project

Willow Creek Salmon Release

RFEG: Sound Salmon Solutions

A combination of recorded and live virtual field trip lessons to engage local 5th graders in water quality education.

Climate Resilience

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.

Featured Project

South Prairie Habitat Restoration

RFEG: South Puget Sound

Improving habitat for juvenile salmon and other species by re-opening and directing flows into an historic side channel.

Tribal Partnerships

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.

Featured Project

Killisut Harbor Project

RFEG: North Olympic 

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 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: 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.

Learn More >

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.

Learn More >

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.

Learn More >

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.

Learn More >

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.

Learn More >

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.

Learn More >

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!

Learn More >

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.

Learn More >

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.

Learn More >

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.

Learn More >

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.

Learn More >

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.

Learn More >

Cascade Fisheries

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.

Learn More >

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.

Learn More >

our 2019-20 projects

By the numbers

Fish Released


Miles of Streams Opened


Volunteer Hours


Fish Passage Projects Completed


Miles of Restoration


Carcasses Distributed


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.

Get Involved

Donate, attend an event, or volunteer with your local RFEG. Your involvement supports our efforts to protect and restore Washington's vital salmon resource.