State Board Awards Salmon Recovery Grants

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OLYMPIA–The Washington State Salmon Recovery Funding Board today announced the award of $21 million in grants across the state to aid in salmon recovery.

The grants, given annually, went to 105 projects in 29 of the state’s 39 counties. The grants will pay for work to restore salmon habitat, including repairing degraded habitat in rivers, removing barriers blocking salmon from reaching the ocean, and conserving pristine habitat.

“Salmon are important to every Washingtonian, whether they spend time fishing, eat salmon, rely on salmon for their business or use salmon in their cultural celebrations,” said Gov. Jay Inslee. “It’s imperative that we improve the areas salmon need, and these grants help do that.”

Below are awards for projects in Klickitat County:

Columbia Land Trust Grant Awarded: $167,134
Conserving Upper Rattlesnake Creek

The Columbia Land Trust will use this grant to conserve 1.6 miles of Rattlesnake Creek, a
tributary to the White Salmon River. This purchase will protect important spawning habitat and
120 acres of creek-side habitat. The area is connected to land owned by the state Department of
Natural Resources, and once purchased, will complete the conservation of the upper reaches of
this tributary. Permanently protecting this habitat is increasingly important because of growing
development pressure in the lower reaches of the creek. The creek is used by mid-Columbia
steelhead trout, which is a species listed as threatened with extinction under the federal
Endangered Species Act. The Columbia Land Trust will contribute $1.5 million in a federal grant.
Visit RCO’s online Project Snapshot for more information and photographs of this project.
(21-1241)

Eastern Klickitat Conservation District Grant Awarded: $165,000
Designing Fish Access to Pine Creek

The Eastern Klickitat Conservation District will use this grant to develop a conceptual design to
restore fish access to Pine Creek. Fish passage into the Pine Creek watershed is blocked at the
confluence with the Columbia River by State Route 14 and a railroad. Restoring fish passage
would open 4.5 miles of federally designated critical habitat for steelhead and potentially allow
access to additional habitat upstream. With fish passage restored, Pine Creek would provide
11 percent of the spawning area in Water Resource Inventory Area 31. The creek was used
historically by mid-Columbia steelhead, which is a species listed as threatened with extinction
under the federal Endangered Species Act, and is used by Chinook salmon. The Eastern Klickitat
Conservation District will contribute $30,000 in donated labor. Visit RCO’s online Project
Snapshot for more information and photographs of this project. (21-1248)

Mid-Columbia Fisheries Enhancement Group Grant Awarded: $160,000
Designing Restoration of Lower Snyder Creek

The Mid-Columbia Fisheries Enhancement Group will use this grant to complete a conceptual
design to improve habitat in the lower 1.3 miles of Snyder Creek and in a side channel of the
Klickitat River where it meets Snyder Creek. Snyder Creek is one of only a few perennial
tributaries in the lowest 40 miles of the Klickitat River. The enhancement group will develop
alternatives to improve habitat and work with stakeholders to select one alternative for a final
design. The project area includes a cement-lined stream channel that runs through the former
Klickitat Mill and the former log sorting yard. Landowners are interested in planning for habitat
improvements concurrent with planning for revitalization of portions of the old mill site to
benefit the local community and economy. The creek is used by mid-Columbia steelhead, which
is a species listed as threatened with extinction under the federal Endangered Species Act. The
Mid-Columbia Fisheries Enhancement Group will contribute $28,300 in state and federal grants.
Visit RCO’s online Project Snapshot for more information and photographs of this project.
(21-1202)

Mid-Columbia Fisheries Enhancement Group Grant Awarded: $110,725
Improving Fish Passage and Habitat in Rattlesnake Gulch Creek

The Mid-Columbia Fisheries Enhancement Group will use this grant to improve fish habitat and
make it easier for fish to access Rattlesnake Gulch Creek, which feeds Swale Creek, an important
tributary to the Klickitat River. To improve fish access to the Rattlesnake Gulch Creek, the
enhancement group will remove a small concrete dam and replace two road culverts with
bridges. The existing road culverts, which are pipes and other structures that allow streams to
pass under roads, partially block passage to the east and west forks of the creek. The work will
open 3.5 miles of habitat to fish use. To improve fish habitat, the enhancement group will
remove a berm and railroad ties next to the creek, and place logs and other woody materials in
the creek to create more complex habitat features. The enhancement group also will plant trees
and shrubs along the creekbanks. Planting trees and bushes shades the water, cooling it for fish.
Plant roots also keep soil from entering the water, where it can smother fish spawning gravel.
The creek is used by mid-Columbia steelhead, which is a species listed as threatened with
extinction under the federal Endangered Species Act. The Mid-Columbia Fisheries Enhancement
Group will contribute $19,700 in a federal grant. Visit RCO’s online Project Snapshot for more
information and photographs of this project. (21-1203)

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