Salmon Plan Implementation

Chinook Salmon Conservation Plan

In 2005, after nearly five years of collaboration among citizens, scientists, community groups, businesses, environmental groups, public agencies and elected officials, 27 local governments ratified the Lake Washington/Cedar/Sammamish Watershed (WRIA 8) Chinook Salmon Conservation Plan. This plan, together with other plans prepared throughout the Puget Sound region, became part of the official Puget Sound Salmon Recovery Plan approved by NOAA Fisheries Service in 2007.

The complex causes of salmon decline require wide-ranging solutions.

The Lake Washington/Cedar/Sammamish Watershed (WRIA 8) Chinook Salmon Conservation Plan contains over 1200 recommendations for protecting and restoring salmon habitat, from general land-use recommendations applicable throughout the watershed to small, site-specific habitat restoration projects. These recommendations also include a range of outreach methods to help gain the public support needed to convert recommendations from ideas to reality.

The highest-priority recommendations were gathered in Chapter 9 of the Plan to form the Ten-Year Start List to focus efforts even further, WRIA 8 annually updates a Four-Year Work Plan of the most immediately pressing projects. This Four-Year Work Plan is used to help recommend how to disburse the limited county, state and federal funds available for protection and restoration actions in the watershed.

WRIA 8 Plan Implementation

Local governments have been leading habitat protection and restoration efforts in the region since long before ratification of the chinook conservation plan. Between 1999 and 2005, at least 96 salmon recovery-related grant actions were completed in the watershed. In addition, many local governments are implementing habitat protection and restoration projects not specifically called for in the WRIA 8 Plan, yet benefitting salmon either directly or indirectly.

WRIA 8 is currently implementing the recommendations called for in the WRIA 8 Plan. After more than a decade implementing habitat protection and restoration projects, WRIA 8 partners have accomplished much and have learned many lessons along the way. Since 2006, over 85 projects have been completed, and another 90 projects are being implemented or advancing toward implementation. In that time, WRIA 8 has guided the investment of nearly $11.3 million in state and federal funding and over $13.4 million in local funding. After ten years we can report progress on many of our ambitious 10-year goals for Chinook salmon in our watershed. The number of juvenile Chinook produced in our watershed per returning adult has increased dramatically in recent years, exceeding our 10-year goals. The number of adult Chinook salmon returning to the watershed, while highly variable, is on an upward trend. This is encouraging. But we are still falling short of some near-term goals, and overall salmon population numbers are still far short of a level that would consistently support sustainable populations year-to-year and fulfill treaty-guaranteed tribal fishing rights. We are moving in the right direction, but there is still much to do. Read more details about the status of salmon recovery in the new Implementation Progress Report 2006-2015: Salmon and People Living Together: Adapting to Change in our Watershed.

Statewide Habitat Work Schedule web-based database. A new statewide database gathers detailed information about habitat restoration and protection projects to help track progress in recovering endangered salmon throughout Washington. The status of approximately 160 high-priority projects from the WRIA 8 Chinook Salmon Conservation Plan are accessible through a web-based portal.