The National Fish Habitat Partnership has unveiled its list of “Waters to Watch” for 2019. This annual list represents a collection of strategic conservation efforts implemented on rivers, streams, estuaries, and lakes to protect, restore, or enhance fish habitat. These voluntary, locally-driven projects represent some of the top conservation activities in progress implemented by 20 regional Fish Habitat Partnerships throughout the country.
Two projects funded by the Pacific Marine and Estuarine Fish Habitat Partnership (PMEP) made the list this year:
Sullivan Gulch Bottomland Restoration restored fish passage and winter rearing habitat for coho salmon and other native fish on 31 acres of the Sixes River estuarine floodplain at Oregon’s Cape Blanco State Park. Coho are listed as Threatened in the Sixes River watershed, and winter rearing habitat is the primary limiting factor to their recovery. The project also restored wetland habitat for shore birds and amphibians; enhanced habitat for migratory songbirds, small mammals, and elk; and improved livestock management on pasture leased to a local ranching family who raise cattle and sheep.
Columbia-Pacific Passage Habitat Restoration at Megler Creek restored off-channel foraging and rearing opportunities for juvenile salmon in the Columbia River estuary. The project is the second phase of a multi-phase effort involving three separate tributaries to the Columbia River estuary. The three sites are located within five miles of each other on the Columbia River shoreline in southwest Washington.
PMEP provides funding for fish habitat restoration and protection projects annually. Watch for the Request for Proposal for 2020 funding in fall 2019.
The 2019 “Waters to Watch” list and associated Fish Habitat Partnerships:
- Alexander Creek, AK – Mat-Su Basin Salmon Habitat Partnership
- Amargo Creek, NM – Desert Fish Habitat Partnership
- Coal Creek, WY – Western Native Trout Initiative
- Crews Creek, GA – Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership
- Elephant Butte Reservoir, NM – Reservoir Fish Habitat Partnership
- Megler Creek, WA – Pacific Marine and Estuarine Partnership
- Spasski River and Hoonah Native Forest Partnership, AK – SE Alaska Fish Habitat Partnership
- Sullivan Gulch, OR – Pacific Marine and Estuarine Partnership
- Tainter Creek, WI – Fishers and Farmers Partnership/Driftless Area Restoration Effort
- Upper Green Valley Creek, CA – California Fish Passage Forum