Cougar Creek

Cougar Creek

OLYMPIA - On Thursday, September 23, 2021, the Washington State Salmon Recovery Funding Board announced the award of $21 million in grants across the state to aid in salmon recovery.

The grants, given annually, were awarded 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.

The Asotin County Conservation District was awarded a $200,000 grant to assist with restoring fish passage in Cougar Creek.

The Asotin County Conservation District will use this grant to fix a barrier to steelhead migration in Cougar Creek where the creek flows under Grande Ronde River Road, about 4.5 miles west of State Route 129. The culvert is preventing some steelhead from reaching 2.25 miles of rearing and spawning habitat upstream. The Asotin County Conservation District will contribute $50,000 in state and federal grants.

“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 Governor Jay Inslee. “It’s imperative that we improve the areas salmon need, and these grants help do that.”

Descriptions of Grants

Grants were awarded in the following counties. Click HERE for a description of each project. 

  • Asotin County........................ $200,000
  • Chelan County....................... $813,982
  • Clallam County.................... $1,181,390
  • Clark County.......................... $295,796
  • Columbia County.................... $437,575
  • Cowlitz County....................... $990,342
  • Garfield County...................... $145,500
  • Grays Harbor County.............. $481,837
  • Island County......................... $467,723
  • Jefferson County.................... $887,750
  • King County........................... $659,869
  • Kitsap County........................ $449,985
  • Kittitas County........................ $970,044
  • Klickitat County...................... $602,859
  • Lewis County......................... $177,734
  • Mason County........................ $907,485
  • Okanogan County............... $1,248,018
  • Pacific County..................... $1,940,420
  • Pend Oreille County............... $483,250
  • Pierce County........................ $983,062
  • San Juan County.................... $308,602
  • Skagit County...................... $1,263,141
  • Skamania County................... $442,114
  • Snohomish County.............. $1,318,813
  • Thurston County..................... $373,434
  • Wahkiakum County.................. $79,000
  • Walla Walla County................ $862,616
  • Whatcom County.................... $743,103
  • Yakima County....................... $343,156
  • Multiple Counties................. $1,023,338

The grant recipients also invest in salmon recovery and will be contributing more than $19.2 million in matching resources, such as staff labor, donations, or equipment use.

Why Are Salmon in Trouble?

As Washington’s population grew, the number of salmon dwindled. By the end of the twentieth century, the numbers of wild salmon and steelhead had dropped so much that the federal government declared species in nearly three-fourths of the state as threatened or endangered. The Legislature created the Salmon Recovery Funding Board in 1999 to determine how best to distribute state and federal funding to recovery projects.

“This funding provides the foundation for efforts to protect and restore the habitat our salmon and steelhead depend upon,” said Jeff Breckel, chair of the Salmon Recovery Funding Board. “It supports the work of many dedicated individuals and organizations and leverages additional government and private funding. These grants are one of our best tools for reversing the decline of salmon populations. Without this funding, we simply wouldn’t be able to save salmon, which are such a critical part of our Northwest culture, economy and quality of life.”