Backyard Riparian Buffers

A backyard riparian buffer enhances fish and wildlife habitat, and is a beautiful addition to any landscape.

Riparian buffers are the strips of grass, shrubs, and trees along the banks of rivers and streams. Buffers:

  • act as filters to trap pollutants and nutrients that would otherwise wash into our streams.
  • keep stream banks and streambeds stabilized, resulting in less flood damage.
  • provide shade, keeping water cooler. Salmon and trout can only live in cool water.
  • provide good homes and safe travel corridors for wildlife.

Many landowners are reluctant to install riparian buffers. Some are concerned that the buffer will block their view of the river, while others are worried that a riparian buffer will be difficult to maintain.


The brochures below, available for download in .pdf format, include planting plans and native plant lists that allow for easy access to the stream, good views, and minimal maintenance after the first few years.  The brochures were created through a Community Salmon Fund grant specific to the Yakima basin, but the concepts are applicable anywhere.




Mid-Columbia Fisheries and our partners may have funding available to assist homeowners in the installation of riparian buffers.  Please contact us for more information.