White Salmon Fish Habitat Plan

Lower White Salmon River Fish Habitat Conservation Approach
In 2014, people interested in the future of the lower White Salmon River helped Mid-Columbia Fisheries develop an approach for fish habitat conservation on the lands formerly affected by Condit Dam. After collecting information on habitat conditions, land development potential and conducting a public input process, Mid-Columbia Fisheries completed a document which identifies a vision, goals and geographic focus areas for fish habitat conservation as well as other community interests. The document, Lower White Salmon River Fish Habitat Conservation Approach, will be provided to decision makers and local, state and federal agencies to inform future conservation actions.

Final documents:

Background
Planning for the future
A focus on fish habitat
Involving the community
Documents and public meeting materials

Background

In 2011, Condit Dam was removed from the Lower White Salmon River nearly one hundred years after its construction. This action removed a significant barrier to migratory fish and provides an important opportunity to improve and protect habitat for salmon and steelhead. The action also drained a historic reservoir and has changed the character of the lands in the previously submerged river canyon. PacifiCorp, the dam owner and operator, owns 534 acres in the lower White Salmon River drainage, and may at some point in the future opt to divest of some of these lands. PacifiCorp currently has no plans to sell its lands.

Planning for the future

This project was developed to take advantage of this historic opportunity to look to the future and influence decisions that will affect the quality of fish habitat in the lower six miles of the White Salmon River. The project engaged stakeholders and the broader community in collaborative discussions to create an approach for the conservation of key salmon and steelhead habitat. The approach includes a vision and goals for protecting fish habitat, identification of geographic focus areas, and prioritized actions that can be taken to reach the goals.

A focus on fish habitat

Development of a fish habitat conservation approach for the lower White Salmon River is viewed as a first step in planning for protection of key fish habitats within the lower river.

There are a variety of stakeholder and community desires for the lands and use of the river, including development, fishing, boating, hiking and conservation. Opportunities related to these and other interests within the project area have been identified in concert with fish habitat conservation goals. Conservation of fish habitat is the primary focus of this project, however.

Involving the community

The U.S. Geological Survey completed a habitat assessment of the lower river using existing data from a variety of sources. This analysis, plus an analysis completed by Columbia Land Trust of potential threats to the lower river fish habitat helped inform discussions on habitat protection.

Mid-Columbia Fisheries presented information on the analyses and heard from stakeholders and the broader community about a vision, goals and priorities for fish habitat.

  • May 2014 – Public Meeting in Husum, WA
  • June-July 2014 – Online Meeting
  • October 2014 – Online Survey
  • November 2014 – Public Meeting in Husum, WA
  • December 2014 – Public Review of Draft Document

Information from these meetings is posted below.

Documents and Public Meeting Materials

Approach and Companion Documents

Nov. 15, 2014 Public Meeting

June-July 2014 Online Meeting

May 17, 2014 Public Meeting

More information: Email Margaret Neuman at fish@midcolumbiafisheries.org