Fish Passage Restoration Program
Working to fix fish passage barriers
VISION: SALMON RECOVERY
Removing fish passage barriers is one of the most effective ways to quickly restore salmon habitat
In collaboration with federal, state, tribal, and city officials, this program will identify barriers to fish passage that have a county linkage, assess habitat and fish population restoration potential, coordinate with other protection and restoration actions, and sequence and accelerate investments to achieve the greatest benefits for salmon recovery. Program elements include:
Early Action Projects
As a down payment reflecting the priority of fish passage restoration, the approved 2019-2020 budget includes $12.5 million to support various phases of 36 fish passage projects. When complete, these projects would allow salmon to access over 150 miles of high quality habitat.
Inventory and Assessment of County Barriers
Existing information identifies more than 200 county-owned sites that are likely fish passage barriers. In the next two years, King County will survey more than 2,000 stream crossings to complete a comprehensive inventory of King County fish passage barriers.
Using data from the inventory and assessment of county stream crossings, King County will work with tribes, agencies, and partners to develop a methodology to prioritize the barrier inventory based on the quality and amount of fish habitat that could be restored, the condition of the crossing, and other factors. The prioritization will be useful to develop a sustainable plan for investments that accelerate the rate of habitat improvement from barrier removals.
King County will develop a wide range of programmatic procedures that will make restoration of fish passage faster, cheaper, and better. This will include
- identifying and implementing best practices for planning, designing, permitting, constructing, and performance monitoring of projects,
- defining phasing of individual projects in light of prioritization and success goals;
- regional collaboration to foster partnerships that coordinate widespread barrier removal in priority basins;
- innovative approaches to align critical fish passage needs and critical infrastructure repair needs; and
King County will utilize the barrier inventory and program procedures to develop conceptual cost estimates for comprehensive barrier removal. By comparing the cost estimate to historical funding, the county will analyze alternative financial scenarios to achieve program success and recommend a sustainable funding strategy to complete removal of fish passage barriers at County assets over the long-term.