About Recovery Planning & Implementation in the Upper Columbia

Following the listings of Upper Columbia spring-run Chinook and Upper Columbia steelhead, NOAA Fisheries worked with its local partners, most notably the Upper Columbia Salmon Recovery Board, to develop a recovery plan that addresses the biological needs of the populations and the threats they face. The Upper Columbia Salmon Recovery Board is a coalition of representatives from Chelan, Douglas, and Okanogan counties, the Colville Confederated Tribes, and the Yakama Nation. Their collective efforts culminated in NOAA Fisheries' 2007 adoption of the Upper Columbia Spring-run Chinook Salmon and Steelhead Recovery Plan.

The recovery plan provides actions to improve habitat conditions, ensure safe fish passage, and allow for sustainable harvest opportunities, among others. The plan identifies 306 actions that will contribute to the long-term recovery of Upper Columbia River spring-run Chinook and steelhead. The Upper Columbia Salmon Recovery Board is working with an Implementation Team, including a leader, three lead entity representatives (one from each county), the Upper Columbia Regional Technical Team, local, state, Federal, tribal resource management agencies, and other stakeholders to implement the voluntary plan. The Implementation Team also is responsible for tracking progress, identifying milestones and benchmarks, and sequencing recovery tasks.

Since the plan's adoption, partners have made progress in several key areas, including: removing barriers to migration and opening habitat to spawning and rearing fish; improving irrigation efficiency and screening irrigation intakes; restoring riparian habitat to improve water quality and quantity; and enhancing in-stream habitat for fish in the Wenatchee, Entiat, Methow, and Okanogan basins.