In the rush to develop land for commercial and residential use, and to tame rivers to generate electricity, a lot of traditional habitat for salmon has been destroyed. In recent years, thanks to the popularity of sport fishing (and the dollars generated by both commercial and sport fishing), this trend is now starting to be reversed.

In Washington State, the Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) is leading the charge for salmon habitat restoration. Recently, they awarded over a million dollars in grants to tribal partners for salmon habitat restoration projects.

RCO_spawningsockeyeThe money is part of $42 million granted to organizations around Washington for projects to restore and protect habitat for endangered salmon.

The Nooksack Indian Tribe received two grants totaling a little more than $1 million for two projects.

The tribe will use one grant to build six logjams and replace 280 feet of riprap as part of the first piece of restoring the Black Slough reach of the south fork of the Nooksack River. Logjams slow the river, in turn creating places for salmon to rest, hide from predators, feed and spawn. They also reduce erosion.

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Photos: Bellingham Herald (top), Washington State RCO (above)