Protecting Northwest salmon, steelhead with the FISH Act

Rep. Jamie Herrera Beutler’s legislation, the Fundamentally Improving Salmon Habitat— or FISH — Act, will better protect our local salmon and steelhead populations. How? Throughout the Lower Columbia River estuaries, there are small projects to improve salmon habitat. However, these efforts are the responsibility of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – a large agency well-suited to carry out larger projects – and because they’re smaller, they often go unfinished.

The FISH Act would allow the Army Corps to use existing resources and put local salmon habitat enhancement groups in the lead on these smaller projects.

Projects typically include building off-channel refuges, installing woody debris and removing invasive plant species that are harmful to fish runs. The FISH Act is a fiscally responsible bill that has earned the support of land rights advocates and the Farm Bureau for respecting private property. This week I toured a completed project in the lower Washougal River that had been carried out by one of these local nonprofit groups.

Read more about the FISH Act here.

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