Lower Columbia Fish Enhancement Group

   Leading the Process of salmon recovery through

   community involvement and landowner partnership since 1991.

habitat restoration throughout the Lower Columbia River region naturally self-sustaining salmon and steelhead runs

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What We Do  

LCFEG engages our local communities to foster private stewardship and to create sustained habitat restoration and community-supported salmon recovery strategies within our watersheds. Our activities emphasize intensive habitat restoration projects that includes education and outreach, project effectiveness monitoring, and assessments of important habitat functions that limit salmon productivity.

We accomplish our mission by developing local partnerships and agency relationships that allow us to utilize citizen volunteers to effect meaningful changes to the habitat conditions in their local Tony Meyer speaks with Clark College student at project sitewatersheds.  LCFEG successfully leverages citizen taxpayer dollars and other state and federal funds to exponentially increase salmon recovery potential in collaboration with individuals, groups, corporations, tribes, foundations and agencies. 

In the past eight years, the Regional Fish Enhancement Group program has leveraged over 10.3 million dollars of state and federal funding into an additional $49.6 million for Washington State Salmon Recovery projects - this is a total investment in community-based salmon restoration of over $59,900,000 (a 1:5 ratio)! Since 1995, the RFEG program has accumulated over 557,000 hours of donated labor statewide, which extrapolates to a value of $8.3 million, ands is equal to 276 Full-time Equivalent positions (FTEs).

Activity types include:

Click to return to the top of the pageHabitat restoration

Human actions threaten the clean, healthy and cool water salmon need to survive, so improving stream habitat is a key component of LCFEG's activities, including the following:

  • Fish Passage Projects/Barrier removal - LCFEG removes fish-impassible culvert barriers under roads and driveways, replacing them with fish-passable culverts and/or bridges to improve fish access to habitat upstream throughout our watersheds.
  • Stream restoration - Our in-stream projects utilize bioengineering techniques designed to enhance natural watershed processes. This includes placing LWD (such as logs) or boulders in streams to create pools and riffles, and creating off-channel rearing areas that are so important to salmon.
  • Riparian Plantings - LCFEG plants thousands of native trees and shrubs throughout our watersheds every year, utilizing free labor by either corrections crews or citizen volunteers (project-specific).
  • Assessments and Scientific Studies - LCFEG also funds important and locally-based scientific assessments throughout our watersheds - for example, we are currently funding & recruiting volunteers to assist with an intensive five (5) year Nutrient Assessment Study in the Wind and Lewis River Watersheds. Led by the U.S. Geological Survey Columbia River Research Laboratory in Cook, WA, the intent of this study is to demonstrate the effectiveness of stream nutrient enhancement via carcass placement (a key LCFEG activity) in watersheds previously identified as nutrient deficient.
  • Post-project monitoring - This may include water quality monitoring, fish spawning counts and passage success rates, riparian plant surveys, and/or overall post-project habitat assessments. The results of our monitoring activities feed back into LCFEG's overall project implementation strategy & also document to our regulatory agencies & sponsors project success rates and lessons learned. 

Education & Outreach

Our Education and Outreach Programs are designed to engage our local communities and create a stewardship ethic for a continued and sustained habitat-restoration and salmon recovery strategy. The LCFEG also delivers educational, scientific, and entertaining LCFEG fish friendly culvert at Larson Creek project site slideshows and presentations to schools, community groups, businesses and service clubs to increase public awareness and excitement surrounding community-based salmon restoration. These presentations are available on an ongoing basis. If you or your company, community group or organization are interested in a LCFEG presentation, or in other current/upcoming volunteer opportunities, please contact us!

Partnerships

LCFEG's success depends on its partnerships with key stakeholders, public/private groups, the scientific community, and our fellow citizens. As a non-governmental entity, LCFEG works hard to restore and conserve salmon habitat through cooperation with local landowners, conservation groups, tribes, government agencies, and others. Other partners include: private timber companies, school groups, conservation districts, other community-based restoration groups, the Lower Columbia Fish Recovery Board (our lead entity), and volunteers throughout the five-county LCFEG region. LCFEG can provide a centralized point of contact for each partner, and is capable of implementing larger projects truly effective for salmon recovery.

MonitoringClick to return to the top of the page

An essential element of stream and salmon enhancement, LCFEG's monitoring program evaluates Spawning chinook upstream of Stauffers Dairy, Little Washougal project site (Oct 2004) the need for and impact of completed restoration work. Post-project monitoring relies heavily on volunteers who are able to visit our restoration sites weekly, monthly, or annually, depending on the project's initial goals. The results of such monitoring activities serve as important guides for designing future restoration projects and document the agency's successes to sources of outside funding and the overall public.

Volunteers - What can you do?

Volunteers are the backbone of the LCFEG. We provide  opportunities for such hands-on activities as engineering site surveys, project design/ management, GPS mapping, planting trees at a stream restoration site, placing carcasses, counting salmon leaving and returning to a restoration site, water quality assessments, assisting with education presentations and events, and more! Volunteer involvement promotes local stewardship, a key element of LCFEG's community based salmon recovery strategy .

Volunteer activities certainly aren't limited to these, however. What can you do? Chances are LCFEG can use your services! To become part of the community supporting local salmon enhancement Click to return to the top of the pageefforts, please contact Sheila North, Outreach Coordinator, by phone at (360) 601-1462 or by e-mail at: info@lcfeg.org.

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