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Nutrient Enhancement 


This project will increase the rearing success of natural-origin juvenile salmonids in the East Fork Lewis, Kalama, Toutle, and Washougal sub-basins over four years. LCFEG will direct and coordinate the dispersal of a minimum of 60,000 surplus hatchery salmonid carcasses during this time. In total, 100 river miles will be addressed through these efforts. This project is a continuation of LCFEG’s practice of utilizing low-tech process-based restoration as a cost-effective solution to help improve degraded salmonid habitat. LCFEG’s instream and riparian revegetation projects address geomorphic conditions and long-term natural processes limiting these fish. This project aims to increase the effectiveness of LCFEG’s previously completed projects by adding additional nutrients and supplemental live plant material that can give the project a natural boost that mimics the natural nutrient cycle these ecosystems evolved with.


Thank You, Volunteers!

Volunteers and DOC crews have been a critical part of our program and have dedicated over 800 hours assisting our staff with cutting tails and placement.

Project Background 

This project seeks to address two issues that have been documented to be impacting salmonid populations in our four target watersheds (Washougal, E. Lewis, Kalama, and Toutle). 

Problem 1: Low Levels of Marine-Derived Nutrients Historically, naturally spawning salmon provided a plentiful source of MDN to ecosystems in the Pacific Northwest. With declines in naturally spawning salmon species, the associated decline of MDN's has been identified as a possible limiting factor for Salmon Recovery in SW Washington (LCFRB, 2010). All sub-basin recovery plans note that nutrient problems may exist in our target watersheds. By dispersing hatchery salmon carcasses into our target watersheds, LCFEG is replicating an important ecological function that has declined due to diminished salmon runs. Problem 2: Impaired Riparian Function Creating and maintaining a resilient riparian canopy is critical to the health of SW Washington watersheds. Riparian conditions are generally considered poor across the Lower Columbia region. The Integrated Watershed Analysis riparian assessment (LCFRB 2004), which modeled riparian impairment across the region using vegetative cover characteristics, indicates that most of the region suffers from moderately impaired riparian conditions. For example, reduced stream canopy cover was identified as a limiting factor in all Washougal River priority areas (LCFRB 2010). All our target rivers and their tributaries have been degraded over the last 200 years due to human disturbance. Land use changes such as logging, road building, and development have impacted riparian vegetation and function, resulting in poorly vegetated and highly erodible rivers and streams. By dispersing willow cuttings in these watersheds, we will address the issues associated with these changes and will benefit ESA-listed salmonids.

Target Species 




Lower Columbia coho, Chinook, steelhead, and chum. ​


100 Miles of stream treated, 60,000 salmon carcasses and 20,000 feet of willow distributed in floodplain(s)

WDFW, Clark Skamania Flyfishers, Lower Columbia Flyfishers, Salmon Creek Flyfishers, Coastal Conservation Association, and Trout Unlimited

WA State Recreation and Conservation Office: Salmon Recovery Funding Board (23-1157) $190,534.00

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