Tribal Priority Fish Passage Projects Recommended for Funding
NOAA is recommending more than $16 million in funding for 13 tribal priority fish passage projects.
NOAA is recommending more than $16 million in funding for 13 projects selected through the Restoring Tribal Priority Fish Passage through Barrier Removal funding opportunity.
These projects will support Indian tribes in their role as managers and stewards of tribal trust resources for cultural, spiritual, economic, subsistence, and recreational purposes. They will support tribally important fish passage barrier removal projects and increase tribal capacity to participate in developing current and future fish passage projects.
Chickaloon Native Village will remove fish passage barriers within traditional ancestral lands and develop a Fish Passage Working Group for the Matanuska-Susitna Borough. They will also increase the knowledge and capacity of tribal staff members to oversee fish passage restoration planning, design, and implementation. ($1,558,006)
Sealaska Corporation will assess and prioritize stream-crossing barriers on Prince of Wales Island and will create designs for 10 individual barrier projects. The island is one of the most productive areas for salmon in Southeast Alaska, supporting coho, chum, pink, and sockeye, which have been important to inhabitants for millennia. ($425,920)
The Eyak Corporation will build capacity for planning and implementing fish passage and connection restoration projects in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Copper River Watershed Project. The work will support salmon species of profound importance to native and rural subsistence users, recreational anglers, and commercial fishermen. ($309,088 in first year; up to $2,872,614 total over 3 years)
The Round Valley Indian Tribes will support building tribal capacity to engage in the decommissioning process and dam removal at the Potter Valley Project on the Eel River. The river is a historic tribal source of livelihood, sustenance, and connection to the landscape. The effort will improve tribal participation in the decommissioning process and ensure outcomes are aligned with tribal objectives. ($1,270,299)
The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of the Fort Hall Reservation will restore fish passage and habitat connectivity in the Yankee Fork watershed, supporting three Endangered Species Act-listed species: Snake River spring/summer-run Chinook salmon, Snake River steelhead, and bull trout. It will help increase capacity to effectively manage tribal trust resources for cultural, spiritual, and subsistence purposes. ($1,085,584)
The Penobscot Indian Nation will eliminate five culvert and dam barriers within the East Branch of the Penobscot River. This work will benefit Endangered Species Act-listed Atlantic salmon and other migratory fish species. The project will also build tribal capacity to manage and steward migratory fish resources by funding fishery biologist positions. ($2,979,896)
The Passamaquoddy Tribe (Pleasant Point Reservation) will identify preferred approaches to enhance fish passage across the Grand Falls and Woodland Dams. The project will strengthen tribal engagement in restoration decision-making alongside state and federal agencies at the site of an active paper mill that is economically important to the community. ($893,572 in first year; up to $2,006,693 total over 3 years)
The Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians will replace 12 road stream crossings with fish passage infrastructure. They will also investigate fish passage alternatives for two hydropower dams: Tower Dam and Kleber Dam. Funding will support hiring of an additional position to help with conservation planning, implementation, and partner engagement. ($3,600,000)
The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation will remove or remediate barriers to fish migration in three watersheds: Umatilla, Walla Walla, and Grande Ronde. Projects within the Walla Walla and Umatilla watersheds are classified as imminent threat or priority passage barriers. Projects within the Grande Ronde watershed will remove barriers in critical spawning and rearing habitats. ($680,859 in first year; up to $3,304,858 total over 3 years)
The Nooksack Tribe will work collaboratively with the Lummi Tribe, the City of Bellingham, and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to develop a plan for city-owned passage barriers that both addresses infrastructure needs and meets fisheries goals. The tribe will also develop a communications plan to ensure local and tribal communities are informed and provide input. ($456,206)
The Yakama Nation will remove barriers on the Snake Creek to address a “mortality hotspot” for Endangered Species Act-listed Middle Columbia River steelhead in the Yakima River watershed. Two dams will be removed, opening six miles of habitat. They will also develop an interactive tool and database for fish passage management on Yakama Nation territory. ($250,972 in first year; up to $1,179,073 over 3 years)
The Cowlitz Indian Tribe will remove Kwoneesum Dam on Wildboy Creek, a tributary to the West Fork Washougal River in the Columbia River watershed. Removal of the 55-foot tall, 425-foot long rock fill embankment dam will restore access to 6.5 miles of highly productive habitat, benefitting native fish and other aquatic species. ($2,577,880)
The Skagit River System Cooperative will reopen access to habitat that has been blocked by undersized or improperly installed culverts. Work will focus on three sites of interest to the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community and Sauk-Suiattle Tribes: Martin Slough, Hatchery Creek, and Everett Creek. The project will also expand a collaborative process aimed at identifying and repairing barriers in the Skagit River watershed. ($328,234 in first year; up to $1,232,068 total over 3 years)