For Release:
Contact: Dave Caudill
Washington Recreation and Conservation Office
Contact: Matt Curtis
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

Informational Webinar Oct. 27

OLYMPIA–The Brian Abbott Fish Barrier Removal Board will accept grant proposals beginning in November for projects to remove barriers that prevent salmon and steelhead from swimming upstream.

A bridge over a stream
The Newaukum River fish passage project in Lewis County was the first completed project funded by the Fish Barrier Removal Board. The project opened 2 miles of stream to coho salmon.

The board will host an online workshop from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 27 to highlight changes to the grant program and review the application process. Participants should register in advance for the Zoom webinar. The workshop will be recorded and posted to RCO’s website for those who cannot attend. All interested applicants are encouraged to attend or review the recording before starting their applications.

The board will accept applications from Nov. 1, 2021 through Jan. 13, 2022. Applicants must apply through the grant application website, PRISM. For more information about the grant application process and requirements, visit RCO’s website.

The board will evaluate all proposed projects and submit a prioritized list of projects to the Washington State Legislature for funding in the 2023-25 biennium. Funding comes from the sale of state bonds.

The board’s grant program is administered jointly by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO).

A stream with a bridge over it
A 116-foot span bridge replaced a culvert that blocked fish from swimming upstream at Chico Creek in Kitsap County. This board-funded project is opening 16 miles of upstream habitat to support wild coho, chum, and occasional Chinook salmon, and steelhead and cutthroat trout.

“Projects funded by the Brian Abbott Fish Barrier Removal Board are building on previous fish passage investments by local governments, landowners, the forest industry and the Washington State Department of Transportation,” said Matt Curtis, board manager for WDFW. “We appreciate the Legislature’s continued support of these salmon recovery efforts that also benefit our endangered Southern Resident killer whales.”

“These grants are incredibly important to help recover our treasured salmon,” said Megan Duffy, RCO director. “Salmon face many challenges to their survival and these grants help make sure that traveling from their home streams to the ocean and back to create the next generation is not one of them.”

Board members include representatives from the Washington Departments of Fish and Wildlife, Transportation and Natural Resources; Washington State Association of Counties; Association of Washington Cities; the Governor’s Salmon Recovery Office; the Confederated Tribe and Bands of the Yakama Nation; the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation; and the salmon recovery Council of Regions.

The board is named after Brian Abbott, a lifelong fisherman and salmon recovery leader, who spearheaded the creation of the board while serving as executive coordinator of the Governor’s Salmon Recovery Office. To learn more, visit WDFW’s website.