Call for Project Proposals: Improving Habitat for Salmon in the Chehalis River Basin

Chehalis Basin
Caption: Volunteers helping plant trees along a creek put back in its historic channel in Lewis County - 2016. Photo courtesy Chehalis Basin Lead Entity, in cooperation with the Lewis Conservation District.

Submitted by: Chehalis Basin Lead Entity

Would you like to see thriving salmon populations in your local rivers and streams?  Do you have an idea for a salmon habitat restoration project in your community?   If so, you will be pleased to know that the Chehalis Basin Lead Entity is soliciting applications for salmon habitat restoration and protection projects for 2020 through the state’s Salmon Recovery Funding Board program.

A salmon’s habitat is the condition in and around the water that the fish needs to thrive.  Maintaining and restoring those conditions can occur in many ways.

Types of projects that benefit salmon include:

  • planting native trees and shrubs along stream banks
  • reconnecting side-channels with a river main stem
  • anchoring tree trunks and their roots in creeks to provide shelter and create pools
  • removing invasive plant species like knotweed from streambanks
  • Protecting land containing key habitats that are either in pristine condition or could benefit from restoration.

The most common restoration actions that have taken place in the Chehalis Basin over the past few decades have been fish passage barrier corrections.  Undersized and poorly constructed culverts (crossings for water under roads) impede salmon passage, making it impossible for an adult salmon to access spawning habitat, or for a juvenile salmon to access feeding areas.  By correcting barrier culverts, we allow a stream to fully use its channel and salmon to fully use their habitat.

The minimum amount of funding eligible applicants can apply for is $5,000. There is no maximum, but the total amount available for all projects in the river basin is approximately $600,000. Each grant needs to be “matched” with funds from other sources, equivalent to 15% of the total project cost.

To apply, eligible applicants must submit a project form to the Chehalis Basin Lead Entity by January 27, 2020.  Prospective applicants are encouraged to contact the Lead Entity Coordinator, Kirsten Harma, at, to discuss their project idea. To learn more about how to apply and to download application materials, visit the Chehalis Lead Entity website (see “For Grant Applicants”).

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