On December 12, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) announced $14 million in grants across 8 counties to protect, restore and enhance the freshwater habitats of salmon and steelhead in northern California.
All projects were awarded through CDFW’s Fisheries Restoration Grant Program (FRGP). FRGP was first established in 1981 and since 2000, has included funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund. The fund was created by Congress to reverse the declines of Pacific salmon and steelhead throughout California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Alaska. This award also includes funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act to help support the recovery, conservation, and resilience of Pacific salmon and steelhead.
“California’s salmon continue to face the challenges of both past and present, through countless legacy impacts to fish passage and growing climate-driven threats to their seasonal cycles,” said CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham. “In the face of these grim challenges, we find optimism and hope through projects like these, which will restore access to miles of river habitat and acres of floodplain, greatly improving the productivity and sustainably of fish populations.”
Golden State Salmon Association’s Scott Artis said, “We applaud CDFW’s support of projects to restore and enhance salmon habitat. It’s an important step towards achieving healthy runs that maintain coastal and in-river fishing industry businesses and the ecosystems that rely on robust salmon populations. However, it is imperative that we not let this good restoration work go to waste. Functional salmon habitat requires cold water. Without protected temperatures and flows to support salmon, you end up with dismal returns and closed salmon seasons like we are witnessing right now.”