Salmon Recovery


We recently partnered with the Island County Shore Friendly Program to send out a mailer to shoreline property owners in priority salmon recovery areas! Scroll down to see the resources and information referenced in the mailer.

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Map of Priority Habitats

This map shows where some of the best habitat for salmon is on Whidbey and Camano Islands, where streams help being juvenile fish back out into saltwater. These areas are where we often focus our salmon recovery work; however, all shorelines, rivers, streams, and other areas around Island County are important for a healthy ecosystem. You may see salmon anywhere in Puget Sound.


About Island County Salmon Recovery

Water Resources Inventory Area (WRIA) 6 encompasses all of the islands and water within Island County’s geographic boundary. Centrally located within the Salish Sea, at the junction of Puget Sound, the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Georgia Straight, WRIA 6 shorelines are used as a migration corridor by juvenile and adult salmon originating from rivers throughout the Puget Sound.  WRIA 6 nearshore and coastal estuaries provide critical shelter, refuge, food, and physiological refuge for juvenile salmon as they transition from river to ocean stages of their life.  

The vision of the Salmon Recovery program is to ensure the following: 1) abundant, naturally-spawning Pacific salmon are using nearshore and coastal stream habitats in WRIA 6, and  2) diverse and viable populations of salmon, coexist with the human population, and support human harvest.  Strong community participation in ecosystem protection and restoration is essential to the success of the program.

Designated as the Lead Entity under Washington State Legislation, Island County relies on both citizen and technical committee members designated with overseeing the program.  The Salmon Recovery Technical and Citizen Committee (SRTCC) serves as both the citizen committee that oversees the Salmon Recovery program and provides citizen based evaluation of projects. SRTCC also serves as the technical committee that provides the scientific and technical assistance and guidance to the program. 

In 2005, the Board of Island County Commissioners approved the WRIA 6 Multi-Species Salmon Recovery Plan.  The purpose of the plan is to identify actions needed to recover salmon populations which use the nearshore areas of WRIA 6, especially listed species, and develop a framework for implementation of actions that have been agreed to by community stakeholders and local, state, tribal, and federal governments.

Lead Entity Definition:

"Local, watershed-based organizations that develop local salmon habitat recovery strategies and then recruit organizations to do habitat protection and restoration projects that will implement the strategies" (Chelan LE, 2012)

Mapping Success

  • Healthy eelgrass beds support salmon and other wildlife. They are one of the most important plants in the ocean, with beds providing important nursery ground for salmon, forage fish, and many other species. See this story map on how local scientists led an effort to preserve the vibrant eelgrass beds in Island County-