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Published on Friday, October 17, 2014

Fish Passage Barrier Removal Board Continues to Meet

AWC’s efforts to build support for a coordinated plan to address local fish passage barriers continued this month. The Department of Fish and Wildlife Fish Passage Barrier Removal Board met on September 16, and discussed potential approaches to prioritizing the process of applying a coordinated stream-based approach to barrier removal.

AWC shared these initial thoughts with the Department including:

  • A statewide strategy must incorporate all areas of the state, but the strategy must have a starting point.
  • Strong rationale for the prioritization criteria will be important. Elements to begin the prioritization discussions include:
    • Stream complexity – start in a few areas with a handful of barriers
    • Habitat restoration potential
    • Ability of multiple owners to participate (timing issues)
    • Regulatory impact (Endangered Species Act)
    • Ability to show success
    • Need for multiple owners to go forward at once – adjacent barriers with engineering complexity

AWC also continues to explore options to secure funding support for cities undertaking barrier removals. We believe it is critical for the state to recognize that cities need assistance in meeting this challenge, and that a collaborative approach will ensure that investments by all parties pay dividends. We are exploring whether a future state transportation package may be a vehicle to start this process.

If you have a barrier or project that illustrates that dynamic, please share details with Carl Schroeder and Alison Hellberg.