Salmon Recovery

Chinook photo marine waters

S A L M O N   R E C O V E R Y

Salmon Recovery in the Islands is supported by the Salmon Recovery Funding Board and other grant programs.  The County and other local entities apply for and implement projects reviewed and selected by the San Juan County Salmon Recovery Lead Entity – which is a local watershed based organization devoted to recovery of sustainable salmon populations to support the needs of the local ecosystem, wildlife and people in the San Juans. The salmon recovery program is a local process to protect and restore ecosystem habitats and processes utilized by salmon in San Juan County. The Lead Entity is support by a body of citizens (Citizen Advisory Group) and technical advisers (Technical Advisory Group) with expertise in salmon habitat restoration. 

The Lead Entity Program ensures local projects are funded and completed and is an advocate for the salmon utilizing the waters of the San Juans. The primary focus of salmon recovery in the Islands is in support of forage fish habitat – sand lance, surf smelt, and herring.  The forage fish provide a food source to juvenile and adult Chinook and other salmonids as they migrate out and into the Salish Sea and beyond.

CAG and TAG visiting a project site at English Camp in 2019

CAG and TAG site visit at English Camp


The San Juan Salmon Recovery Chapter was developed locally with local input.  It is an ecosystem based recovery plan supporting multiple salmon species with an emphasis on Puget Sound Chinook Salmon listed under the Endangered Species Act in 1999.  The local salmon recovery chapter is part of the Puget Sound Chinook Salmon Recovery Plan which was adopted by NOAA January 2007.

Projects currently underway include:

  • Agate Beach Bluff Restoration

  • Mackaye Harbor Boat Launch Beach Restoration

  • West Beach Culvert Replacement

For a complete list of projects underway or completed by the County and other implementing partners, see the Habitat Work Schedule

Forage fish