The recovery of Washington's iconic salmon and steelhead depends on access to healthy fish habitat. To achieve this, state agencies, restoration groups, and local governments have each focused on removing fish passage barriers as funding becomes available. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has found that fish barriers often remain downstream of corrected barrier projects, thus coordination is imperative to the success of opening up habitat to increase fish populations.
The Fish Passage Barrier Removal Board (FBRB) created in 2SHB 2251 is charged with developing a statewide strategy that will expedite the removal of human-made anadromous fish passage barriers in the most efficient manner possible. The board will focus this effort on developing a prioritized approach to barrier removal on state and local roads, and on barriers owned by private parties. In developing this approach, the board will coordinate with other salmon recovery efforts so the combined cumulative effects can result in fish passage throughout a watershed, a significant step towards salmon recovery. Once the strategy is developed, the board will review and approve projects for funding.