Volunteer / Cooperative Programs - Regional Fisheries Enhancement Groups (RFEG)
Date Published: December 2012
Number of Pages: 80
The Regional Fisheries Enhancement Groups (RFEGs) are a statewide network of non-profit salmon enhancement organizations. Created by the Washington State Legislature in 1990, the RFEG Program involves local communities, citizen volunteers and landowners in the state’s salmon recovery efforts. The long term vision of the RFEG program is that Washington State communities actively care for and become stewards of abundant salmon populations for future generations.
The 14 RFEGs share the unique role of involving local communities in salmon enhancement activities. Each group is a separate, local, non-profit organization with their own board of directors and supported by their members.
The RFEGs share the goal of enhancing salmon and steelhead populations and habitat through leveraging contributions and support from local communities. The RFEGs create dynamic partnerships with local, state and federal agencies, Native American tribes, local businesses, citizen groups and landowners. RFEGs help lead their communities in successful enhancement, restoration, assessment, education and monitoring projects.
Donations and in-kind contributions from community members and businesses are essential to the success of each RFEG. Individual RFEGs obtain many grants from governmental and private entities. In recent years the RFEG Program has successfully worked with U.S. Representatives and Senators to secure funding from the federal government.
During the fiscal year, the RFEGs collectively completed:
- 192 projects ranging from education and outreach to monitoring and, of course, on the ground salmon enhancement projects.
- RFEG volunteers donated over 127,245 hours to these salmon enhancement efforts.
- Half of the RFEGs participated in fish production projects, releasing 2,510,100 fish into local watersheds.
- 31 fish passage improvement projects opened 34 miles of habitat for migrating salmon.
- 39 miles of habitat was enhanced and restored for salmonids and
- 57,676 salmon carcasses were returned to streams to add nutrients to local watersheds for juvenile salmon, bears, eagles and over 130 other species of wildlife.
- 187.2 FTEs supported: 52.7 RFEG FTEs, 22 Washington Conservation Corp FTEs and an additional 112 professional and construction FTEs.
Since 1995, these accomplishments add up to:
- 3,401 total salmon projects
- 1,460,111 volunteer hours
- 71.8 million salmon released into Washington waters
- 773 fish passage problems fixed
- 881 miles of fish habitat opened
- 575 additional miles of habitat restored
- 1,020,807 fish carcasses placed back in streams for nutrient enhancement
- $167,703,892 in additional leveraged funding for salmon restoration efforts
The RFEG program makes a special contribution to Washington’s salmon recovery efforts by:
- Leveraging local and private money;
- Promoting stewardship through volunteer involvement;
- Working cooperatively with diverse interest groups; and,
- Building on each year’s successes.