Fish

Fish in the Chehalis Basin

There are 31 salmonid stocks in the Chehalis Basin. Of these, 8 are known to be “depressed.”  The Chehalis River, along with other rivers flowing out to the Washington Coast, is important in that it does not have any Endangered or Threatened salmon species. Bull Trout are listed as Threatened throughout their range, which includes portions of the basin.

Habitat for Fish

Over the last 150 years, human use of the Chehalis Basin and its resources has had unforeseen, often negative, impacts on the habitat that fish and wildlife need to survive. Today, salmonid habitat restoration efforts are underway. The Chehalis Basin Partnership has developed better communication and coordination among the various groups involved in habitat restoration in the Chehalis since development of the Watershed Management Plan. It was instrumental in creating a local organization capable of planning, coordinating and implementing local habitat restoration efforts (now the Chehalis Basin Lead Entity – see their website for more details). Partnership members helped develop a Limiting Factors Assessment for salmonids, and also helped develop the “Chehalis Basin Salmon Habitat Restoration and Preservation Strategy for WRIA 22 and 23”.

If you are interested in supporting voluntary salmon recovery projects on your land, see the For Landowners section of the Chehalis Lead Entity website for more details.

Click on the image above to learn more about Chehalis Basin salmon and trout.

The Olympic Mudminnow is a freshwater fish found only in Washington State and lives in low elevation habitats in the Chehalis Watershed.  In 1999, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife assigned the Olympic Mudminnow to the category of “Sensitive”, indicating their vulnerability or risk for decline without management or the removal of threats (Kuehne and Olden, 2016)