Salmon Recovery


The San Juan Islands are located at the junction of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Strait of Georgia and Puget Sound. This archipelago's highly diverse marine ecosystem is home to multiple species of salmon, orcas, other marine mammals, and seabirds. 

In its position within the larger region the San Juan archipelago is a source of energy and a haven for many fish en route to and from other regions. San Juan County waters and the nearshore are essential parts of the larger picture for salmon recovery in Puget Sound. The San Juans provide over 400 miles of marine shoreline and many populations of Chinook and other species of salmon from other watersheds across the region and the state use the islands during their life cycles, using a corresponding array of habitats and moving through the islands for migration and rearing.      
San Juan County is the Lead Entity for WRIA2 and has designated the San Juan County Marine Resources Committee as the citizens committee for salmon recovery.   The Lead Entity 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 Program with the technical and citizens groups establishes the strategy for salmon recovery work, sets the goals, and creates the work plan of projects.  The Lead Entity Program also ensures local projects are funded and completed and is an advocate for the salmon utilizing the waters of the San Juans. 

Salmon Recovery Strategy

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. 
The San Juan County Salmon Recovery Chapter and additional strategy documents are available by clicking here. You will find the documents under the Files and Links tab.

Work Plan Overview

Creation and maintenance of local salmon recovery plan.  The recovery plan also considers habitat and watershed interactions, such as water quantity, stream flows, etc.

  • Adaptive management of local recovery plan. 
  • Creation of project and program prioritization framework based on assessments and research. 
  • Creation of, and ongoing updates to, a 3 year work plan listing capital and non-capital salmon recovery projects and programs.  
  • The Salmon Technical Advisory Group and the Marine Resources Committee as the Salmon Citizens Advisory Group evaluate projects proposed from the 3 year work plan which are submitted to various funding sources.  (A list of currently funded and/or proposed projects available upon request.)
  • The Lead Entity Coordinator also pursues other funding sources for local projects.  
  • Outreach to broader community in partnership with other local organizations regarding salmon-friendly alternatives and stewardship.  

Learn More!

To learn more about salmon recovery efforts in the San Juans and for Contact information, Click Here