Persistence paid off for Cascade Fisheries after completing the third and final fish passage barrier on Minnow Creek during the summer of 2021. This allowed access to 3.74 miles of high-quality habitat for Upper Columbia summer steelhead, bull trout and other fish species.
Since 2012, Cascade Fisheries staff have been working closely with the US Forest Service to assemble the funding and permits necessary to remove two abandoned road crossings and replace a third culvert with a 50’ full spanning bridge.
Opening access to this tributary is important because Minnow Creek is an intact watershed, with complex instream habitat, cold water, and a mature riparian forest.
We want to thank our partners at the USFS, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Salmon Recovery Funding Board, Priest Rapids Coordinating Council and Bureau of Reclamation for their contributions and their patience.
Fish passage barriers like these not only limit access and distribution of native fish, but they also disrupt natural delivery of sediment and woody debris which are critical building blocks for downstream habitat.
Over the past six years, Cascade Fisheries has conducted comprehensive fish barrier inventories in the Wenatchee, Entiat, Methow and Okanogan watersheds and identified nearly 1,900 instream features. Over half of these sites are fish passage barriers. Comprehensive fish passage inventories are crucial to understanding the scale of this problem and necessary to prioritize corrections.