The Cascade Columbia Fisheries Enhancement Group and the US Fish and Wildlife Service are working on a salmon habitat restoration project along the lower White River (RM 2-5) in Chelan County. They will be flying whole trees to the White River September 16thand ask that boaters and recreationalist avoid the river and river corridor between the Sears Creek and Little Wenatchee River Road Bridges during daylight hours. In July 2014 nearly 130 pilings were installed in 30 discrete locations within the channel to retain and collect small mobile wood. The final element of this project involves utilizing a helicopter to add whole trees to the piling structures.
Over the past century, the number of Pacific salmon returning to the Columbia Basin have declined. Annual number of salmon and steelhead returning to the Columbia Basin to spawn, once estimated to range from 10-16 million, were recently reported at about 1 million fish annually. As a result of these declines, many stocks of salmon and steelhead have been extirpated and/or listed for protection under the Endangered Species Act. In the Wenatchee watershed, spring Chinook were determined to be Endangered in 1999; steelhead and bull trout were listed as Threatened in 2009 and 1998, respectively. The reasons for this precipitous decline are often grouped into four major categories known as the 4-H’s: Harvest, Hydropower, Hatcheries, and Habitat.