The National Fish Habitat Partnership is a cooperative effort between the US Fish and Wildlife Service, state conservation agencies, and external groups to address long-term declines in the quality of our aquatic habitats.
Since 2006, the partnership has provided more than $20 million to assist with recovery of rivers, lakes, and estuaries. Along the way:
- The Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture was launched to improve habitat quality, and stream connectivity, for this sensitive species within their native range.
- The Kenai River Habitat Partnership launched in Alaska, helping conserve nearly 30 native fish species, including vulnerable populations of Pacific salmon.
- The Fishers and Farmers Partnership launched in the Mississippi River basin, helping farmers and landowners manage their property to maintain water quality and fish habitat.
- The Midwest Glacial Lakes Partnership maintains high-quality aquatic habitat for fish and other wildlife on more than 40,000 lakes in the upper Midwest.
- The Western Native Trout Initiative maintains the population integrity of more than twenty native trout species in the interior states of the western US, including many native cutthroat species vulnerable to population loss and extinction.
These examples only highlight work the National Fish Habitat Partnership has helped fund over the past fifteen or so years, all the way from Hawaii to the Atlantic Seaboard. This year, the National Fish Habitat Partnership has written up their Waters to Watch 2022, highlighting the work of hundreds of people spread across the United States.
In the east, efforts are underway to install Large Woody Debris (LWD) in Vermont brook trout streams, increasing habitat diversity and cover for native trout. In the Midwest, money is being spent to stabilize eroding banks on a popular and diverse Ozark float stream. In the west, managers are reconnecting streams with their floodplain for the benefit of Yellowstone Cutthroat trout and non-game fish species, many of which are imperiled. Along the west coast, funded projects help re-design failed fish passage structures, helping curb the decline of steelhead stocks. These efforts are invaluable in ensuring our wild places are healthy and thriving for decades to come.