Steelhead Recovery Planning

How are we moving toward a comprehensive recovery plan for our State Fish?

Project Overview

Long Live the Kings staff are working with steelhead experts around the region to document linkages between human activities and specific impacts to steelhead survival by life stage. In 2015, we formally joined the NOAA-led Puget Sound Steelhead Recovery Team. To this effort, we bring our experience improving the Chinook recovery plans, drafting the technical basis for a steelhead plan for the four Hood Canal populations in 2014, and working continuously on steelhead survival via the Hood Canal Bridge Assessment, Hood Canal Steelhead Project, and Salish Sea Marine Survival Project.

The Problem

Since Puget Sound steelhead were listed as threatened in 2007, we have seen a continued decline in the species, with evidence pointing to early marine survival as the primary bottleneck for survival and recovery. No comprehensive recovery plan exists, and we have very little data for individual stocks in the three major population groups for Puget Sound steelhead. Given the future climate impacts we expect, along with legacy impacts from hatcheries and habitat access, a plan is needed immediately to direct funding and actions in order to save our State Fish before it is too late.

Our Solution

LLTK is working to bring the most current science from the Salish Sea Marine Survival Project and the Hood Canal Bridge Assessment into the development of a Puget Sound steelhead recovery plan. We are also applying the lessons learned from a decade of Chinook recovery implementation to improve the planning process by focusing on the key issues, using clear and common language, and documenting strategies and actions toward the right issues and the right scales. With the Puget Sound Partnership and NOAA, we are working to develop templates and guidance for local-level planning to ensure that a shared language and cohesive strategies lead to clear and successful recovery actions by all.

Project Impact


populations affected


partners engaged


cohesive plan in development

Project Partners

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Project Contact

Susan O'Neil

Associate Director, Conservation & Strategy

206.382.9555, x25