A bull trout swimming.

NFWF Announces $510,000 in Grants to Support Native Fish Conservation Efforts Throughout the United States

Grants fund seven projects that will reestablish stream connectivity, restore instream and riparian habitat and manage invasive species

Bull trout

WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 30, 2020) – The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) today announced $510,000 in grants to restore, protect and enhance native fish species of conservation concern across the United States. The grants will leverage $2.02 million in matching contributions for a total conservation impact of $2.53 million.

The grants were awarded through Bring Back the Natives, a partnership between NFWF, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Forest Service. 

“In collaboration with our federal partners, the Bring Back the Natives program protects our nation’s amazing natural heritage by funding projects that ensure our rivers and streams provide refuge for iconic species such as Colorado River cutthroat trout and Chinook salmon,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF.  

Leading factors in native fish species decline include habitat alteration, lack of adequate in-stream flows, and invasive and/or nonnative species. The projects supported by the seven grants announced today will reconnect streams, restore riparian and instream habitat and water quality, and manage invasive species. In total, these projects will open more than 53 miles of stream, restore at least 31 miles of riparian habitat, and engage more than 180 volunteers in the restoration work.

Bring Back the Natives 2020 grant recipients include:

  • Trout Unlimited, to remove passage barriers and restore habitat quality for bull trout and western cutthroat trout in the Bitterroot watershed of western Montana
  • The U.S. Forest Service - Ochoco National Forest, to restore and enhance stream habitat in Upper Trout Creek in Oregon to benefit Middle Columbia River steelhead
  • The Yurok Tribe, to improve the habitat quality and ecological conditions for wild spring-run Chinook salmon and steelhead in a 9-mile reach of the South Fork Trinity River in California
  • The U.S. Forest Service – Grand Mesa Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests, to restore 13 miles of habitat for native green lineage Colorado River cutthroat trout on the Clear Fork of East Muddy Creek in Colorado through the establishment of a fish barrier and the removal of nonnative brook trout that are outcompeting native fish
  • Freshwater Life, to secure a Colorado River cutthroat trout population from the threat of nonnative trout and restore 5 miles of stream habitat in Fall Creek in southwest Colorado
  • Trout Unlimited, to reconnect native Southern Appalachian brook trout habitat on two tributaries to the French Broad River in Tennessee by replacing culverts blocking aquatic organism passage with fully passable structures
  • Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, to remove and monitor nonnative fish in Slickrock Saddle Bench Spring and the Escalante River to benefit roundtail chub, bluehead sucker and flannelmouth sucker populations

Since Bring Back the Natives was established in 1991, the grant program has awarded more than $26.6 million to 516 projects across the country, leveraging more than $97 million in matching contributions. In the past seven years, projects under this program have remedied more than 112 barriers, reopened more than 680 miles of habitat and engaged more than 4,180 volunteers in the restoration and enhancement of more than 233 miles of stream.

A complete list of the 2020 grants made through Bring Back the Natives is available here.    

About the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Chartered by Congress in 1984, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) protects and restores the nation’s fish, wildlife, plants and habitats. Working with federal, corporate and individual partners, NFWF has funded more than 5,000 organizations and generated a total conservation impact of $6.1 billion. Learn more at


Rob Blumenthal, 202-857-0166,