Yellowstone cutthroat trout swimming

Bring Back the Natives

Bring Back the Natives invests in conservation activities that restore, protect and enhance native populations of sensitive or listed fish species across the United States, especially in areas on or adjacent to federal agency lands. The program emphasizes coordination between private landowners and federal agencies, tribes, corporations and states to improve the ecosystem functions and health of watersheds. 


Leading factors in native fish species decline include habitat alteration, lack of adequate in-stream flows, and invasive and/or non-native species. Bring Back the Natives awards grants to projects that conserve aquatic ecosystems, increase in-stream flows and build partnerships that benefit native fish species throughout the United States. The program also provides grants to implement the goals of theNational Fish Habitat Action Plan​.

Bring Back the Natives also supports projects that advance innovation in fisheries management, including developing decision support tools, landscape-scale assessments to determine where to implement restoration to maximize native fish recovery, piloting innovative restoration techniques, identifying key flow restoration thresholds that enhance fish habitat and water quality in flow-limited systems, and innovative public outreach methods like crowd-sourcing data or information needed for native fish conservation. 

Priority Landscapes and Species

Bring Back the Natives supports projects benefitting one or more of the following native fish species and focal geographies:

  • Pacific lamprey, Chinook salmon and steelhead in the Columbia River Basin
  • Salmon in the Central and Northern California coasts
  • Intermountain West native trout andchar including Yellowstone/Snake River, Colorado River, San Juan and Greenback cutthroat trout, as well as bull trout, Apache trout and Gila trout
  • Native desert fishes in the arid Southwest, including sucker, dace, pupfish and other species, especially those with overlapping distributions with other native fish species of conservation priority
  • Great Lakes native fishes, including lake sturgeon, northern pike and eastern brook trout
  • Southern and southeastern native fish, especially endemic species of concern in the Cumberland, Tennessee and Mobile (Alabama/Coosa) River drainages
  • Native fish of eastern U.S. Rivers, especially river herring and American shad in the Chesapeake and Delaware watersheds

Application Information

05/04/2021 Bring Back the Native Fish 2021 Request for Proposals View Now
04/13/2021 2020 Request for Proposals - CLOSED View Now
04/13/2021 How to Manage Your New Grant Webinar Recording View Now
04/13/2021 Program Fact Sheet Download the PDF
04/13/2021 2020 Grant Slate Download the PDF
12/03/2019 2019 Grant Slate Download the PDF
12/03/2019 2018 Grant Slate Download the PDF
11/30/2020 2017 Grant Slate Download the PDF
11/30/2020 2016 Grant Slate Download the PDF
11/30/2020 2015 Grant Slate Download the PDF
11/30/2020 2014 Grant Slate Download the PDF
11/30/2020 2013 Grant Slate Download the PDF
11/30/2020 2012 Grant Slate Download the PDF
Staff Representatives

Manager, Southwest Rivers Program

Coordinator, Regional Programs