This year the Taiya Inlet Watershed Council in Skagway undertook a project to protect critical salmon spawning habitat in Pullen Creek, a popular attraction for visitors.
Located near Skagway’s cruise ship docks and featuring dazzling annual runs of king, pink, and coho salmon, Pullen Creek is an easily accessible natural attraction for the many visitors traveling to Skagway each summer. Unfortunately, lacking a formal trail system or viewing area, the creek’s riparian area has become degraded by visitors walking along the creek’s edges to experience the salmon up close; causing streambank erosion, and trampled riparian vegetation that impact habitat crucial to salmon reproduction in the creek.
Road near the creek and riparian area before fence project
Taiya Inlet Watershed Council set out with a goal of enabling creek visitors the opportunity to see the vast numbers of salmon swimming upstream to spawn in the creek while protecting the area from heavy foot traffic by establishing a formal trail with a designated viewing area. In an effort to protect the creek’s riparian area, TIWC developed plans to construct a 600-foot fence as a visual barrier between the nearby road and riparian buffer area to allow creekside vegetation to re-establish and restore salmon habitat.
Funded by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and carried out by a team of 2 TIWC staff and 9 local volunteers, the crew knocked out 600 feet of fence construction in one 10 hour day.
By re-routing foot traffic along the area, Taiya Inlet Watershed Council is better able to encourage the streambank restoration process, allowing the establishment of critical plant communities that will serve to prevent bank erosion and provide critical spawning and rearing habitat for the many salmon that return to the creek year after year.
Taiya Inlet Watershed Council (907) 612-0831