Fieldnotes Blog

Pullen Creek gets a facelift

Pullen Creek gets a facelift

Healthy Watersheds
Pullen Creek is a spring-fed salmon stream that flows through the heart of Skagway, Alaska. In 2006 a roughened channel was constructed downstream of Congress Way to help migrating salmon get through a perched culvert (think of a perched culvert as a small waterfall and a roughened channel as an access ramp). Over the years, high flows removed small rocks in the channel exposing landscaping cloth and eliminating salmon spawning habitat and places for insects to live. This week SAWC replaced the missing rocks with a mix a sand, gravel, and cobbles to restore the streambed in time for a big run of pink salmon later this summer. Check out a video on Facebook.
Read More
WANTED: Watershed Monitoring Intern

WANTED: Watershed Monitoring Intern

Community Watershed Stewardship, Healthy Watersheds, Watershed Science
Position Description: We are seeking an enthusiastic, detail-oriented intern to develop a stream stage–discharge relationship and assist with water and sediment quality monitoring in Jordan Creek, Juneau, AK. The intern will work with Dr. Eran Hood (UAS), the SAWC Science Director and SAWC Restoration Biologist to measure discharge at the site of an existing stream gage across a range of flows throughout the year. Under the supervision of Dr. Hood, the intern will use the data to develop a rating curve for Jordan Creek. The intern will also assist SAWC staff with water and sediment quality monitoring, which will occur once during the spring and summer, and up to three times during fall storm runoff. Water and sediment monitoring events will require full work days (one day in April, one…
Read More
Stormwater Monitoring, Restoration, and Watershed Planning for Jordan Creek

Stormwater Monitoring, Restoration, and Watershed Planning for Jordan Creek

Community Watershed Stewardship, Healthy Watersheds, Watershed Science
SAWC is excited to begin a comprehensive project to address stormwater runoff in Jordan Creek (Juneau). Lower Jordan Creek is highly urbanized. Rainwater and snowmelt flow quickly over pavement, picking up pollutants and sediments and carrying them directly to the stream, where they can damage fish and invertebrate habitat and health. With funding from the AK Department of Environmental Conservation (Alaska Clean Water Actions Program), we will monitor the water for heavy metals, hydrocarbons, and other urban pollutants for the next two years. Additionally, we will restore riparian vegetation, which can filter out pollutants and provide nutrients and habitat for fish, along one reach of the stream. Finally, we will develop a comprehensive watershed management plan by working with land owners and managers to identify solutions and funding sources that…
Read More
NEW! Implementation Plan for the SEAK Freshwater Temperature Monitoring Network

NEW! Implementation Plan for the SEAK Freshwater Temperature Monitoring Network

Community Watershed Stewardship, Watershed Science
We are excited to release the Southeast Alaska Freshwater Temperature Monitoring Network Implementation Plan! The Implementation Plan explains why the network is important, reviews existing monitoring sites, lays out a sampling plan for the future, and outlines short- and long-term goals for the network.  The strategic sampling plan addresses the need for long-term data, monitoring of culturally important sites, and filling in gaps in the types of systems that are monitored so that we can have a more robust understanding of stream temperature patterns and trends, and their drivers. Organizations that are monitoring stream temperature can learn more about the network on our website and sign onto the network via a Memorandum of Understanding, which can be found in the Implementation Plan. A big thanks to the Network Steering Committee and…
Read More
Wrangell Area Watersheds Assessment

Wrangell Area Watersheds Assessment

Community Watershed Stewardship, Resources, Restoration & Mitigation, Watershed Science
As the community of Wrangell continues to grow and develop, the City and Borough of Wrangell and its residents have sought to identify and prioritize local aquatic resources to better plan for future land development and strategize potential restoration-based mitigation opportunities. In an effort to support the informed management of Wrangell’s watersheds and aquatic resources, the Southeast Alaska Watershed Coalition (SAWC) has undertaken the Wrangell Area Watersheds Assessment. The purpose of the Wrangell Area Watersheds Assessment was to compile a dataset and report outlining key aquatic resources within the City and Borough of Wrangell, including an assessment of the current habitat condition of key aquatic resources, identification of sites that could benefit from restoration treatment, and outlining watershed management challenges and opportunities. The community of Wrangell and its surrounding area…
Read More
Litter Free Spring Clean-up April 20

Litter Free Spring Clean-up April 20

Community Watershed Stewardship, Events, Trainings & Opportunities
Litter Free, Inc. wants you! We need your help to keep our mission going of keeping Juneau, Alaska "Litter Free!" The annual community-wide spring clean-up of public lands, roadways, sidewalks, beaches, wetlands, and trails will be held on Saturday, April 20, 2019.  Trash bag distribution sites are stationed around the community and anyone can join us in picking up trash. Local contractors volunteer their time and trucks to take the collected waste to the landfill. Last year we hauled over 30,000 pounds of trash to the landfill.  We partner with many local businesses and community groups in this effort - be part of our team! Throughout the spring, summer and fall, Litter Free coordinates a "Youth Litter Patrol."  Thanks to our major program sponsors, Alaskans for Litter Prevention and Recycling (ALPAR),…
Read More
Feb 20: Ocean Acidification and AK – Talk and Q&A

Feb 20: Ocean Acidification and AK – Talk and Q&A

Events, Trainings & Opportunities, Uncategorized
Please join us on Feb 20, 5:00 PM, at Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall to learn about and discuss the effects of ocean acidification in Alaska. The event will include short presentations from ocean acidification researchers Jessica Cross and Bob Foy of NOAA, followed by Q&A/dialogue with the audience. This is a chance for people to ask question about what we know so far about ocean acidification in Alaska and what we might expect in the future.  It's also a chance for researchers to hear thoughts and information needs from the local community.    
Read More
Winter sampling in Fish Creek Estuary

Winter sampling in Fish Creek Estuary

Community Watershed Stewardship, Watershed Science
SAWC staff, joined by ADF&G Habitat Biologists, visited the dredge ponds in Fish Creek estuary, near Douglas, AK, to assess watershed enhancement opportunities in the area. To learn more about current habitat conditions, we measured water quality and trapped overwintering fish in both ponds. The east pond was completely iced over, but dissolved oxygen concentrations were high, and many stickleback and even a few juvenile Coho appeared in the fish traps. In the west pond, which is connected to Fish Creek and tidally influenced, we found many juvenile Coho, stickleback, sculpin, and even a shrimp in the fish traps. Water quality measurements indicated high dissolved oxygen concentrations and a mix of freshwater and salty, tidal water in the west pond. [caption id="attachment_7064" align="aligncenter" width="458"] Rebecca Bellmore, Jesse Lindgren, and Rob…
Read More
New Release: Jordan Creek Watershed Management Plan and Riparian Assessment

New Release: Jordan Creek Watershed Management Plan and Riparian Assessment

Community Watershed Stewardship, Resources
The Juneau Watershed Partnership recently released an updated Jordan Creek Watershed Management Plan and Jordan Creek Riparian Assessment. Jordan Creek flows through Juneau’s Mendenhall Valley, through neighborhoods and heavily developed industrial areas. The stream is home to Coho, Chum, and Pink salmon, but erosion, stormwater runoff, debris (litter), and development in riparian areas are damaging water quality and habitat for fish and other aquatic organisms. SAWC will engage with landowners and the city of Juneau to pursue actions recommended in the Management Plan, including vegetating riparian buffers, exploring stormwater management options, controlling invasive riparian plants, and promoting litter cleanups and continuing to monitor the stream.
Read More
New stream temperature monitoring sites added in Southeast Alaska

New stream temperature monitoring sites added in Southeast Alaska

Community Watershed Stewardship, Watershed Science
Stream temperatures affect the growth, health, and behavior of fish, and as the climate and hydrology of southeast Alaska change, stream temperatures will, too. A network of organizations across the region is monitoring stream temperature to establish baseline conditions and document changes over time. This summer, SAWC and several new organizations, including the Skagway Traditional Council, Wrangell Cooperative Association, and Ketchikan Indian Community established new monitoring locations, and will be contributing data to the regional network. [caption id="attachment_7006" align="aligncenter" width="3600"] Current sites with continuous stream temperature monitoring.[/caption]
Read More