Fieldnotes Blog

Restoring Fish Habitat on a Tributary of Pat’s Creek

Restoring Fish Habitat on a Tributary of Pat’s Creek

Community Watershed Stewardship, Healthy Watersheds, Restoration & Mitigation
Before: Introducing the project At the end of March, SAWC completed on the ground restoration work on a small tributary that feeds into the Pat’s Creek watershed near Wrangell, AK. This tributary had been damaged and blocked off in areas as a result of previous logging operations at the site. The goal of this project is to return the stream to its natural condition prior to logging, allowing for fish passage and sustaining habitat for fish species. Here's an overview of the project site before restoration took place (photograph taken from the Zimovia Hwy bridge): The blue line shows roughly where the stream channel lies beneath piles of slash, sod, and a discarded puncheon trail. This stream crosses under a log stringer bridge from an old road (the black line),…
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Klawock Lake Sockeye Salmon Action Plan

Klawock Lake Sockeye Salmon Action Plan

Uncategorized
Sockeye salmon from Klawock Lake have been important to the livelihood and culture of the people of Klawock, Craig, and Prince of Wales Island for millennia. Over the last two decades there have been significant declines in the number of fish returning to the Klawock Watershed, and a group of tribal, native corporation, government, non-profit, and private sector partners are working to reverse this decline. With support from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and with facilitation and coordination from Kai Environmental, this group of stakeholders and community members has produced the Klawock Lake Sockeye Salmon Action Plan. The purpose of the Klawock Lake Sockeye Salmon Action Plan is to help guide landowners, stakeholders and the Klawock community in promoting healthy and sustainable sockeye salmon populations in Klawock Lake for…
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Restoration Potential in the Mendenhall Wetlands

Restoration Potential in the Mendenhall Wetlands

Uncategorized
The Mendenhall Wetlands, extensive intertidal and estuarine wetlands between the Juneau mainland and Douglas Island, are a globally recognized Important Bird Area, an ecological hotspot in Southeast Alaska, and a treasured recreation area for Juneau.  These wetlands have been heavily impacted by urbanization and resource development over the years, leading to habitat degradation and fragmentation. The Watershed Coalition recently completed a restoration opportunity assessment for the area to identify sites that have been altered or degraded but have the potential to be restored. We identified projects on several city, state, and private properties, and are already exploring some of these opportunities with the land owners and managers. We anticipate that this US Fish and Wildlife Service-funded assessment will lead to multiple wetland habitat restoration projects that reconnect and rehabilitate habitat…
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Before and After Restoration at Pat Creek

Before and After Restoration at Pat Creek

Uncategorized
Restoration of salmon habitat at Pat Creek near Wrangell is underway.  SAWC and our partners are adding large woody debris to about 1 km of stream. Fish like trees (when they fall in they create pools and other preferred habitats). The lack of mature trees along (and also in) the creek has resulted in less than optimal fish habitat including overwidened areas lacking pools and cover. Here is a before and after shot from the same spot on Pat Creek that shows the addition of large wood. Before                                                                           After  
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Work Starts for the Pat Creek Fish Habitat Enhancement Project

Work Starts for the Pat Creek Fish Habitat Enhancement Project

Uncategorized
Work started today on SAWC's Pat Creek Fish Habitat Enhancement Project!  Photo:  Mike Brunfelt, with Interfluve, Inc., works with Brett Woodbury, BW Enterprises to improve fish habitat to Wrangell's Pat Creek.   Location: Wrangell Island, Southeast Alaska Fish: Salmon (Coho, Pink, Chum, Sockeye), Dolly Varden char, Cutthroat Trout History: The valley bottom was logged in the 1960’s-70’s. This logging occurred before stream buffers were required, and trees on the stream’s banks were harvested. Restoration Need: Fish like trees (when they fall in they create pools and other preferred habitats). The lack of mature trees along (and also in) the creek has resulted in less than optimal fish habitat including overwidened areas lacking pools and cover. The Project: During the summer of 2019, “large wood” (tree trunks/roots) will be added to…
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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.
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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…
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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…
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