Category Archives: News

The Tongass Top 5!

Many culverts cause big problems for fish. Migratory fish—like salmon and steelhead—need room to move and are particularly hard hit by barriers where roads cross streams.

Designing fish-friendly crossings where roads intersect streams helps ensure a seamless transition for fish passing underneath. Across the nation, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and many partners have come together to improve fish passage under roads: in 2016, the U.S. Forest Service celebrated over 1000 fish passage projects completed nationally.

This effort has been deeply embraced in Alaska across the Tongass
National Forest. Between 1998 and 2015, over 500 crossings not
previously meeting fish passage standards were improved. In spite of this good work, it is estimated that a third of remaining assessed road-stream crossings in the Tongass do not currently meet fish passage standards. To address this need, the U.S. Forest Service, U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service, Trout Unlimited, The Nature Conservancy, and Southeast Alaska Fish Habitat Partnership have teamed up to develop the TONGASS TOP 5. The goal: design fish passage sites to a ‘shovel ready’ state and ultimately develop a plan to restore these remaining high priority sites for improved fish passage.

Your help can make a difference for fish in the Tongass! Make a direct tax-deductible donation for this effort here.

Coastal Cutthroat Trout Assessment Workshops planned for Southeast Alaska

Southeast Alaska Coastal Cutthroat Trout Assessment Workshops – April 24-28, 2017 planned for Juneau, Ketchikan and Sitka

The Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission (PSMFC) and the Coastal Cutthroat Trout Interagency Committee (http://www.coastalcutthroattrout.org/) are conducting an assessment of Coastal Cutthroat Trout (CCT) throughout the subspecies’ geographic range. The assessment includes workshops with knowledgeable local biologists from multiple agencies where we capture data using a GIS-based protocol.

We are conducting workshops focusing on different geographic areas within the state of Alaska. We will be holding three one-day workshops in SE AK the week of April 24-28. Locations and dates are Juneau, April 24; Ketchikan, April 26, and Sitka, April 28th.

The assessment focuses on gathering existing data from agency partners into a single GIS framework. We focus on distribution, habitat quality, population health indicators, and limiting factors.  We have developed a protocol that includes professional judgement because CCT are often monitored incidentally. Because of this, we have found that holding workshops with 15-20 experts is a good way to gather an immense amount of information in a short time frame.

Previously, we partnered with ADFG and USFWS to gather data as a foundation for this effort. Data from six state and and four federal sources that were included in that effort are available to view in the final report http://www.westernnativetrout.org/media/2011-funded-projects/final-report—wnti_alaska-cct_2013.pdf.

Please contact assessment coordinator Kitty Griswold for more information about the data already collected or view the interactive map here which displays the data that were geo-referenced: Coastal Cutthroat Trout WebApp

At the workshops we: 1) review and update CCT distribution that we have already collected Coastal Cutthroat Trout WebApp; 2) identify localized threats and conservation opportunities; and 3) conduct a qualitative assessment of habitat condition and CCT population health.  Your efforts will help build a range-wide CCT conservation framework that will: 1) identify information needs, 2) develop criteria for identifying conservation units, and 3) identify priority conservation units for enhanced monitoring or rehabilitation.

If you are interested in this effort we are asking you take this 5-minute survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/5VGZPNN

This project fills a major gap for an important native fish. Thanks in advance, and call me at 413 230 0405 or email if you have questions.

Sincerely,
Kitty Griswold, griskitt@isu.edu

Updated climate information for Southeast Alaska

Are you wondering what the temperature, precipitation and snow pack projections are for Southeast Alaska?

You can find practical notes HERE for using climate projections and an update to climate resources shared in a presentation held March 30, 2017 from Jeremy Littell, USGS/Alaska Climate Science Center.

Thanks Jeremy!

Check out other important presentations shared during the 2016 Southeast Alaska Climate Workshop archived here.

Economic Impact Analysis Released for Southeast Alaska Transboundary Watersheds

SalmonState contracted with McDowell Group, an Alaska-based research and consulting firm, to measure the economic impacts in Southeast Alaska of three transboundary watersheds: Taku, Stikine, and Unuk Rivers. The analysis also briefly considers economic contributions to Southeast Alaska from the Nass and Skeena Rivers, two river systems that also have cross-border economic impacts.

You can download the report on the McDowell Group’s website here.

SEAKFHP is kicking off its strategic plan review!

The Southeast Alaska Fish Habitat Partnership is beginning an effort to revise its  2014-2016 strategic action plan. This was the initial plan that guided the development and focus for the partnership over the past few years. Focus for revising this plan will take into account the expanded growth of the partnership, including additional perspectives and strategic priorities from new SEAKFHP partners, as well as develop regionally shared nearshore and estuarine conservation strategies.

If you are interested in getting involved please contact our coordinator at coordinator@sealaskafishhabitat.org.

Documents for this effort can be located here.

Alaska Fish Habitat Partnerships Story Map

All-Alaska Fish Habitat Partnerships ESRI Story Map     

Five national Fish Habitat Partnerships working in Alaska, Southwest Alaska Salmon Habitat Partnership, Mat-Su Basin Salmon Habitat Partnership, Kenai Peninsula Fish Habitat Partnership, Southeast Alaska Fish Habitat Partnership and the Western Native Trout Initiative, with assistance from our partners from the US Fish and Wildlife Service and a very talented Directorate Fellow, recently produced a beautiful story map highlighting our work in Alaska.

Check it out here!

The full website dedicated to the Alaska based fish habitat partnerships can be viewed here.

From Salmon to Seabirds: A New Ecological Atlas of Southeast Alaska

From Salmon to Seabirds: A New Ecological Atlas of Southeast Alaska is now available.

Check out Audubon Alaska’s newest publication, the Ecological Atlas of Southeast Alaska, through maps and written descriptions this publication shares researched data and compiled information from researchers and agencies to create a thorough look at the landscape of Southeast, from human uses such as airports and ferry routes to wildlife uses such as bird and salmon habitat.

A high-resolution electronic version of the atlas can be found here (resolution is 144dpi, 100MB file).

Fish friendly makeover at Peterson Creek – timelapse video

Check out the cool timelapse video of Pederson Creek’s west fork receiving a fish-friendly makeover. Two undersized culverts were replaced with a larger 6’X8’X52′ embedded culvert designed to retain natural stream function and fish passage at the road-stream crossing. Partners: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Southeast Alaska Watershed Coalition. Survey and Design: DOWL. Construction: Howell Construction. Species present in creek: Dolly Varden Char and Coho, Pink, Chum Salmon. Filmed May 11-16, 2016 using Brinno Construction camera.

Pederson Creek timelapse

2015 Alaska Fish Passage Meeting – October 13-15

 

2015 Alaska Fish Passage Meeting – October 13-15, 2015 – Juneau, Alaska

The Southeast Alaska Fish Habitat Partnership (SEAKFHP) will host the 2015 Alaska Fish Passage Meeting October 13-15, 2015 in Juneau, Alaska.  This meeting will examine the state of the science and practice of maintaining and restoring fish habitat connectivity through road crossings in the region. With over 5,000 inventoried culvert barriers on fish streams across local, state, and federal ownerships, maintaining current fish passage regulatory policies, design and implementation approaches, and performance monitoring schemas are critical to maintaining habitat connectivity.  Interagency coordination and information sharing events reflecting the state of the science are keys for future success.

Inventories of fish passage barriers on Federal (USFS, FWHA), State (ADOT&PF), private (ANCSA Corporation) and municipal road systems in Southeast Alaska have been largely completed over the past 15 years. Advances and refinements in fish passage assessment, prioritization, design, and construction have also occurred across in the region as awareness of fish passage issues has increased. While progress has clearly been made, nearly ten years have passed since the last comprehensive review of fish passage management in Alaska. This meeting will convene leading Federal, State, and local engineers, transportation planners, hydrologists, biologists, and regulatory specialists to examine the plans, policies, and practice of fish passage management in the region.  As road infrastructure in Alaska improves and expands, maintaining and restoring fish passage at road/stream crossings will remain a top priority for both transportation planners and aquatic habitat managers.

For information on this meeting please contact Deborah Hart, SEAKFHP Coordinator at coordinator@sealaskafishhabitat.org.

Additional meeting resources can be found here

Site 3 photo series

2015 AFS Fish Film Festival – August 18-20, 2015 Portland, Oregon

America’s Fish and Fisheries – Shared through the Camera Lens – A 2015 AFS Fish Film Festival

Over 60 short films will be featured during the first ever AFS Fish Film Festival.  America’s Fish and Fisheries – Shared through the Camera Lens – A 2015 AFS Film Festival showcases films that focus on the connections between people, fish and fisheries, the unique life cycles and habitat needs of different species, and how resource practitioners and ordinary people are helping conserve fish and their habitats across the nation. The films are from a variety of perspectives—including commercial and sport fishermen, subsistence users, researchers and managers, volunteers, landowners, and even fish themselves.

Films will be shown during the conference on Tuesday, August 18 –Thursday, August 20th. Films will be grouped into themes covering general conservation topics, habitat protection and restoration, fisheries enhancement, sport fishing, fisheries management, and fisheries research and education.

This festival offers a new way to share and understand the work and craft of AFS members and other fisheries professionals and stakeholders. It will provide an exciting vantage point to view successes and challenges in fisheries conservation, and most importantly grow appreciation for and awareness of our nation’s fisheries and the many ways in which we’re connected to fish and all the goods and services they provide.

The festival is hosted by the Southeast Alaska Fish Habitat Partnership (www.seakfhp.org), Western Native Trout Initiative (www.westernnativetrout.org), Sitka Conservation Society/ Sustainable Southeast Partnership (www.sitkawild.org/www.sustainablesoutheast.net) and The Salmon Project  (www.salmonproject.org).

Tuesday, August 18, 2015: 8:00 AM-5:20 PM – click here for day 1 schedule

Wednesday, August 19, 2015: 8:00 AM-5:20 PM – day 2 schedule

Thursday, August 20, 2015: 8:00 AM – 5:20 PM – day 3 schedule

For full conference information, click here.

You can find the film festival program here.