Since our formative years as the Southwest Alaska Conservation Coalition (2000-2007) to our more recent status (2008-present) as the Southwest Alaska Salmon Habitat Partnership, we’re proud to hang our hat on a number of projects that are moving the needle towards conserving fish habitat in Southwest Alaska. These include a mix of land/acquisitions and easements, in-stream flow reservations, cataloging of anadromous waters important for spawning and rearing, streamflow gaging, education and outreach, and basic monitoring. Below, you can learn a little more about each projects, by year, starting with the most recently funded!
- Detailed spreadsheet of funded projects (2010-2012)
- Detailed spreadsheet of fiscal year 2014/future outlook projects
Projects by Year
(2014) Southwest Alaska Salmon Habitat Partnership and Conservation Project. This project provides funding to the Bristol Bay Heritage Land Trust to coordinate activities and provide administrative and project support for the Southwest Alaska Salmon Habitat Partnership. The project also provides Koliganek Natives Limited, an ANCSA village corporation that owns 90,000 acres of land in the Nushagak watershed, with a comprehensive, easy to use GIS tool that will provide the corporation a more detailed assessment of the habitat values of their lands.
(2014) Bristol Bay Freshwater Fish Habitat Monitoring. Partnership funding was provided to the Center for Science and Public Participation to implement long-term monitoring of freshwater biological communities in the Lime Hills eco-region of Bristol Bay. The development of the Plan was underwritten by a previous partnership grant to the Bristol Bay Heritage Land Trust. The project will improve our understanding of the aquatic ecosystem at the headwaters of Bristol Bay’s two most productive sockeye and Chinook watersheds, the Nushagak and Kvichak drainages. The collection of a long-term dataset will help partners distinguish natural variations in these aquatic communities from climate change or human induced impacts.
(2013) Bristol Bay Stream Temperature Monitoring Plan. The focus of this project is creation and implementation of a Stream Temperature Monitoring Plan for Bristol Bay watersheds, including a funding strategy to support a comprehensive program in select drainages. Local village water quality monitors will be trained to use a standardized water temperature monitoring protocol and receive technical assistance in determining sites suitable for sampling. This presentation, given by Sue Mauger at our 2013 workshop, has more details about monitoring steam temperatures in the Bristol Bay region.
(2013) Assessing fish passage at 21 road-stream crossings in the Chignik, King Salmon and Cold Bay areas. The focus of this project is surveying all road-stream crossings on existing road systems in the Chignik, Chignik Lake, King Cove, and Cold Bay areas that contain fish, analyzing those crossings for passability issues, and entering that information into the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s Fish Passage Database.
(2013) Achieving strategic salmon habitat conservation through the Southwest Salmon Partnership Coordination. This project serves to provide the Partnership with coordination support for the implementation and updating of its strategic conservation plan and a coordinator that can arrange for meetings of the Steering Committee and the Science and Technical Committee, take minutes, carry out directives of the Committees, plan a science workshop, and interact on behalf of the Partnership with the National Fish Habitat Partnership board and staff to implement the Partnership’s strategic conservation plan.
(2012) Southwest Alaska Salmon Habitat Partnership Fish Passage Assessment Program. The focus of this project is surveying all road-stream crossings on existing road systems in the King Salmon and Dillingham areas that contain fish, analyzing those crossings for passability issues, and entering that information into the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s Fish Passage Database. interim report
(2012) Identification of Overwintering Habitat in the Nushagak and Mulchatna-Kvichak Watersheds. The focus of this project is to conduct baseline monitoring (basic water quality, macroinvertebrates, and fish) of headwater streams in priority areas of the Nushagek and Kvichak watersheds for interannual analyses; and examine relationships between physical habitat and biotic diversity.
(2012) Togiak River Chinook Salmon Habitat Use. The focus of this project is to acquire and analyze forward-looking infrared (FLIR) imagery to describe habitat characteristics associated with areas of high and low Chinook salmon spawning density in Southwest Alaska’s Togiak River, and to better understand the mechanisms of Chinook population declines throughout Southwest Alaska. This presentation, given by University of Alaska Fairbanks Masters student Stephanie Meggers at our 2013 workshop, details this project.
(2011) Bristol Bay River Academy. The Academy is an annual, week-long environmental education program that merges salmon and river education with conservation principles to educate, engage and inspire Bristol Bay young adults to become local leaders in salmon stewardship. This place-based river education course fosters sustainable outdoor employment opportunities in Bristol Bay, an region of Alaska that produces over half of the world supply of wild sockeye salmon. The Partnership funded the Academy in 2011. final report
(2011) Toxicology Tests for Copper in Mineral Claim Areas of Nushagak & Kvichak Watersheds. This project assessed the feasibility of conducting copper toxicology tests and stream side behavioral response experiments in Nushagek and Kvichak watersheds, including an assessment of other water quality or aquatic life studies important to understand the possible environmental impacts associated with mining. Here’s an annotated literature review for copper toxicity in aquatic systems.
(2010) Assessment of Fish Distribution & Abundance Upstream of Large Glacial Lakes. This project improved our collective understanding of the distribution and relative abundance of fish in the headwaters of Bristol Bay. It developed a geospatial model that can predict fish communities at unsampled locations. This model can be applied in establishing priorities for protection, monitoring, and field sampling. Over 100 miles of stream were added to the State of Alaska’s Anadromous Waters Catalog, a catalog of waters important for the spawning, rearing, or migration of anadromous fishes. final report
(2010) Protecting Fish Habitats in SW Alaska. This project consisted of anadromous stream surveys that resulted in 104 miles being added to the State of Alaska’s Anadromous Waters Catalog. It also included water quality sampling and investigations of groundwater connectivity in the upper reaches of priority drainages potentially affected by mineral extraction. Finally, it facilitated a science symposium/workshop. Listen to audio from this event: final report
(2009) Protecting Salmon Habitat in Southwest Alaska. The focus of this project was to survey fish populations in streams in the Nushagak and Kvichak watersheds that could be impacted by future mining activity. The purpose was to determine the extent of salmon occupation of these streams and determine which resident species occurred in these streams. Funding was provided to The Nature Conservancy. All salmon observations were submitted to ADF&G for inclusion in the Anadromous Waters Catalog (AWC), resident fish observations were submitted for inclusion in the ADF&G freshwater fish inventory. The project also included the collection of water quality parameters and a preliminary investigation of potential groundwater connectivity in the upper reaches of these two watersheds. At total of 104.3 miles of previously undocumented salmon habitat were nominated to the Anadromous Waters Catalog over the three-year project period which 2009 partnership funds helped support. final report
(2008) Instream Flow Reservations for Stuyahok and Mulchatna Rivers and Kaskanak Creek. The focus of this project was to initiate reservations of water for fish under Alaska law in three river systems in Southwest Alaska – the Stuyahok and Mulchatna Rivers and Kaskanak Creek. The USGS and ADF&G selected the appropriate gauging sites in each drainage and a $100,000 grant was provided to The Nature Conservancy to assist in the preparation and submission of instream flow reservations under Alaska law. ADF&G completed the applications in the name of the Partnership on the Stuyahok and Mulchatna Rivers. Trout Unlimited filed applications on Kaskanak Creek. The date of filing an application provides priority for the application, but the reservation is not complete until the application is perfected with five years of flow data. The Nature Conservancy, The Bristol Bay Heritage Land Trust, Bristol Bay Native Association, Trout Unlimited, ADF&G and the New Stuyahok Tribal Council all combined efforts to provide leverage of more than $600,000 to complete the data collection and perfect the applications. The applications were perfected in 2015 and the reservations are awaiting adjudication by the Alaska Department of Natural Resources. final report
2000-2007 projects – coming soon! During this period, over $17 million was raised to purchase fee or conservation easements on 69 tracts of land comprising over 78,000 acres! Most tracts were conveyed to federal or state conservation units and a few to the Bristol Bay Heritage Land Trust.
For more detailed project information, contact Tim Troll, Partnership Coordinator (see our Contact Us page).