ample cold water, logs, pools and riffles, and clean gravel and cobbles, but they also need salmon! When adult salmon return from the ocean, they carry with them large amounts of ocean nutrients. When salmon die after spawning, their bodies feed the river. Salmon carcasses fuel the growth of algae, insects, young fish, streamside trees, birds, bears, otters, and many other plants and animals. Low salmon returns mean fewer nutrients are brought back from the ocean to fertilize streams. Decades of research indicates that the Chiwawa River lacks adequate food for young salmon.
CCFEG will use hatchery salmon carcasses or salmon carcass analogs (large, pelletized fish food made from salmon meal) to restore vital nutrients to a five-mile reach of the Upper Chiwawa River. Crews will spend one week in October and one week in November distributing nutrients. The goal of this project is to subsidize nutrients to the Chiwawa River during a five-year pilot program to boost production, increasing food available for native fish and benefiting the whole river foodweb. The long-term goal is to increase numbers of endangered and threatened fish in the Chiwawa River, which will reestablish the natural cycle by bringing ocean nutrients back into the watershed.
For more information please call Jason Lundgren 509.476.3444 or email Jason@ccfeg.org.
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