Boots on the Ground: Salmon carcasses make a splash in Chiwawa River

Submitted by Cascade Columbia Fisheries Enhancement Group

Year two of our five year nutrient enhancement project is off to a great start! Last week CCFEG and Washington Conservation Corps field crews applied over 20,000 lbs of salmon carcass analogs to the stunning Chiwawa River. Each of the two applications that will occur this month are timed to mimic the nutrient conditions that result after returning spring Chinook and coho salmon spawn. Similar to the carcasses left behind, the analogs will decompose and promote primary production giving a healthy ecosystem boost! (see slimy mush pellet photo below!)

Big THANKS to our crews, project partners, and supporters for making this possible! Washington Department of Ecology, Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife, U.S. Forest Service, Chelan PUD, Douglas County PUD, HCP Tributary Committee and BioAnalysts, Inc. of Boise, ID

Pacific salmon and steelhead once contributed large amounts of marine-derived carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus to freshwater ecosystems in the Pacific Northwest. These nutrients are no longer available in the historic quantities because fewer adult fish are returning to spawn (and die). To compensate for reduced nutrient load and resultant lowered stream productivity, recent mitigation efforts have focused on addition of nutrients to freshwater systems

The purpose of the project is to apply carcasses or salmon carcass analogs to the river to increase direct and indirect food sources for juvenile salmonids.

More detail click .

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