Thursday, October 21, 2010

Want More Fish? Start with Habitat

A recent meta-analysis published in the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences suggests what many biologists have long observed, well done habitat restoration projects are the best way to increase the productivity of wild salmon populations. A century and a half of human activity and land use has resulted in severe degradation of many watersheds. Among the long list of haibtat changes is the loss of large woody debris in river channels, increased sediment and temperature loading, reduced connectivity between rivers and their floodplains all contributing to declining productivity of the freshwater environment. While many factors are involved in determining the ultimate abundance of a given salmon population, freshwater habitat is one of the most easily controlled and therefore provides the best avenue to the restoration and protection of wild runs. The team of researchers from Montreal's Concordia University found that among the more than 200 restoration actions they looked at, projects on average resulted in significant improvement of habitat metrics such as pool area, and large woody debris. Salmonid populations benefited greatly from improved habtiat condition and on average the researchers found a 62% increase in salmonid abundance following restoration efforts. In particular, juvenile steelhead/rainbows, with their long stream rearing showed the greatest increase.

Find the Paper Here: PDF


Wes said...

link did not work

Wes said...

Link did not work.