Dog Salmon Creek Watershed Assessment - Prince of Wales Island, Alasak
Dog Salmon Creek, located 5 miles south of Craig, on Prince of Wales Island (Figure 1), is a formerly robust pink and chum producing stream in which hydrology and freshwater ecology was impaired by logging practices that were in use prior to passage of the Alaska Forest Practices Act in the late 1980s. The land within the Dog Salmon Creek watershed is privately owned by Shaan Seet, Inc. (SSI), and SSI and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) are interested in addressing diminished watershed function within this watershed by collaborating on activities that aim to maintain and/or improve current habitat conditions. In 2012, TNC, SSI, and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) conducted an initial watershed assessment that qualitatively and quantitatively assessed fish habitat conditions and potential improvement activities for the lower part of Dog Salmon Creek watershed. This assessment found that although this section of the watershed holds high potential to be quality habitat for coho, pink, and chum salmon, as well as other freshwater fishes, the lack of large old-growth trees in the area has diminished the amount of habitat forming large wood within the stream channel. Large wood provides cover, pool formation, and food inputs for juvenile salmon. Low densities of pool habitats and wide, flat channel morphology also indicate that fish habitat has been diminished. Suggested actions include continued assessment, including a road condition survey, revegetation of the banks near the new bridge, jam-structure placement in the portion of the stream below the bridge, and potential wood structure or riparian thinning in stream channel above the bridge. The area above the bridge appears channelized and risks decreasing in fish habitat quality in coming years, but access to this area may be difficult and costs may outweigh benefits for restoration activities at this time in these stream portions.
Data and Resources