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Start Date

7-3-2022 3:30 PM

End Date

7-3-2022 3:40 PM

Abstract

Restoration of degraded aquatic habitat on urban refuges may be vital to ensure ecological function. An integral part of any restoration plan should be lamprey and boney fish salvage (i.e., capture of fish in an area that may dewater to prevent their stranding). In 2021, approximately 1,000 acres of historic Columbia River floodplain habitat in Steigerwald National Wildlife Refuge was restored and connected to the adjoining Columbia River. The refuge is owned and managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and is designated as an urban refuge, to benefit the public, while still providing a high degree of ecological function. Gibbons Creek, a perennial stream that runs through approximately 2.3 km of the refuge, was mostly confined to an elevated canal. During restoration, the canal was removed and the creek was restored to a more nature flow pathway. Prior to hydrologic reconnection, fish salvage was required and conducted. The worksite was isolated with block nets to prevent any fish from reentering the site. Salvage protocols specific to lampreys and boney fish were both employed to maximize salvage efficiency. In total, over 37,000 lampreys and 9,000 boney fishes were salvaged, respectively. The success of the fish salvage efforts was in large part due to the many people from various agencies and volunteers who assisted.

Subjects

Fisheries, Habitat restoration

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Mar 7th, 3:30 PM Mar 7th, 3:40 PM

Lamprey and Boney Fish Salvage During Restoration at Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Restoration of degraded aquatic habitat on urban refuges may be vital to ensure ecological function. An integral part of any restoration plan should be lamprey and boney fish salvage (i.e., capture of fish in an area that may dewater to prevent their stranding). In 2021, approximately 1,000 acres of historic Columbia River floodplain habitat in Steigerwald National Wildlife Refuge was restored and connected to the adjoining Columbia River. The refuge is owned and managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and is designated as an urban refuge, to benefit the public, while still providing a high degree of ecological function. Gibbons Creek, a perennial stream that runs through approximately 2.3 km of the refuge, was mostly confined to an elevated canal. During restoration, the canal was removed and the creek was restored to a more nature flow pathway. Prior to hydrologic reconnection, fish salvage was required and conducted. The worksite was isolated with block nets to prevent any fish from reentering the site. Salvage protocols specific to lampreys and boney fish were both employed to maximize salvage efficiency. In total, over 37,000 lampreys and 9,000 boney fishes were salvaged, respectively. The success of the fish salvage efforts was in large part due to the many people from various agencies and volunteers who assisted.