Save Bristol Bay

North Fork Skykomish Salmon Carcass Distribution Project

North Fork Skykomish Salmon Carcass Distribution Project

In 2003, the Northshore Chapter (#220) initiated a salmon carcass distribution project in conjunction with the WDFW. The project goal is to enhance three tributaries (Trout Creek, Lost Creek, and Troublesome Creek) of the NF Skykomish with salmon carcasses for added nutrients. Historically, adult salmon returned on their own and completed the life cycle by reproducing and dying in the same stream where they were born. Now, with fewer adult salmon returning to their native streams, most Pacific Northwest streams do not have the nutrients needed to sustain juvenile salmonids. Fish carcass distribution programs help reintroduce some of those essential nutrients back into the food web. The enrichment project is intended to bolster ocean-derived nutrients in areas of the basin with adult salmon. Research studies in other areas of the Northwest, Canada, and Alaska have shown positive benefits to the aquatic environment through this type of nutrient enhancement. Nutrients of marine origin play a critical role in the ecological processes found in anadromous watersheds in Washington. Salmonids transport nutrients from the marine environment to the freshwater systems of our state. Salmon carcasses provide a significant amount of the nutrients, which feed stream life. The process is especially important for young juvenile salmon and steelhead. By using hatchery carcasses, the Northshore chapter will directly benefit wild populations of stream-rearing salmon, steelhead and resident fish, as well as provide increased benefits to wildlife inhabiting the area. The chapter distributed carcasses from 2003-2006.

Unfortunately in 2006 the Index-Galena road was severely washed out, this was our only access to the carcass distribution sites. We would like to restart this project once the road is rebuilt, the project is on hold until further notice.

Index road updates

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