Bristol Bay Fish Distribution and Modelling
This project involves extensive fish distribution surveys in Bristol Bay, primarily in the Kvichak watershed for the purpose of obtaining greater legal protection for salmon streams under Alaska law and to test a useful tool for predicting fish presence and life stage throughout Bristol Bay. A predictive tool should help reduce costs associated with documenting anadromous streams ahead of potential development. This project will be undertaken in cooperation with the University of Washington and The Nature Conservancy. Total estimated cost – $900,000 over three years. Funding provided by two grants through the Coastal Impact Assistance Program administered by the State of Alaska.
Stream Temperature Monitoring
The Land Trust will develop and initiate the installation of stream temperature gauges on key salmon and trout streams in the region to monitor temperature variations that may result from development and climate change. A start-up scoping grant in the amount of $30,000 was obtained through the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the SW Alaska Salmon Habitat Partnership.
Copper Toxicity and Salmon Behavior Response Study
This project will investigate the feasibility of conducting tests and streamside experiments to asses the tolerance of salmon and other fish in Bristol Bay to increases in copper and other metal concentrations. The focus of the investigation will be those streams in the vicinity of the Pebble Prospect. The primary purpose is to determine whether current State and EPA water quality standards for copper and other metals are sufficient for protecting salmon given the purity and low buffering capacity of the water around the Pebble Prospect. This project is partially funded with $85,000 from the US Fish & Wildlife Service and the Southwest Alaska Salmon Habitat Partnership. Significant funding must still be raised to undertake the field experiments required. The total cost for the project is anticipated to be $250,000.