Southwest Alaska nature conservancy

Although the salmon fishery and overall salmon populations of sockeye salmon are well studied in Bristol Bay, little is known about salmon distribution and abundance throughout the vast freshwater systems that support the spawning and rearing life stages of Pacific salmon.  In order to better evaluate potential impacts of development activities, conservancy scientists have sought to contribute to the understanding of salmon distribution both through fish distribution field studies and salmon habitat mapping activities using remotely sensed data.

In Alaska, cataloguing distribution of salmon by species and life stage for the state’s Anadromous Waters Catalog is an important task for informing research and regulatory actions regarding freshwater salmon habitat.   The Conservancy has worked to fund on the ground surveys to update the Anadromous Waters Catalog and develop predictive models for finding undocumented  areas.

From 2008-2010, we completed an anadromous waters cataloging study in headwater streams of the Nushagak and Kvichak drainages.  You can read about these studies here:
In 2014, we completed a habitat-based salmon ecological systems model for the Nushagak and Kvichak watersheds which describes and predicts the physical habitat and likely patterns of salmon abundance in the area.  You can read about this study here:
The Nature Conservancy field crew captures juvenile salmon for data collection in the Bristol Bay headwaters © Bridget Bresaw/The Nature Conservancy