Abstract Title

Session S-03D: Forage Fish Research and Protection in the Salish Sea

Presenter/Author Information

Leif WefferlingFollow

Keywords

Species and Food Webs

Start Date

1-5-2014 5:00 PM

End Date

1-5-2014 6:30 PM

Description

Intertidal beaches within the Elwha nearshore are documented habitat for forage fish migration and spawning. Sediment processes of the Elwha drift cell, critical for forage fish spawning habitat, were historically altered by armoring of the shoreline, lower river alteration, and the in-river Elwha and Glines Canyon dams. The recent removal of these two dams, and the consequent release and transport of upwards of 2.5 x 106 m3 of fluvial sediment to the Elwha nearshore, has begun a partial restoration of sediment processes within the drift cell. This input of sediment is changing the characteristics of the beach substrate required for forage fish spawning habitat. Dam removal is just concluding and only approximately twenty percent of the total predicted sediment volume has been delivered to the Elwha nearshore. The distribution of this new sediment along the Elwha drift cell and the nearshore response are just beginning. This poster will summarize the results of four years of an ongoing, long-term assessment of forage fish spawning in the central Strait of Juan de Fuca, including the Elwha drift cell. We will provide observations of changes in forage fish spawning activity since dam removal. Understanding the implications of dam removal to the ecological functioning of the nearshore is important for full ecosystem restoration of the Elwha system, and for assessing the consequences of restoration projects throughout the Salish Sea.

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May 1st, 5:00 PM May 1st, 6:30 PM

Nearshore function for forage fish: Defining, protecting, and restoring the critical ecosystem of the Elwha nearshore and Salish Sea.

Room 6C

Intertidal beaches within the Elwha nearshore are documented habitat for forage fish migration and spawning. Sediment processes of the Elwha drift cell, critical for forage fish spawning habitat, were historically altered by armoring of the shoreline, lower river alteration, and the in-river Elwha and Glines Canyon dams. The recent removal of these two dams, and the consequent release and transport of upwards of 2.5 x 106 m3 of fluvial sediment to the Elwha nearshore, has begun a partial restoration of sediment processes within the drift cell. This input of sediment is changing the characteristics of the beach substrate required for forage fish spawning habitat. Dam removal is just concluding and only approximately twenty percent of the total predicted sediment volume has been delivered to the Elwha nearshore. The distribution of this new sediment along the Elwha drift cell and the nearshore response are just beginning. This poster will summarize the results of four years of an ongoing, long-term assessment of forage fish spawning in the central Strait of Juan de Fuca, including the Elwha drift cell. We will provide observations of changes in forage fish spawning activity since dam removal. Understanding the implications of dam removal to the ecological functioning of the nearshore is important for full ecosystem restoration of the Elwha system, and for assessing the consequences of restoration projects throughout the Salish Sea.