Dr Erika McPhee-Shaw
The importance of both the restoration and preservation of riparian habitats was already something I was very interested in, but this internship helped me so much in understanding what it takes to actually restore these precious ecosystems. Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group, or SFEG, is a nonprofit organization which aims to protect and improve the Skagit River watershed in order to aid in the revitalization of salmon and trout species which depend on it. There are so many different ways in which SFEG has contributed to the restoration of essential habitat along the Skagit River, all of which have shown to be extremely important. One of the ways in which they have accomplished this is through the restoration of off channel habitats and culverts in multiple locations. There are many channels and smaller sections of the Skagit which have been separated from the main channel of the river, which has therefore reduced the amount of crucial habitat for young salmon species. These small off river channels are key to the survival of salmon fry as they offer refuge from many adverse conditions that fish are exposed to in the main river, which makes it even more important for these areas to be restored. With the assistance of SFEG, the Skagit is now being restored to its original shape and complexity, and although this may seem like it would have minimal impact, this restoration is actually incredibly important and effective in helping juvenile salmon.
McCannon, Meridith, "Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group Restoration Internship" (2022). College of the Environment Internship Reports. 36.
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