Event Title

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

Presentation Abstract

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.

Session Title

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

Conference Track

Species and Food Webs

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (2014 : Seattle, Wash.)

Document Type

Event

Start Date

1-5-2014 5:00 PM

End Date

1-5-2014 6:30 PM

Location

Room 6C

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

Text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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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.