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Thursday, May 23 • 10:45am - 11:05am
DTA Presentation - Applying GIS to support salmonid conservation efforts in the Lower Nehalem Watershed, OR

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Despite coho salmon acting as a key economic, ecological, and cultural staple throughout the Pacific Northwest, populations have significantly declined over the past several decades due to fishing pressure and habitat loss through commercial timber harvest. As a result, considerable effort has been taken to establish regulatory policies and remediation practices to restore populations of spawning adults. The Lower Nehalem Watershed Council (LNWC) cooperates with local, state, and federal agencies to preserve and protect 310 square miles of the lower reaches of the Nehalem River on the coast of northern Oregon. Currently, however, the LNWC lacks a unified database of habitat and species information. To aid in identifying existing data gaps, the LNWC and contributing partners have developed the Nehalem Strategic Action Plan for coho salmon, which relies on a rapid bio-assessment strategy to identify key factors limiting salmonid distribution and reproduction. We have collaborated with the LNWC to generate spatial information related to habitat characterization and species distributions using geoprocessing tool packages in ArcMap, such as network analyst and spatial analyst. Our analyses has aided in the identification of key anchor habitats that consist of large fish abundances and high numbers of spawning individuals, in addition to those areas with high numbers of fish but low seeding rates, to help the LNWC prioritize candidate areas on which to focus restoration efforts. Our work has also resulted in an online open-source tool and generation of several maps that provide a visual representation of the current status of salmonids and other fish or mammalian species of interest throughout the watershed. The strategies employed here will help to establish base-line metrics that can be used to evaluate the efficiency of conservation efforts, and that can identify long-term trends relevant to the management of coho salmon and other species of interest.

Thursday May 23, 2019 10:45am - 11:05am AKDT
GTCC RM 315 Tacoma Convention Center, 1500 Commerce St, Tacoma, WA 98402