Mendenhall Lake Streams Restoration

IMG_20160508_131246The Habitat Improvement Committee of Juneau’s Trout Unlimited (TU) chapter in cooperation with U.S. Forest Service (USFS) recently completed a restoration project on the small streams entering the East side of Mendenhall Lake, in Juneau, AK. The project consisted of the following improvements:

  • Upgrading one main crossing at each of two streams with large, flat, stable stepping stones
  • Adding willows near the banks of two streams
  • Stablizing eroded streambanks using the toe-wood sod mat method
  • Discourage other crossing areas by the placement of rocks and vegetation

Work was completed over two Saturdays, April 9th and 16th, with the help of TU members, USFS staff, volunteers from the U.S. Coast Guard District 17, and other community volunteers. About 20 volunteers worked both days. The JWP Project Coordinator, Amy Sumner, and Board member, Teri Camery, were among the volunteers that assisted with the project.

The project was inspired by a video posted by Bob Armstrong showing sticklebacks and juvenile coho in one of those drainages (https://vimeo.com/130598489).   Armstrong also saw juvenile sockeyes downstream from where he took the video showing cohos.

Discussions with Armstrong, and observations of the area by TU Habitat Improvement Committee members, indicated that the rearing habitat for first year coho was being degraded by the many foot paths crossing these small streams. Unchecked foot traffic impacted stream banks, increased sediment, and disrupted fish.

A slideshow about this recent habitat and trail upgrade project will be featured at the next Raincountry Flyfishers meeting held in the Thunder Mountain High School library Wednesday May 11, at 7PM.  The library is on the second floor near the entrance closest to the baseball field. The meeting is free and open to the public.

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