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Sal Creek Restoration Project

Note: This web site was originally produced as an online reference point to access text, interactive panoramas and videos produced for the Google Earth Tour of Prince of Wales Island Watershed Restoration Projects.

The web site also serves as a "preliminary design" that in the future may allow a wealth of historical and current data and information to be added for each watershed area and each specific site location where rehabilitation work has been done. In this preliminary design four distinct categories have been suggested for the types of data and information that might be included: 1. Documents, 2. Images, 3. GIS Data and Maps, 4. Networks. Sub-categories and additional topic categories might be forthcoming in the future.

Between 1966 and 1971, 33% of the Sal Creek watershed was harvested for timber, including the entire floodplain area. Another 3% of the watershed was harvested after 1971. Due to this large scale timber harvest, the riparian area is now dominated by red alder, a deciduous tree species typically found along regularly disturbed streambanks and poorly drained soils. In Sal Creek this species has been encouraged by extensive soil disturbance from the early timber harvest activities. Between 1983 and 2005, stream surveys by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the US Forest Service found that Sal Creek contained few large logs and other channel maintenance structures, and that the riparian area would be unable to provide the trees to create such structures for many decades. The goal of the Sal Creek rehabilitation project was to improve overall aquatic ecosystem function in the Sal Creek watershed leading to increased and stable fish populations. The project included removal of culverts along a closed temporary road to restore access to fish habitat, the stabilization of stream banks to reduce sedimentation, and the introduction and placement of logs and root wads to Sal Creek using the existing temporary road for access during restoration work. In order to meet these goals, three phases of restoration included the following activities and outcomes: 1) Doubling the density of large woody debris (LWD) greater than 2 feet in diameter and at least 35 feet in length along four 200 foot sections of stream; 2) upstream and in-channel sediment inputs were reduced by stormproofing 1.1 miles of road and stabilizing 150 feet of eroding stream bank; 3) increased access for fish to habitat upstream of an existing temporary road; 4) reduction of average stream width to depth ratios; and 5) increasing stream connection to the floodplain during high flows.

Sal Creek Watershed Restoration Google Map

Map instructions - Use the text hot links on the left side bar or click on the icons on the map below to view text information, interactive panoramas and video about specific 2007 and 2009 river restoration sites.

View Sal Creek Watershed Restoration in a larger map

Documents related to the overall Sal Creek Watershed Restoration Project:

(These could be categorized in an Online Reference Library - see the library on the Upper Sevier River site as example)

Links to images and videos and other media:

Links to GIS data and maps of this project:

Links to networking web site(s):