This month the National Fish Habitat Partnership announced its list of 10 “Waters to Watch” for 2022. Cook Inlet’s Deshka River was listed as #1.
Cook Inletkeeper and partners have invested years of research into better understanding the Deshka River. Management actions to minimize the effects of warming on Deshka River salmon have been limited by a poor understanding of both their thermal requirements and the extent and distribution of thermally suitable habitats.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, University of Alaska Anchorage, and Cook Inletkeeper have been working to close those data gaps by monitoring water temperature, streamflow and the distribution of juvenile Chinook and Coho salmon throughout the Deshka watershed; conducting long-term stream temperature monitoring, coupled with remote sensing data to identify cold-water refugia in the Deshka River system which may be critical habitat for salmon in a warming climate; and modeling to estimate how the extent and distribution of thermally suitable habitat has changed over time and how it will change in the future.
We are pleased to see the national attention on this proactive conservation work and look forward to sharing our insights about the future of the Deshka and its salmon at the Mat-Su Basin Salmon Science and Conservation Symposium on November 14 – 15th at the Palmer Depot. To register for the symposium or learn more about the Partnership, check out www.matsusalmon.org
Thank you for reading. We are able to do this work because of member support from concerned citizens like you. Please donate today to protect Cook Inlet for our future generations.