Our goal is to make water temperature data accessible to all Alaskans. By serving up data online in real-time, we hope to provide in-season information for local fishers, weir operators and fisheries managers to increase our understanding of the relationship between fish movement and water temperature.
On October 14, 2016, we installed the Russian River station with field support from the Kenai Watershed Forum and staff from the U.S. Forest Service. The site is approximately 3 miles upstream on the Russian River Falls Trail below the lower lake. Funding for this station is provided in part by the Kenai Peninsula Fish Habitat Partnership.
Since 2002, Cook Inletkeeper has been collecting continuous water temperature data in non-glacial streams across the Cook Inlet watershed. Monitoring has revealed that some stream temperatures consistently exceed Alaska’s standards. Temperatures above 13°C exceed Alaska’s standard for egg and fry incubation; temperatures above 15°C exceed Alaska’s standard for migration routes. Water temperatures have even been recorded above 20°C which by State Standards “may not be exceeded.”
Cook Inletkeeper's research on water temperature in salmon streams suggests that these criteria will be exceeded at more sites and by increasing margins in the years to come. Long-term monitoring will help us know when and where we have water that is stressful for salmon.
For fish count information: Alaska Dept. Fish & Game - Fish Counts