Silver salmon swim in Sucker Creek on Sept. 18, 2020. (Photo by Matt Bowser/Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

Silver salmon swim in Sucker Creek on Sept. 18, 2020. (Photo by Matt Bowser/Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

Project to study effect of climate change on salmon streams

The organization will partner with the United States Geological Survey

The Kenai Watershed Forum will be collaborating on a project to study the impacts of climate change on Southcentral Alaska’s lowland salmon streams, the group announced this month in a press release.

The organization will partner with the United States Geological Survey to look at groundwater management and how it affects local habitat.

Climate change is impacting salmon streams in Southcentral Alaska — causing disruptions in salmon runs because of increasing water temperatures and decreasing stream flow, according to the watershed forum. Groundwater is an important part of the equation, the organization said in the release, because it can help streams stay cooler and keep water flowing.

A lot of the work of the project will take place at Kenai’s Beaver Creek area, which the watershed forum says is an important fish habitat and groundwater area, as well as a source of municipal and private drinking water.

The USGS and the Alaska Climate Action Science Center will be helping fund the initiative, as well as volunteer support from local stakeholders.

Reach reporter Camille Botello at camille.botello@peninsulaclarion.com.

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