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Natural Resources

North Olympic Peninsula Skills Center

Assignments

Salmon, Sediment, and Stems Cycles Assignment

Elwha River Restoration Act was passed to restore salmon runs. Elwha Dam removal is all about salmon. But what would salmon be without sediment (for spawning) and stems (large woody debris for shelter and riparian vegetation for shade)? This assignment is about the interconnections between salmon, their habitat, and the overall ecosystem.

Through this assignment, you will . . .

  • Assist professionals with salmon restoration-realted field work.
  • Analyze the interdependence of salmon, sediments and large woody debris in the impaired and restored Elwha watershed.

By doing this, we will explore interconnections in nature. While working on this, we will be practicing QUEST Skills U2, U4, S3 and T3. This will be a graded through S3 and T3.

Part 1. Salmon Smolt Trap Removal (in field):

Mel Elofson, Elwha Tribe Restoration Specialist, will explain the salmon-related field research work that the Elwha Tribe does as part of the Elwha River Restoration Project. Mel will explain salmon smolt traps to us and show us how to remove a salmon smolt trap. Then we will assist him in removing the trap.

While working in the field with Mel, please take notes in your journal on your observations of sediments and large woody debris.

While touring the hatchery with Larry, please take notes in your journal on salmon life history.

Part 2: Interdependence Reflection (in field and/or classroom):

In your journal, please do the following:

  • Make connections between salmon, sediment and large woody debris in the Elwha ecosystem.
  • Specify the system(s) and cycle(s) involving salmon, sediment and large woody debris.
  • Examine how salmon, sediment and large woody debris were affected by dam construction.
  • Infer how salmon, sediment and large woody debris will be affected by dam removal.

Submission Via: Each group will enter their best observations into the Hot Topics observational database. They will also either write one blog entry on the topic or create one slideshow with descriptions.

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