Methow Restoration Council

Living With the Methow River

Monthly Activities and Learning Opportunities

September 2017September

Habitat Surveys:

There is no standard stream! A stream is a complicated thing with many ever-changing variables, including the shape and composition of a stream bed, the size of a pool, the temperature of the water, and the amount of downed wood, and these elements and more factor into a site's suitability for endangered salmon and steelhead. A habitat survey gathers as much information as possible about a section of habitat. This information helps biologists understand how these factors affect fish, predict what types of habitat are likely to benefit fish, and identify areas that could benefit from restoration.

Detailed surveys also help us understand how habitats change over time. A healthy river system is not static; each year's high flow moves sediments, gravels, and woody debris, reshaping the river and occasionally even pushing it into different channels. Seasonal wildfires strip vegetation and dump sediment into the water. Livestock grazing, tree clearing, erosion control, and other human activities can also change the qualities of a habitat. Comparing surveys from before and after an event can show us how the river--and the species--responded to that event.

A habitat restoration project may start from the conclusions of a habitat survey. Engineers and biologists will study the site survey to determine how best to improve habitat at that site, using lessons learned from surveys of other sites and projects. After project completion, further surveys will track how the site responds, helping us to learn from each project and develop better strategies for future work.


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2017 Calendar


This year’s MRC calendar connects to ADVENTURES, ACTIVITIES AND INFORMATION tailored to each month. If you haven't gotten your calendar yet, you can download an electronic version here.

Come back each month and find interactive activities, print outs, and suggested learning opportunities in our community.