Through extensive collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in 2008 Chickaloon Village replaced three culverts that were partial or complete fish passage barriers for salmon.
In 2009 we will design and implement fish passage rehabilitation through perched culverts on several anadromous streams. Designs will be conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and by hired contractors with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Chickaloon Village oversight.
The implementation of fish friendly designs will be coordinated by Chickaloon Village with assistance from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The number of culvert sites assessed and designed will depend upon the success of other grant proposals for which we have already applied to cover the majority of design and implementation costs. Eska Creek, McRobert’s Creek and tributaries of Wasilla Creek are our first priorities for culvert improvements and replacements.
This is what the National Fish Habitat Action Plan is all about — locally-driven efforts that build private and public partnerships to improve fish habitat.
The Matanuska-Susitna Basin Salmon Habitat Partnership formed to address increasing impacts on salmon from human use and development in the Mat-Su Basin with a collaborative and cooperative approach that would bring together diverse stakeholders. Chickaloon Village Traditional Council is an organizational member of the steering committee of the Mat-Su Salmon Partnership, along with federal agencies, state agencies the borough government and local non-profit organizations. Chinook, coho, sockeye, pink, and chum salmon all return in great numbers to the streams and lakes of the Matanuska-Susitna (Mat-Su) Basin each summer to spawn. Yet, rapid population growth and the accompanying pressures for development will increasingly challenge the ability of stakeholders to balance fish habitat conservation with these changes over time. Water quality, water quantity, and other fish habitat-related conditions are among some of the more important issues that will have to be addressed to maintain the fish habitat required to sustain fish productivity. The greatest risk to habitat for salmon and other freshwater fish in the Mat-Su Basin may be many small actions compounding over time to degrade riparian habitat and water quality, change water flow and quantity, and block access to habitat. The Partnership believes that thriving fish, healthy habitats, and vital communities can co-exist in the Mat-Su Basin.