How important is restoration in YOU
urban areas for conservation? ... be the judge.
In the Pacific northwest of the
, the management of natural ecosystems has become focused on the conservation of threatened and endangered species. When it comes to fish populations that use fresh water, conservation efforts have often centered on remote wilderness areas that are relatively pristine, or in what have been called stronghold areas. However, the conservation value of “peripheral” populations has also been recognized. Peripheral populations are often small in size, and are generally defined as those on the edge of the species’ range. It is not uncommon for some imperiled fish populations, especially peripheral populations, to inhabit urban, suburban or developed landscapes. The typical threats urbanization generally presents to aquatic species include poor water quality, flashy (highly variable flow) streams, and barriers to migration. In addition, urban areas may have distinct climates, often being warmer than their surrounding environments. Whether climate change will impact urban areas differently than rural or remote areas is unclear. The ecology of species in urban environments, or “urban ecology” is emerging as an important consideration for conservation. Fish populations in urban or suburban areas are becoming increasingly valued as a component of overall conservation efforts. United States
What Might Be Problems For Fish In Tryon Creek?
Some people think that fish entering the creek is a problem. About ¼ of a mile up the creek there is a culvert. This culvert (under highway 43 and the adjacent railroad) may be restricting, or preventing, upstream passage of fish and keeping them from being able to access 90-95% of the habitat in the watershed.
Some people think the conditions in the creek are a problem. A number of culverts (like the one under Boone’s
Ferry Road) may also be barriers to fish movement within the watershed. Additionally, in some cases there isn’t much wood in the stream (fish often like wood for cover) and a lot of the stream bed is made up of fine, sandy sediment (which fish may not like very much).
Some people think the habitat conditions surrounding Tryon Creek are a problem. About ¼ of the watershed is “impervious” or cannot soak up rain. For example, a paved road is generally impervious and rain runs off the road rather than soaking into the ground. In the case of Tryon Creek, much of the rain that would normally soak into the ground and slowly make its way to the creek, instead, rushes quickly and directly to the creek. This results in very sudden and frequent changes in the amount of water in the stream, how fast it is flowing and how dirty it is.
However … although many of these conditions may be problematic to fish, cutthroat trout can be found throughout the watershed, and appear to be relatively healthy and abundant. So Tryon Creek clearly appears to be an urban watershed that has potential for fish!
What Is Being Done To Help The Fish?
A number of restoration activities have occurred in the subbasin. Some recent examples of restoration activities focused on the aquatic habitat include …
Is It Working?
Submitted by Tim Whitesel.