Salmon were once so numerous that people thought they would last forever. Today, after years of overfishing, pollution, and destruction of freshwater habitat, salmon stocks have been seriously depleted. Is there a salmon stream near you that needs to be cleared of debris? Is there one that's threatened by logging, mining, or industrial and urban development? Chances are there's a local wildlife organization that could use a helping hand in a salmon habitat enhancement project.
- The rehabilitation of waterways must be done in consultation with a regional fisheries officer. Objects like trees, stumps, logs, branches, and rocks must be inspected carefully before they're taken away, as they can provide important cover for fish. At times, it isn't clear - even to a well-trained eye - what is habitat and what is debris.
- Avoid disrupting streamside vegetation. Overhanging grasses, sedges, and shrubs stabilize banks and provide cooling shade for streams. This attracts insects for fish to eat, and provides food and shelter for many other wildlife species.
- Besides removing debris we can rehabilitate these streams by adding weirs to create natural rearing pools. It is also a good idea to clean and replace gravel - where fish deposit their eggs - and plant on the banks to stop erosion and provide food and shelter for young fish.