Wednesday, January 4, 2012

PDXMas Tree Eco-Cycling to Benefit Oregon's Wild Fish

This just in from Alan Moore over at Trout Unlimited:

Portland Fans of Wild Salmon and Steelhead:

As seen on OPB's Ecotrope . . . Give the gift that keeps on giving, in tasty green slime. Drop your spent Christmas tree at Northwest Fly Fishing Outfitters (10910 NE Halsey, Portland - just off 84E) on Saturday Jan 7 or Jan 14 from 10 - 4. No fakes, flocking or tinsel please (trees or otherwise), and please do remove the ornaments. Intrepid volunteers from Trout Unlimited will gather the trees and transport them to off-mainstem habitat project sites on the North Coast, where their addition (under the watchful eye of project managers) provides both refuge for baby coho, steelhead and cutthroat (among others) and kickstarts an incredible bio-process that provides nourishment up and down the food chain. And it's not just fish - everything from bugs to beavers to newts to native plants all get a little bio-boost from the introduction of some decomposing yuletide cheer.

One element of our North Oregon Coast work in recent years with our many wonderful partners (like our local watershed councils) has been a focus on restoring these off-mainstem baby fish "nurseries," which juvenile salmon, steelhead and cutthroat trout need to ride out storms, escape predators, and grow fat and happy on their rich nutrient systems before heading out to sea as smolts. Burley salmon and steelhead smolts have more of a tendency to come back as burley adults; skinny smolts have more of a tendency to end up prematurely dead. Studies show being prematurely dead reduces wild salmon and steelhead survival to adulthood and spawning success dramatically. Paying equal attention to a diversity of life stages and corresponding habitat needs across in our approach to conservation and habitat investments is something we can do now to maximize the benefit to fish.

With questions or to volunteer for a couple of hours on either Saturday, drop a note to Michael with Tualatin Valley TU: tvturestoration@gmail.com

Trees for Fish!