The 7th annual Mat-Su Salmon Science & Conservation Symposium was November 18th & 19th, in Palmer, Alaska
The 7th annual Mat-Su Salmon Symposium was another fine event! With nearly 150 people in attendance each day, there were more people than ever, representing all facets of the Partnership including The Mat-Su Borough and Palmer Mayors, as well as Mat-Su College, Palmer high school and middle school students! There were over 30 excellent oral and poster presentations on a wide range of Mat-Su salmon topics, and two incredible guest speakers.
Dr. Kate Myers discussed the ecology of, and marine factors influencing Cook Inlet salmon survival and Mary Colligan, former president of the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization shared a case study on Atlantic salmon. Although very different talks, both illustrated the importance of working together across salmon habitats and life stages in both fresh and marine waters to sustain wild salmon populations into the future.
This year participants took time to pause and acknowledge the successes of several Partners in salmon conservation. The Mat-Su Borough was recognized by the National Fish Habitat Partnership Board Chair, Kelly Hepler for their sustained effort in improving fish passage at roads. Vickielee Fenster (Palmer private land owner), Aaron Helm (Eklutna Inc.), Jon Gerken (US Fish and Wildlife Service), and Matthew LaCroix(Environmental Protection Agency) were also crowned Kingmakers by the Great Land Trust for their efforts to conserve private land, improving understanding of where baby salmon overwinter, and conserving water that salmon need to thrive.
2014 participants enjoyed an evening social, fine products available from the Susitna Salmon Center, and free copies of Dave Montgomery’s King of Fish book as part of the Salmon Project’s book drop initiative. The Symposium really is made better by the many hands and minds involved in making it happen. Thanks to the many who presented, volunteered and supported the Symposium, making it a truly Partnership event.
2014 Presentations – 2014 Salmon Symposium Welcome
Tuesday November 18th
Keynote Address- Colligan, Mary: Atlantic Salmon Ecosystem Recovery: It takes a village, state, country and world
Krieger, Kacy: Mapping Alaska’s Water
Miller, Dan: Creation of a Complete, Accurate, and Versatile GIS-based Stream Layer and Hydroscape for the Matanuska-Susitna Basins
Robertson, Andrew: Systematic Validation of Modeled Hydrography in the Mat-Su Basin Using Field Reconnaissance and Image Interpretation
Woll, Christine: Salmon Habitat Mapping in the Mat-Su Basin
Speed, Jessica: Mat Su Basin Salmon Habitat Partnership Presentation 2014
Sollien, Kim: King Makers 2014
Stewart, Heather: Elodea: Alaska’s first submersed aquatic invasive plant takes root in Mat-Su’s Remote Alexander Lake
Morton, John: Elodea on the Kenai Peninsula and What We’re Doing About It
Wizik, Andy: Shell Lake Northern Pike and Salmon
Kaucic, Chuck: ATV Salmon Stream Xing Assessment Project, the intersection of people with salmon
Leba, Heather: Clean Boating in the Susitna Valley
Wednesday November 19, 2014
Keynote Address: Myers, Kate: Life-history, Ecology, and Potential Threats to Mat-Su/Cook Inlet Chinook Salmon in the Marine Environment
Cleary, Peter: Susitna River Chinook Salmon Spawning Distribution and Abundance 2012 and 2013
Ivey, Sam: Management of Chinook Salmon Sport Fisheries in Northern Cook Inlet During a Period of Low Production
Lescanec, Daryl: Operation of a Resistance Board Weir for Counting Chinook Salmon on the Little Susitna River
Foley, Kevin: Relative Abundance and Movement Patterns of Juvenile Sockeye Salmon in Meadow Creek, Alaska, 2013
Davis, Jeff: Juvenile Pacific Salmon Winter Habitats in Large Glacial Rivers
Geist, Marcus and Mauger, Sue: Where We are and Where We Need to be to Understand Regional Water Temperature Trends
Mauger, Sue: Cold Water Mapping and Salmon Habitat Characterization Guide Land Conservation and Restoration in Cook Inlet Watersheds
Smith, Corinne: Ecological Risk Assessment for the Susitna River
Nass, Brian: Estimating the abundance of salmon above Devils Canyon and Watana on the Susitna River
O’Brien, John: Salmon Resilience and Catastrophe
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The salmon symposium is a forum to share information on Mat-Su Basin watersheds, salmon, and salmon habitat and to promote an exchange of ideas about salmon science and conservation in the Mat-Su Basin. Presentations span a wide range of topics — fish passage restoration projects on Mat-Su streams and assessment of their benefits to salmon; studies about geology, erosion, and salmon distribution on the Matanuska River; wetlands mapping and management; planning; salmon distribution throughout the Mat-Su Basin; planning and economic valuation; climate change and invasive species; conservation of public lands; and more.