Mat Su Flooding
Does anyone know what impact the current flooding in Mat Su rivers could have on salmon returns a few years down the road? It seems to me that serious flooding at this time of year could have a negative impact on spawning. I tried going up towards Hatcher's Pass yesterday to see what the Little Su looked like but the Park Service guys had the road closed a short ways past Fishhook Bar. LOTS of water everywhere out here!
The impact to the fisherys will be huge. The flood of 86 did not affect the streams to the magnitude of this one. All the stream beds were filled with silt and gravel, basically flattening out the river bottoms. Holes were eliminated. Took years for the holes to become established again. Some never did. Creeks that held huge numbers of rainbows and grayling never did recover to their original habitat. Before 86 these creeks were world class fisherys. Before this flood, they were mediocre at best. But now, it will no doubt take another 20 years to recover to mediocre status. They will be very poor for years to come. A look at how salmon returns were affected, if history repeats itself, there will be closures on sports fishing for years ahead. The years after the flood of 86 were pretty skimpy on fish. Took about ten years to get fish coming back and then another 5 years before the stream beds were good for nesting and rearing. The flood also washed out the logs and debris that were needed for fish to hide in and bugs to live in. No shelter or food = NO FISH
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