Group moves trees to protect Juneau creek sockeyes

Posted: Monday, September 09, 2002

JUNEAU (AP) -- Boy Scouts, the U.S. Forest Service and adult volunteers planted spruce trees along eroded banks of a Juneau salmon creek in a weekend project to protect sockeyes from silt buildup.

The transplanting effort Saturday along Steep Creek near Mendenhall Lake is to keep silt from flowing from bare spots into the water. The silt can coat sockeye salmon eggs, preventing them from getting enough oxygen and nutrients, said Pete Schneider, a fish biologist for the Juneau Ranger District.

Adult sockeye returning to spawn swim up Mendenhall River, enter the lake and then an abandoned beaver pond and the creek in early to mid-July. Although most of the reds spawn in the creek in August, some lay their eggs in the pond's gravel, Schneider said.

The Forest Service put up about 500 feet of fence near the pond and creek where it abuts a trail, but the agency would rather use spiky spruce trees as a barrier to humans.



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