Snorkeling for Salmon
We join BLM Oregon biologists Bruce Zoellick and Corbin Murphy as they snorkel the Salmon River counting salmon.
How do you count fish in a river? If you’re a fish biologist working for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), you start by stuffing yourself into a dry suit and then traipsing through the forests and down to the river. With a snorkel and mask you plunge into the river and slither around in search of Coho, Chinook and Steelhead. These fish like to rest and stay cool in the recently built log jams.
To track how many fish are in the Salmon River, fish biologist Bruce Zoellick and wildlife biologist Corbin Murphy stuff themselves into dry suits and strap on a snorkel to get up-close and personal with the fish. They count fish by species as they snorkel around the log jams and side channels.
Habitat for Coho, Chinook, Steelhead, and a smattering of other fish that consider the “wild and scenic” river their home is getting a remodel. Through a cooperative effort, trees have been pulled up and hauled to the river where engineers have built log jams for fish and other aquatic species.
The Salmon River Restoration Project is a cooperative effort with several partners including the BLM, Freshwater Trust, Nature Conservancy, Portland Water Bureau, and a host of others passionate about aquatic restoration.
To learn more about the BLM’s fisheries program head on over to: www.blm.gov/or/programs/fisheries/index.php
You also check out footage of the restoration project in action, here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=xd_NbCZBqjI
Photos and story by Maria Thi Mai and Michael Campbell, BLM Oregon Public Affairs