Prairie Creek Fisheries and Aquatic Ecosystem Synthesis
July 2014 - September 2015
- Redwood National Park Klamath Network
The 104km2 Prairie Creek watershed is almost entirely situated within Redwood National and State Parks, which is a World Heritage Site and part of the California Coast Range Biosphere Reserve. Although the lower half of the watershed has been impacted by highway construction, timber harvest, and other land use, the creek in the upper watershed flows through undisturbed forest of late seral coast redwood and provides outstanding habitat for fisheries and aquatic resources. The upper watershed often serves as a reference site in studies evaluating land use impacts on aquatic resources. Prairie Creek and its tributaries support populations of Chinook salmon, Coho salmon, steelhead, coastal cutthroat trout and other valued fish and aquatic vertebrates. Many studies of watershed conditions, stream habitat and aquatic resources have been conducted in the Prairie Creek watershed over the last 65 or more years, by diverse groups including university researchers, federal and state agency scientists, and others. Unfortunately much of the data from these studies remain buried in files and reports which are not publicly available. The overall objective of this project is to identify, locate, and compile existing datasets and reports, develop an annotated bibliography, and to synthesize information on fisheries and aquatic resources into a "State of the Knowledge" report. This information will be used to evaluate fisheries health and function of sub-watersheds and guide restoration opportunities/alternatives in lower Prairie Creek. The project encompasses two tasks: data compilation; and development of a synthesis report.