May was a busy month! The Twelvemile Creek Monitoring Project was in full swing. At the beginning of the month, we hosted a teacher-in-service training with the University of Alaska Natural Heritage Program and the US Forest Service. Teachers from the Prince of Wales communities of Hydaburg, Klawock, Craig, and Naukati learned student-based protocols for conducting stream assessments. Then the next 2 days we worked with 50 students from the communities of Hydaburg, Klawock, and Craig to conduct assessments on the restored sections of Twelvemile Creek. The data students collected is housed on a statewide water quality monitoring site. Their data will be compared to assessments conducted before the restoration work was initiated. The students were also given a tour of the Twelvemile Smolt Monitoring Project and restoration sites in the creek.
Meanwhile, the Smolt Monitoring Project continued counting and measuring coho and steelhead outmigrants from the creek. May 15 was the peak of the out-migration, where approximately 3000 smolts were trapped, processed and released. Three student interns from surrounding Prince of Wales communities are actively participating in the project – learning critical job skills. All activities are part of a strategic partnership with the USFS Tongass National Forest. Funding for these projects is provided by the National Forest Foundation with additional assistance from the Sustainable Southeast Partnership.