Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 7947
Title: Progress and challenges of testing the effectiveness of stream restoration in the Pacific Northwest using intensively monitored watersheds
Author: Stephen Bennett, G. R. Pess, Nicholaas Bouwes, P. Roni, R. E. Bilby, Sean Gallagher, Jim Ruzycki, T. W. Buehrens, W. Ehinger, Joseph H. Anderson, Chris E. Jordan, Brett Bowersox, Correigh M. Greene
Publication Year: 2016
Journal: Fisheries
Volume: 41
Issue: 2
Pages: 93-103
Keywords: Watershed restoration,monitoring,salmon monitoring,stream restoration,Columbia Basin

Across the Pacific Northwest at least 17 intensively monitored watershed (IMW) experiments have been implemented to test the effectiveness of a broad range of stream restoration actions for increasing the freshwater production of salmon and Steelhead and to better understand fish-habitat relationships. We describe an adaptive management framework and key elements necessary to implement an IMW, scope and status, challenges, and ways to improve current and future IMWs. Not all IMW experiments incorporate an adaptive management framework or implement the key elements consistently, reflecting the difficulty of such watershed-scale experiments. Improving coordination between funders, restoration groups, and researchers is the most significant challenge reported by IMW practitioners. However, we conclude that despite these challenges, the IMW approach is likely the most reliable way we have of assessing the efficacy of restoration, but implementing this approach will require a commitment to long-term funding, treatment of restoration as a management action, and a commitment to adhere to adaptive/experimental management procedures.

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Theme: Habitats to Support Sustainable Fisheries and Recovered Populations
Foci: Develop effective and efficient habitat restoration and conservation techniques.
Characterize relationships between habitat and ecosystem processes, climate variation, and the viability of organisms.