Fish, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation

Monitoring 

In order to make informed decisions, the BLM must have accurate information on the status of aquatic resources. Thus, monitoring of fish populations, fish habitat, macroinvertebrates, and other aquatic features is important.

The BLM’s Assessment, Inventory, and Monitoring (AIM) Strategy furthers the BLM’s fisheries program goals in collecting, analyzing and reporting on aquatic conditions across BLM lands. The BLM’s Fisheries program also participates in the Interior Department-sponsored partnership to standardize fish sampling protocols. In addition, the BLM works with Utah State University to manage the National Aquatic Monitoring Center that provides field offices with baseline information needed to assess conditions and evaluate the performance of various land management decisions and projects.

 

 

 



Case Study: BLM Monitors, Restores Fish Habitat in Headwaters Forest Reserve, California


The Headwaters Forest Reserve encompasses more than 7,400 acres of BLM-managed public land 6 miles southeast of Eureka, California. The reserve is set aside to protect the ecological and wildlife values in the area, particularly stands of old-growth redwood that provide habitat for the threatened marbled murrelet, and the stream systems that provide habitat for threatened coho salmon.

Limited habitat information exists for the 110 miles of streams in these areas, although these streams support three species of listed Pacific salmon and trout. The BLM's Arcata, California, Field Office recently inventoried and monitored fish habitat conditions in a number of streams on the Reserve, providing critical information used in designing recovery and conservation efforts for declining fish species. Monitoring information also is essential to managers in making resource decisions related to streams and their watersheds.   

An example of a project to benefit fish is the restoration project on Salmon Creek, shown at right. The creek was previously buried under a logging road that was blocking fish passage. The crossing was excavated in 2005 to reduce sedimentation and allow fish passage. In the photo, you can see healthy riparian vegetation (alder trees) recovering along the recontoured stream banks.

The Reserve is a unit of the BLM's National Landscape Conservation System.


biologists monitor a stream in Headwaters forest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Above, vegetation recovering along restored sreambanks. Below, BLM fish biologist collects stream habitat data (pool depth) in Salmon Creek.

Biologist in stream