Streambank Restoration on the Kenai and Russian Rivers

In 1999, sections of the streambanks of the Kenai and Russian Rivers had extensive damage, causing erosion and other impacts to river habitat essential for salmon spawning. Streambank damage on the Kenai River totaled approximately 19 miles of the river's 166-mile length, including 5.4 river miles of public land. Similar impacts had also occurred along the Russian River. The Trustee Council provided funding to an interagency and private sector partnership to replace and protect streambank vegetation and redirect public access so that sport fishing and other recreational activities could take place with minimal impact to fish and wildlife habitat. Over the three-year period from 1997-2000, 12 separate projects were completed. Trails were constructed or upgraded; streambanks were revegetated; elevated, light penetrating walkways and stairways into the rivers were constructed; and signs and interpretive displays were placed at strategic locations. The results are dramatic. Without the interpretive signs along the walkway, visitors today would have a hard time imagining the damage that existed before the restoration. This successful effort has prompted similar efforts in other areas along this well-loved and important fisheries corridor.

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