Klawock Watershed Condition Assessment
A Proper Functioning Condition assessment (PFC) was conducted to determine the functionality of aquatic systems in the Klawock Watershed. The Central Council Tlingit and Haida Tribes of Alaska solicited the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) to conduct the assessment in response to local concerns regarding declining sockeye salmon numbers. The 45.5 square mile Klawock Watershed surrounds 2800-acre Klawock Lake and is managed by three Native corporations and the U.S. Forest Service—Craig Ranger District. An inventory of the watershed was conducted and critical features were mapped into a Geographic Information system (GIS). The watershed was divided into four distinct sub-basins and three composite sub-basins. 132 miles of stream were documented in the watershed; 68 miles are fish bearing. Streams were then delineated into distinct reaches for the Proper Functioning Condition (PFC) assessment based on channel type, management condition and natural breaks. A USFS interdisciplinary team conducted 82.5 miles of PFC assessment during the 1999 and 2000 field seasons. The aggregate rating for Half-mile Creek was Proper Functioning Condition. The more heavily managed Three-mile Creek Sub-basin was rated Functional at Risk. The aggregate functional rating for Inlet Creek and Hatchery Creek is PFC. However, Non-Functional and Functional At Risk reaches occur within each sub-basin. Additionally, PFC assessments were completed for the remaining composite sub-basins. A PFC assessment was also initiated on wetlands in 2000. Several factors were identified as limiting watershed functionality, including lack of large woody debris, inadequate riparian vegetation (structure and composition), and excessive channel erosion and deposition. Habitat restoration opportunities related to stream and road interactions, habitat connectivity, fish passage, large woody debris placement and riparian silviculture were identified as components that will move the watershed towards a more functional condition. Further study of watershed roads and associated stream crossings were initiated in 2001 and should be completed by summer of 2002. A comprehensive watershed restoration and management plan is being developed for the watershed in conjunction with the Klawock Watershed Council and the principle landowners, Klawock-Heenya, Inc., Shaan-Seet, Inc. and Sealaska, Inc.
Data and Resources