Fisheries restoration project to temporarily close Aikens Creek area

Photo of a juvenile coho salmonORLEANS, Calif. – The Six Rivers National Forest will temporarily close Forest Roads 10N75 (Upper Aikens Creek Campground Road) and 10N76 (Lower Aikens Creek Campground Road), Aikens Creek Parking Lot, and Aikens Creek Campground, from August 11 through August 28, 2020, to ensure public safety as it begins the Aikens Creek Fisheries Restoration Project. The closure is in effect per Forest Order 05-10-20-10-06.

The Aikens Creek Fisheries Restoration Project was identified in the environmental assessment for the Six Rivers Aquatic Restoration Project (2018) and exemplifies a shared partnership dedicated to restoring fisheries habitat. Project partners include the Mid-Klamath Watershed Council (MKWC), California Department of Fish and Wildlife, National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, Karuk and Yurok tribes, California State Water Resources Control Board, and Klamath-Trinity Joint Unified School District.

According to LeRoy Cyr, fisheries biologist for the forest’s Orleans, Ukonom and Lower Trinity Districts, “We’re going to be adding large woody debris to Aikens Creek to improve coho salmon spawning and rearing habitat.” Large woody debris, such as large trees with branches and rootwads, improves floodplain connectivity and creates more diverse aquatic habitat.

Cyr added, “We’re very excited to be working with our partners to enhance this very important cold-water refuge for coho salmon, which are listed as Threatened under the Endangered Species Act.”

An additional objective of the project is riparian enhancement, which includes removing invasive vegetation and planting native species along a 2,100-foot section of Aikens Creek.

For questions about this upcoming fisheries restoration project, contact Mitzi Wickman, MKWC project contract manager, at mitzi@mkwc.org or LeRoy Cyr at leroy.cyr@usda.gov. A copy of Forest Order 05-10-20-10-06 is posted online at www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/srnf/alerts-notices.

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https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/srnf/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD775983