The first Wild Salmonid Management Zone for steelhead has been designated in Washington State by the Department of Fish and Wildlife. The new zone covers the entire Sol Duc River on the Olympic Peninsula, spanning nearly 227 square miles. The river drains directly into the Pacific Ocean from the west coast of Washington and is one the most productive systems for wild steelhead in the state.
“Maximizing genetic diversity in salmon and steelhead populations is the key to preserving fishing opportunities,” said Guido Rahr, President of the Wild Salmon Center. “Managing the Sol Duc as a wild steelhead zone is the critical first step of investing in our future fisheries.”
Wild Salmonid Management Zones (or WSMZ’s) provide fish an excellent opportunity to adapt to ever‐changing environmental conditions. The zones are only selected for salmon and steelhead populations that are the most productive, genetically diverse, and abundant and where their habitats are healthy enough for rearing and spawning.
The establishment of this new management zone was the result of many organizations and concerned citizens working together. Though the zone is official, there is still more work to be done.
“The designation has good potential, but it is important to determine what management actions should be put into place to protect spawning steelhead from increasing fishing pressure,” said Mel Moon, Director of Natural Resources for the Quileute Tribe.
Over the coming years, the Wild Salmon Center will be working with its partners to improve fishery regulations, pursue long‐term monitoring funding, and to identify other candidate rivers for Wild Salmonid Management Zone designation.
Incredible [pictures have emerged of the frozen Danube River as the ice finally begins to break up. The Danube River - one of Europe’s key waterways — has this winter been stuck in the longest freeze in recent memory.
The Danube River — one of Europe’s key waterways — is stuck in the longest freeze in recent memory. Huge chunks of ice floated down the middle of the Danube on Friday in southern Romania while water close to the banks remained iced over, with barges, boats and ships tangled in a wintry web.
The DanubeRiver flows through nine countries, starting in Germany’s Black Forest, before passing through Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, and Ukraine.
At least four Balkan nations suspended shipping on the Danube on Feb. 14 because of heavy ice on the river. Authorities say up to 90 percent of the river surface is covered with floating ice, making it extremely difficult to traverse Europe’s main commercial waterway, which winds 2,860-kilometer (1,777-mile) from Germany and serves as the natural border between Bulgaria and Romania.
Keeping the Danube frozen is a climate pattern called a "Russian Winter." In this pattern, a strong Siberian anticyclone hovers over northern Russia and triggers intense cold and snow, according to a NASA statement. The river began to ice over in early February as temperatures plunged to minus 20 Celsius (-4 Fahrenheit). The freeze followed a drought in the fall in which water levels had dropped so low that it was interfering with shipping along the international waterway.
Costache Constantin, manager of Europolis Shipping & Trading shipping company, said he’d never seen such a drawn-out freeze on the Danube since he began working in the industry in 1981.
The Danube Delta leading into the Black Sea in Romania has completely frozen. In Serbia, ice-breakers were summoned from Hungary in an attempt to keep the Danube flowing, while army demolition experts sought to dynamite ice barriers that threatened to provoke flooding on tributary rivers, including the Ibar.
As one of two 40-tonne hydropower turbines is lowered into place near Windsor Castle on the River Thames, a group of river conservationists are not joining in with the celebrations.
The two Archimedes screws represent for some, in particular the Environment Agency, a great green innovation. They are the first to be installed on the River Thames, at Romney Weir, and will be used to produce energy for the royal household.
The production of 300KW of electricity is expected to reduce CO2 output by 500 tonnes a year, said the Environment Agency's Barry Russell, the hydro-power project leader.
As a result, nine other weirs along the river have been earmarked to produce green energy.
Some are slated for completion as soon as 2012, and this is what concerns the Thames Anglers Conservancy (TAC).
"We don't oppose hydro power," said TAC secretary David Harvey. "But what hasn't been produced so far is any science to back up proof that it will do no damage to the weir pools".
He said the Environment Agency needed to "suspend all hydropower" plans until long-term assessments have been carried out. Mr Harvey added the potential damage to the river's ecology would mean fish would change their spawning habitat and invertebrates would not breed there.
However, the Environment Agency claimed its studies showed the three-bladed Archimedes screw turbines would not harm fish when installed within the correct guidelines. It said project leaders would monitor what happened after the screws were installed.
The four turbines proposed for Boulter's Weir in Maidenhead would produce up to 530KW of electricity. While there are other hydropower schemes elsewhere in the UK, Mr Russell said this is the first on a major river that is called the 'run of the river' type of scheme - using water that is naturally making its way down the river to generate electricity.
The Environment Agency said the projects would help it support the government's 15% target of creating renewable energy by 2020.
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