Fish Creek Watershed Observatory

Monitoring Arctic Aquatic Habitat in the Context of Land-use and Climate Change Impacts

Description and Objectives

Our work is focused on establishing a process baseline for fish habitat in beaded streams and connected lakes in an area of the National Petroleum Reserve – Alaska (NPR-A) scheduled for petroleum development. This involves monitoring stream discharge, temperature, and water quality in four catchments where development is planned and two reference catchments. Lake and weather monitoring, geomorphic mapping, and snow and ice surveys are also part of this study. Two research projects integrated within this observatory and are focused on aquatic habitat responses to climate and land-use (Fish CAFE) and using long-lived lake trout as proxies for climate (Fish for Trees) in this watershed.

Location of the Fish Creek Watershed on the Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska

Location of Fish Creek Study Area

Fish Creek Watershed (sub-basins, hydrography, and habitat)

Map of Fish Creek Watershed
Beaded Stream in Study Area

Beaded Stream in the Study Area

Chris Arp
(907) 907-474-2783

Funding: Bureau of Land Management (Arctic Field Office), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Arctic Landscape Conservation Cooperative), National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (Alaska Fish and Wildlife Fund), National Science Foundation (ARC-1417300, ARC-1107481), and Alaska Climate Science Center

Collaborators: Matthew Whitman, Richard Kemnitz, Stacey Fritz, and Deb Nigro (BLM); Ben Jones, Chris Zimmerman, and Frank Urban (USGS); Mark Wipfli and Jeff Falke (USGS/UAF); Anna Liljedahl, Vladimir Alexeev, Jason MacFarland, Eric Torvinen, and Dragos Vas (UAF); and Kurt Heim (Montana State University)

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