OLYMPIA - SalmonScape, a website of interactive maps featuring information on Washington salmon populations, has been created by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) to deliver scientific information to those involved in on-the-ground salmon recovery projects.
Found at http://wdfw.wa.gov/mapping/salmonscape on the WDFW website, SalmonScape merges data on wild salmon and their habitats into an integrated system of layered maps.
SalmonScape was created to help salmon recovery planners identify and prioritize habitat restoration activities that offer the greatest benefit to fish. The website also can serve as an environmental education tool for middle school and high school students.
SalmonScape's multi-layered maps contain information on the distribution and status of individual stocks of salmon, juvenile fish counts, habitat characteristics and the location of stream blockages that impede fish passage.
The site's various map views allow users to see data by watershed, county boundary and user-defined areas. Data can be displayed against background images that include shaded relief and aerial photos.
SalmonScape is aimed at helping salmon recovery planners identify priority habitat restoration projects that offer the greatest potential benefits for salmon populations. For example, layered maps of salmon status and stream blockages indicate barriers that are priority targets for removal because they block access of critically depressed salmon stocks to additional habitat.
In a similar way, SalmonScape offers transportation project planners information that can help them identify the best locations for mitigation projects intended to off-set the habitat impact of new road construction.
For local governments involved in growth management planning, the site can aid in the review of critical area ordinances by indicating the presence of salmon species and the habitat areas most important to maintaining salmon production.
In the classroom, SalmonScape allows students to visualize the relationships among habitat features, human development and fish stock status within a watershed or geographic area.
SalmonScape maps were created with Geographic Information System (GIS) technology, a computerized mapping system that displays and analyzes geographic features and other data.
SalmonScape was developed with funding from the Salmon Recovery Funding Board, the Washington Legislature and a federal grant. The site's biological data was collected by WDFW, federal, tribal and local biologists as well as Regional Fisheries Enhancement Groups (RFEGs) and watershed partners in the course of monitoring salmon and watershed health across Washington.