2023 VetsWork Field Note: Clearing the (Fish) Pass by Alexander Apelis

by | Field Notes, VetsWork, VW 2023

Alexander Apelis here, a Vetswork intern with the Petersburg Ranger District serving as a Natural Resource Specialist Intern. In this picture, at Duncan Creek Fish Pass on Kupreanof Island NE of Petersburg, AK, I’m seen picking up a 100+ lb boulder that was found inside the fish pass. This particular rock seemed to have come from the sides of the pass, breaking loose and falling into the area where fish pass through. There wasn’t a dry thread of fabric on me that day! 

Clearing fish passes is important because it eliminates obstacles for spawning fish.  For those questioning why this is needed to be done (since fish had been running/spawning) before humans were around is because we have changed the landscape.  Humans have redirected streams, and removed natural habitats to make room for our houses, therefore, interrupting the natural flow or routes of waterways to the territorial ranges of many animals and marine life.  Due to this (and rising water levels), the USFS oversees the maintenance of these passes in the Tongass National Forests.