The Matanuska-Susitna Basin, or Mat-Su, covers 24,500 square miles in southcentral Alaska, roughly the combined size of Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. The basin supports thriving populations of chinook, coho, sockeye, pink and chum salmon as well as world-class rainbow trout, char, and grayling, making it one of the country’s premier sportfishing and wildlife viewing destinations. Salmon and other fish are at the heart of Alaskan ecosystems, economy, and culture.The basin is also one of the fastest growing regions in the country, presenting unique challenges and opportunities to ensure thriving fish, healthy habitats, and vital communities in one region. The Matanuska-Susitna Basin Salmon Habitat Partnership (Partnership) formed to address increasing impacts on salmon from human use and development pressures in the Mat-Su basin and ensure that opportunities for growth and conservation go hand-in-hand.
The Partnership first came together in the Fall of 2005 and has quickly become a significant force for fisheries conservation. The partnership has already begun conservation efforts such as fish passage restoration in Moose Creek, where 1,500 feet of river channel and floodplain characteristics and nine miles of improved fish access for Pacific salmon were restored. The Partnership is conducting a detailed analysis of fish passage conditions on Wasilla Creek and along the Parks Highway in an effort to evaluate and prioritize fish passage efforts in key stream systems. In the future, the Partnership will complete a comprehensive watershed assessment and prioritize fish habitat needs; revegetate damaged stream banks, creating fish-and-people-friendly fishing areas; remove additional fish passage barriers, reestablishing natural stream structure and flow; and continue to improve management of habitat on public lands by increasing coordination between local, state, and federal partners. Mat-Su was recognized as a Fish Habitat Partnership by the Board in October, 2007.
More information about participating members and projects can be found at The Nature Conservancy.
The Nature Conservancy