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Smith River Fisheries and Ecosystem Report

Spring chinook

Welcome to the Smith River Fisheries and Ecosystem Report website!

A discussion of the ecological and social context for restoring the fisheries of the Smith River.

The Smith River of northwestern California supports fisheries of national importance. To enhance and protect this watershed and its fisheries, the Institute for River Ecosystems at Humboldt State University, Arcata, California, has sponsored creation of this report.

To understand fish populations, it is necessary to study habitat. To understand riverine habitat, it is necessary to study the history of the watershed. In the case of the Smith River, there are many gaps in historical and ecological knowledge. Therefore it is inevitable that this report includes speculation about the reasons for and the extent of the decline in the fish populations. Although the author considers this speculation reasonable, other parties dispute these opinions. Critical comments are extremely valuable and are encouraged. Please respond!

The following philosophy is suggested for guiding management of the Smith River:

"A policy-making body will not flourish if it relies on written authority to make things happen. It must develop the kind of policy that is so logical, makes such good sense, that other parties participate voluntarily. It must have the kind of policies that involve others at every level so that the policy becomes not the Council's policy, but the region's policy." -- Charles Collins, Chairman, Northwest Power Planning Council

I hope that this report will contribute to sensible and sensitive management of the Smith River.

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Material Copyright 1997 Andrew P. Bartson

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