Salmon Streams Restored in the Tongass of Southeast Alaska

Harris River and Gaandlaay Haanaa

The Nature Conservancy and the U.S. Forest Service teamed up to restore Harris River and tributaries including the salmon stream that was renamed Gaandlaay Haanaa (Beautiful River) at a ceremony in 2011.

This restoration project restored 11 miles of salmon stream. Crews also removed or decommissioned eight road miles to improve fish passage and reduce erosion and restored 500 acres of forest.

Local logging contractors went to work on the restoration of Harris River and Gaandlaay Haanaa—restoring salmon habitat and bringing green jobs to Prince of Wales Island in Southeast Alaska.

Crews placed more than 350 pieces of large woody debris in stream channels to help recreate original stream conditions. When powerful streamflow encounters natural debris in the stream bed, the flow carves the deep pools that fish need.

A spawning chum salmon migrates upstream in the restored Gaandlaay Haanaa.

A new footbridge allows hikers to watch migrating salmon in Gaandlaay Haanaa.

Now that the former Fubar Creek is restored, it has a new Haida name. A proclamation signed at a renaming ceremony by tribal representatives from the villages of Craig, Kasaan, Klawock, and Hydaburg, as well as the U.S.D.A. and U.S. Forest Service, signals a new beginning.

Restoring salmon habitat in the Tongass National Forest is one way in which the forest can work toward a more sustainable future while providing for local communities.

In the restored Gaandlaay Haanaa, salmon are returning to spawn and complete the incredible journey of the salmon life cycle.

A plaque of native stone commemorates the Harris River Restoration Project.


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