Southcentral Alaska salmon ecological systems mapping nature conservancy

Current mapping of hydrography, along with economic, social and ecological values associated with waters and floodplains in Alaska, is inadequate to support critical needs in community planning, flood mapping, ecological risk assessment and mitigation planning for salmon and other aquatic resources. Fortunately, the convergence of newly available data, an active collaboration of Alaskans, and an advanced suite of tools provide a unique opportunity to support landscape scale hydrographic mapping and analysis to support a range of user needs. 


We took advantage of newly available high-resolution digital elevation models to develop a high resolution stream network for the entire watershed. In addition, we helped create hydrographic mapping tools and update the National Hydrography Dataset for the region.  Finally, we  used these new tools and datasets to better understand and map the distribution and relative abundance of salmon and their habitats across the Mat-Su Basin.

Photo:  Bridget Besaw/The Nature Conservancy