By Mary Catharine Martin
The SalmonState 

Forest restoration project aims to repair fisheries habitat on Mitkof Island


November 2, 2022

Mary Catharine Martin/SalmonState

U.S. Forest Service fish biologist Eric Castro prepares to drop a minnow trap into East Ohmer Creek on Mitkof Island. The crew moved hundreds of young fish before working in the channels as part of a habitat restoration project.

At East Ohmer Creek, 22 miles south of Petersburg, is a tree believed to be the largest left on Mitkof Island. U.S. Forest Service Fish Biologist Eric Castro said foresters estimate the tree, which grew on a once-rich floodplain, is around 600 years old.

"Those giant pumpkins are what used to grow in this type of environment," Castro said.

That tree stands in contrast to those that have grown around it over the past 60 years, which have reached four to eight inches in diameter - about a tenth what would once have been expected.

Why does the floodplain that grew some of the largest trees lef...

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