Water temperature influences virtually every biotic component of stream ecosystems and is crucial in maintaining stream ecosystem health. For salmon specifically, temperature affects survivorship of eggs and fry, rate of respiration and metabolism, timing of migration, resistance to disease and pollution, and availability of oxygen and nutrients. Despite the association between warm water temperatures and reduced salmonid survivorship, there are only inconsistent, long-term water temperature data sets for salmon streams in Alaska. Without such basic information, it is impossible to gauge the health of salmon habitats and resources, and equally difficult to develop management responses to improve watershed resiliency to climate and land-use change.
PWSK began collecting data in Eyak River in 2009. At the present time, this data is purely baseline. This data will be utilized in conjunction with data collected through the Eyak Lake Community Monitoring Project.