Habitat in and beside streams & rivers

Mostly because of the importance of salmon to human economies throughout the Pacific Northwest, the ecology of streams and rivers is probably better understood by science than any other Southeast habitat.

Confluence of Rio Beaver and Thorne River, central Tàan, sea lion (Prince of Wales Island)

Array of channel types at Kadashan River. Classification follows Paustian (ed) A channel-type user’s guide for the Tongass National Forest (2010) R10 Technical Paper 26.

In 1985, when I was a wet-behind-the ears hermit naturalist, more interested in hiding out in the woods than confronting questions of human impacts to ecological function, diversity, or resilience, I was taken under the wing of a master-hydrologist named Dan Bishop—proprietor of a consulting business named Environaid. This was a mutually amusing partnership, during a period when I was as likely to tear flagging down as put it up (Ed Abbey, after all, posited that a time comes when a man has to pull up stakes).

I was initially skeptical of Dan’s logo, executed by Juneau artist Laurie Craig, which showed a happy dipper on a stream just in front of a dam. Message being, I guess, that with appropriate coaching from experts in moving water, human manipulations could retain functional habitat. (Today I concede he was right, problem being that there aren’t many Dans around—and even fewer since he died in 1991.)

With prodding from Dan’s associate Leigh Smith, I designed an alternative logo. Leigh and I thought that Environaid should have uniforms, to look more legitimate, and that these of course would need shoulder patches. You can view our draft design for this shoulder patch in Media types>Journals.

Hydrologist Dan Bishop was my mentor in consulting and in streamwalking.

By 1996, I had enough remove from the shock of Dan’s passing to write a tribute in Discoveries, the newly-fledged newsletter of Discovery Southeast.  Streamwalkers, in the fall issue, had this recollection:

From Dan I learned to dig holes, sniff sulfur, slurp through horsetail marshes, take pictures hanging from tree limbs, turn over rocks, hack survey lines through willow thickets, roll mud in my fingers, and then write about it. What I teach kids today is the same mucky, enlivening natural history – the art of paying sensory attention and asking continual questions. A naturalist’s questions rescue us from rootlessness: Where are we?! How did this place get like this? What’s around the next bend?

Although Dan was not a professional teacher, he embodied the highest goals of education: curiosity, fairness, civility, and great care—to take the time to get it right. In this sense, he was a founder of Discovery Southeast—the reason streamwalking remains our passion and quest, thirty years after dedication of the Dan Bishop Bay Creek Trail, where kids still listen to moving water that sings beside Auke Bay Elementary School.

In this section

Bishop & Pollard 1991 Big Boulder

King salmon spawning reaches on Yakwyaax̱ Methods suggested for enhancing chinook spawning and rearing habitats in the alluvial fan channel…

1991 | Bishop & Pollard | 35 pages

Bishop 1986 Juneau streams

Descriptions & recommendations for streams of Áak’w & T’aaḵú Aaní A marked-up draft of this report is all I can…

1986 | Dan Bishop | 37 pages

Bishop & Streveler 1987 Gustavus ditches

Dan and Greg and the water table Quite the dynamic duo! Lingít Aaní’s senior hydrologist teamed with Sít’ Eeti Geeyí’s…

1987 | Bishop & Streveler | 45 pages

Carstensen 1990 Big Boulder Creek historical series

Overlays as ‘pageflippers’ This was the only Environaid publication for which I was sole author. To prepare for field work,…

1990 | Carstensen-Environaid | 15 pages

Bishop 1989 Haines Airport phase-2

Return to the Nexus Between 1988 and 1989, Environaid made a total of 8 visits to Sawmill Wetland. Initial work…

1989 | Bishop, Bishop & Carstensen | 47 pages

Bishop 1989 Chilkat Lake outlet floods

Flooding of Tsirku River into Chilkat Lake: impacts on salmon For Northern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association (NSRAA), Dan Bishop and…

1989 | Bishop & Carstensen | 53 pages

Bishop 1985 Chuck River

Wall tenting below zero On this, my first job with Environaid, I didn’t pay attention to WHY we sloshed around…

1985 | Dan Bishop | 28 pages

Bishop 1981 Tsirku-Chilkat-Lake flooding

Trouble at the airstrip Where Chilkat Lake empties into Tsirku River, aggrading floodplains have created a delicately balanced flow regime…

1981 | Dan Bishop | 21 pages

Bishop 1981 Tsirku-Chilkat confluence

Hydrologic studies on a major salmon spawning habitat After a scoping visit for National Audubon, Dan’s next contract in Greater…

1981 | Dan Bishop | 30 pages

Bishop 1980 Chilkat streams

Chilkat valley streams: Late fall & winter salmon runs One of the first Environaid studies was commissioned by National Audubon…

1980 | Dan Bishop | 39 pages

Bishop 1985 North Douglas road extension

Twenty-seven crossings of Ḵaalahéenak’u North Douglas Highway’s irritating dead-end has always seemed an affront to public-spirited builders. According to Dan…

1985 | Dan Bishop | 34 pages

Dipper hunting caddisflies

Hinyiklʼeix̱i, dancer in the water November 18, 2022  I love dippers but have had little luck filming them in their…

2022 | Richard Carstensen | 3 minute video

Teachers at Fish Creek, 2022

Four days at the delta and Eaglecrest From June 9 to 12, 2022, Discovery gave the 4th in our series…

2022 | Richard Carstensen | 46 page journal

Bishop et al 1981 Salmon Creek road

Environmental and cultural assessment for the proposed Salmon Creek road-pipeline development Before I began working with Dan Bishop in 1985,…

1981 | Bishop, Mills, Jacoby and Moore | 95 pages

Bishop, Armstrong & Carstensen 1987 Juneau Airport

Environmental analysis of lower Jordan Creek From March through July, 1987, I assisted Dan Bishop and Bob Armstrong with an…

1987 | Bishop, Armstrong & Carstensen | 40 pages

Fish Creek walkthrough

Focus group tour On Thursday, August 26th, about 30 masked aficionados of dynamic Fish Creek delta assembled on invitation from…

2021 | Richard Carstensen, Bob Armstrong | RC-59 pages: BA vid-links

Fish Creek studies

Discovery-SAWC collaboration Beginning in early 2020, Discovery Southeast is assisting the Southeast Alaska Watershed Coalition with investigations at Fish Creek…

2020 | Richard Carstensen |

Staney Creek

Stream work documentation on Tàan, sea lion (Prince of Wales Island) The Nature Conservancy, US Forest Service, and dozens of…

2020 | Richard Carstensen | 19 minute slideshow

Exploring middle Kax̱digoowu Héen

Going back clearwater (Montana Creek) In late May, 2019, Discovery naturalist Steve Merli and I explored the middle reaches of…

2019 | Richard Carstensen | 5-minute slideshow

Kaxdigoowu Héen (Montana Creek): presentation for SEAL Trust

Slideshow in two parts Kaxdigoowu Héen, going back clearwater has been one of my favorite places since I first explored…

2019 | Richard Carstensen & John Hudson | slide show in 2 parts: 38 & 22 minutes