Effectiveness Monitoring Case Studies
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Who is MESHR?
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Case Study Report
The Monitoring and Evaluation of Salmonid Habitat Restoration (MESHR) team was formed to meet the monitoring requirements for federal and state permits held by California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) for its Fisheries Restoration Grants Program (FRGP). Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission (PSMFC) collaborates with CDFW to provide independent monitoring and assessment of restoration projects including data and other work products that are seamlessly integrated into the CDFW information platform.
The MESHR team is composed of
- two PSMFC Fisheries Biologists with training and experience in restoration monitoring,
What are the objectives of MESHR?
- a seasonal Fisheries Technician hired through PSMFC, and
- a Scientific Aid and a Senior Environmental Scientist (Specialist) from CDFW.
The main objectives of the MESHR team are to 1) perform field assessment and reporting necessary to meet the permitting requirements for FRGP, and 2) provide information (such as project Case Studies) to the restoration community and interested parties.
What types of restoration projects are monitored and where are they located?
MESHR completes field assessments for an array of instream, riparian, and upland habitat enhancement projects. Typical instream enhancement projects include placement of log and/or boulder structures in stream channels to increase pool volume, provide fish cover and slow water habitat, or provide stream grade control. Fish passage barrier remediation projects include replacing road crossings or removing small dams or concrete sills. Riparian projects may involve reduction of invasive species and/or replanting of native trees and other vegetation in the areas adjacent to the stream channel. Upland projects may include road treatments and/or livestock fencing and development of off-channel water troughs to reduce sediment delivery to streams.
The MESHR team monitors restoration projects in Coastal California.
How does MESHR go about monitoring restoration project effectiveness?
The MESHR team assesses effectiveness for a minimum of 10 percent of the on-the-ground projects funded annually by the CDFW Fisheries Restoration Grants Program. Each year the monitoring team conducts a random draw of projects from the list of funded restoration projects in watersheds where coho salmon and other anadromous salmonids can be found.
Before a selected restoration project is implemented, the MESHR team performs a Pre-treatment assessment using project-specific checklists to serve as a baseline description of habitat prior to construction of project features. The MESHR team returns to the project site one to three years after a restoration project is completed to perform Post-treatment assessment using another set of project-specific checklists designed to detect changes since pre-treatment and project completion. The objectives of post-treatment assessment are to determine
- soundness and performance of project features after one to three winters, and
- effectiveness based on any observed changes to habitat qualities.
Projects for remediation of complete passage barriers and instream habitat improvement are also monitored for salmonid use via winter spawner surveys and/or summer snorkel surveys.
MESHR summarizes restoration project effectiveness findings using the short-form Case Study to provide information about a representative sample of projects over a variety of project types.
Point of Contact
For more information contact Chris Ramsey