Baby Salmon Live Here

Protecting Salmon in a Warming World

Thousands of rivers, streams, and lakes cover the Kenai Peninsula and are home to baby salmon—where adult salmon return from the ocean to spawn and die, creating the next generation. These “nursery”streams need a balance of nutrients, cold water in the summer and warm water in the winter, and protection from predators and human development. If this land is disturbed in a way that impacts the waterbody, the cycle is disrupted and the future of salmon becomes uncertain. In our warming climate it is all the more essentail that we maintain healthy habitat along salmon freshwater habitat--in a hot summer shade is life.

Through the Baby Salmon Live Here program, Kachemak Heritage Land Trust, Cook Inletkeeper, Kachemak Bay Conservation Society, and Kenai Watershed Forum are working together to protect the most important places that baby salmon need to grow, giving salmon a greater chance of thriving long into the future.

The Baby Salmon Live Here (BSLH) program was developed in Anchorage/Mat-Su by Great Land Trust in 2014 and it is now stewarded by the Kachemak Heritage Land Trust. The goal of BSLH is to bring awareness to where baby salmon live and to encourage stewardship of land that is vital to the wellbeing of salmon and people. One of the main initiatives of the program is educational sign installation where baby salmon live—along the tiny inland streams and lakes all over the Kenai Peninsula. We are working together to install up to 40 new BSLH signs during the 2022 summer months.

As you explore the outdoors this summer, look for the BSLH signs along waterways on the Kenai Peninsula. Take a minute to check out the lakes and streams for salmon eggs, spawning salmon, and baby salmon. You can learn more about the program, about the interrelation of salmon and land, and how to get more involved by visiting babysalmon.org.

Quote from Marie McCarty, Executive Director, Kachemak Heritage Land Trust

“It will take each of us, from all walks of life, to keep baby salmon thriving in our Kenai Peninsula streams. Our Baby Salmon Live Here program aims to protect baby salmon as they begin their journey to adulthood. The BSLH signs identify unexpected places where baby salmon live and, in doing so, spark curiosity and inspire the public to be good stewards of land.”

Quote from Sue Mauger Science & Executive Director, Cook Inletkeeper

“Most Alaskans have had the joy of seeing adult salmon returning to our streams and rivers during their upstream migration to spawn, but many people are not aware that baby salmon are in fresh water nursery areas all year round. By placing signs across the Kenai Peninsula, we are reminding Alaskans that salmon are living all across our landscape and we can all play a part in protecting their habitat.”

Quote from Penelope Haas, Board Vice President, Kachemak Bay Conservation Society

"We who live on the Kenai Peninsula are proud of our salmon. We are proud to catch and put up fish every year, to sit down to a salmon dinner with our friends and family, to watch eagles and bears fishing in our creeks. The Baby Salmon Live Here project shows that we are stewards of the streams, rivers, and lakes where salmon grow up. We protect salmon habitat so that there can be fish for our children and their children."

Quote from Benjamin Meyers, Environmental Scientist, Kenai Watershed Forum“Baby salmon can live in some places that might surprise us. We’ll of course find them in the big rivers and lakes we like to fish and play on, but we also find them in that muddy trickle out at the edge of the back yard, or that swamp at the edge of the road. By learning to recognize the places under our feet as their home, we can help keep their habitat intact.”

Thank You to the Woodwell Climate Research Institute for their generous support of this project.


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