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Sakhalin Island, Eastern Russia (Wild Salmon Center)

Sakhalin Island, the largest island in the far east portion of the Russian Federation, provides habitat for 11 species of salmon including Taimen (Hucho taimen ) and Masu (Oncorhynchus masou ), species limited to the western Pacific. Sakhalin Island is the target of international conservation planning (WSC 2013, FSIP 2013, USAID), a collaborative process that promotes conservation and sustainable use of wild salmon and the ecosystems upon which they depend. It is also designed to build in-country capacity for conservation and to promote sustainable economic development.

Study objective included constructing models of salmon habitat (spawning and rearing) within a GIS appropriate to Sakhalin Island, including for Taimen and Masu. The Wild Salmon Center, the Sakhalin Salmon Initiative and ESI, funded in part by Sakhalin Energy Corporation, used NetMap to build a digital landscape and synthetic river (ASTER 30 m DEMs) to model fish habitat in Sakhalin Island. The synthetic river was attributed with drainage area, channel gradient, channel width, flow depth, flow velocity and substrate size, among other attributes. 

NetMap’s digital landscape in the three watersheds in Sakhalin Island (Naicha, Taranai, Kura Rivers) will be used in habitat modeling, hydrological analysis, and stream monitoring (WSC 2013). The goal is to use island-wide fish habitat maps to guide resource use (such as timber harvest and road construction) to protect the most valuable aquatic environments.