Looking into the past can help biologists and managers determine what is possible in the future. New research is helping understand the past and more accurately estimate future salmon recovery potential. Central Idaho’s Middle Fork Salmon River (MFSR) offers a glimpse of historical Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) spawning and rearing habitat.

The MFSR flows through the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness, where natural processes remain intact and human influences are minimal. “It’s a very unique system that supports critical habitat for many native species,” says Russ Thurow, a Research Fisheries Scientist with the USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station, who has worked in this river basin since the 1980s.

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U.S. Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station
June 2020 | Science You Can Use (in 5 minutes)

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