Fish Slough Conservation Field Trial

Lead CDFW biologists: Tim Taylor, Alisa Ellsworth

The objective of the Fish Slough Conservation Field Trial (CFT) is to determine the most successful and sustainable revegetation strategies for restoration of disturbed sections of the Northwest Spring in Fish Slough Ecological Reserve, Mono County. The site was previously inundated due to an impoundment which turned the area into a cattail (Typha latifolia) marsh for several decades. In 2001 the impoundment was removed, thus lowering the water table approximately nine feet. The area was then burned to remove the cattail duff layer and expose the historic channel which was subsequently cleared of cattail in preparation of native fish restoration. As a result, competitive pressure from invasive weed encroachment and the constraints imposed by long-term accumulation of now-desiccated peat growth medium, limit potential for natural recovery of desirable, diverse, native vegetation.

The study will emphasize: a) native species selection and adaptation; b) revegetation species response to mechanical techniques for peat manipulation and seedbed preparation; and c) augmentation of soil moisture regime with polyacrylamide polymer.

Results from appropriate strategies and techniques to re-establish or enhance existing alkali meadow and freshwater marsh habitat along Fish Slough will support implementation of further restoration measures pertaining to revegetation and weed management prescriptions on similar critical habitats along Fish Slough.

Project Sponsors

  • California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Bishop Field Office
  • U.S. Bureau of Land Management, Bishop Field Office
  • Inyo-Mono Resource Conservation District, Bishop
  • Natural Resources Conservation Service, Bishop Field Office
  • California Plant Materials Center, NRCS, Lockeford, CA

Project Cooperators

  • BLM Grazing Permittee (Ken Zimmerman)
  • U.S. Agricultural Resources Service, San Diego, CA

Photo of Northwest Spring, Fish Slough Ecological Reserve
Plots in Replication A at Northwest Spring, Fish Slough Ecological Reserve