A rugged, whitewater river flowing northward through deep canyons, the New River is among the oldest rivers on the continent. New River Gorge National River in West Virginia encompasses over 70,000 acres of land along the New River, is rich in cultural and natural history, and offers an abundance of scenic and recreational opportunities.
Warming stream temperatures are increasing the range of non-native, predatory smallmouth bass into critical salmon rearing habitat. Erika Sutherland, one of the Northwest Climate Science Center's newest Graduate Fellows, is currently conducting research to better understand the recruitment bottlenecks of smallmouth bass at the most upstream extent of their range in hopes to limit the impact of future climate-change induced range expansion. In a parallel stream, she will also test the effectiveness of smallmouth bass nest disruption as a potential management strategy and its impact on the co-existing subyearling Chinook salmon population. Erika conducts her field work on the North and Middle forks of the John Day River in the Blue Mountains of northeast Oregon. As a University of Washington graduate student supervised by Julian Olden, Erika works closely with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Nature Conservancy and with the U.S. Geological Survey.