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By Dan Cox, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By Dan Cox, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Implementing these 5 best management practices will help to maintain cool and abundant water supplies favored by fish, prevent farm by-products harmful to fish from entering streams and rivers, and move your cannabis farm toward legal compliance.

1. Cultivate away from waterways.

Maintain a 200-foot distance of vegetated buffer between cultivation sites and any spring, stream, or river.  Vegetated buffers help to keep habitat-harming soil, nutrients, and chemicals out of streams and rivers.

2. Capture rainwater for irrigation.

Whether from your roof, overland flow, spring, stream or river, capture and store enough rainy season water to supply irrigation needs each year. Use of stored water during the dry season leaves more water in streams and rivers when the fish need it most.

3. Use secondary containers.

Store all nutrients, petroleum, rodenticides, herbicides, and insecticides in secondary containers to prevent spills from reaching the environment. Use of secondary containers captures chemical spills before they hit the soil where they can leach into streams and rivers poisoning the aquatic ecosystem fish depend upon.

4. Pack Out Your Trash

Haul non-biodegradable trash (i.e. plastics) to the dump for proper disposal. Maintain compost piles at least 200 feet from waterways. Haphazard management of trash can result in degradation of fish habitat.

5. Use a Professional

Deforestation, grading, terracing, and road construction without expertise can cause soil materials to enter surface waters. Soil residues cover the pebble layer needed for salmon and steelhead to deposit eggs and smother those eggs once deposited.

Chinook in clean, clear water above a pebble layered  river bottom. Chinook uses pebble layers to deposit their eggs. Soil and sediment that get washed into rivers from farms and roads can smother the pebble layer, leaving the chinook limited options for depositing their eggs.
Chinook in clean, clear water above a pebble layered river bottom. Chinook uses pebble layers to deposit their eggs. Soil and sediment that get washed into rivers from farms and roads can smother the pebble layer, leaving the chinook limited options for depositing their eggs. Photo by Jacob Pounds of Chinook salmon in the Mad River.

Featured Photo By Dan Cox, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Want to learn more? Come see Hollie Hall at our her table at the Ganjier Spring Kickoff!

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