Oxbow Tailings Restoration – Phase 4 – Completed!

The fourth phase of the multi-year restoration project on the Oxbow Conservation Area was completed this month.  The Project aims to restore the extensive disturbance caused by dredge mining which occurred from 1939 to 1943.  This Middle Fork John Day River project will connect the 2014 Phase 3 project with the future Phase 5 project.  Construction of about 1,000 feet of new river channel, excavation of 5,500 cubic yards of earth, adding over 200 whole trees with roots attached, and sorting 4,000 cubic yards of rock and boulders for channel construction are among the elements of this project.  Much of the ground is being re-graded to create a new floodplain, and the channel is being built to re-create a channel similar to what existed at the site before mining straightened the current river.  Pools are lined with trees which will act as great habitat for juvenile salmon, once the project is connected with the river in 2016.  This current phase of the project started in early September, 2015, taking about eight weeks to complete.  The Tribes are receiving technical assistance on this project from the Bureau of Reclamation and Inter-Fluve, Inc.  Construction was performed by Iron Triangle, LLC. of John Day, Oregon.

Trees being hauled to the new channel
Construction of large log jam along a pool
Logjam on a new pool segment just west of Ruby Creek. Point-bar rock and additional slash still needs to be added.