Over 900 trees placed in the Warm Springs River in five days!

From July 25th to July 29th, 2016 the Fish Habitat Program completed the Warm Springs River Helicopter Large Wood Additions Project along about 3.5 miles of the Warm Springs River, where 90 log jams were constructed and over 900 trees were placed.

Stream surveys conducted on the Reservation in 2013 within the Warm Springs River showed that this section of river was lacking large wood and pools, specifically it contained insufficient adult holding habitat for large salmonids. Additionally, fish passage data from the Warm Springs National Fish Hatchery (downstream of the project area) and Tribal redd surveys indicate that spring Chinook salmon and bull trout populations are declining in the watershed. Accordingly, an instream habitat restoration project aimed at increasing habitat quality and quantity for all life stages of salmonids was developed. The Warm Springs River has a stable hydrology, is clear and cold within the upper river reaches. Furthermore, its importance to Tribal history, culture and subsistence is invaluable. Therefore, Tribal staff decided that a low environmental impact type of restoration project (such as helicopter large wood placements) was warranted. Prior to implementation, Tribal staff investigated the natural formations of large wood within the channel. Based on those field investigations, coordination with a hydraulic engineer, and flood flow mapping, four types of log jams were designed and implemented. Two types were constructed along the stream margins (73 total log structures) in order to provide for low-velocity juvenile salmonid habitat. The other two larger structure types (some spanning the entire channel) were constructed in order to induce streambed scour, sort streambed sediments, create pools and activate side channels. The ultimate goal of this project is to increase native salmonid production and survival within the project area.

Helicopter lowering trees into the river
Helicopter lowering trees into the river

 

Keith Karoglanian and Jason Grant at the project site
Keith Karoglanian and Jason Grant at the project site

Before-and-after photo set of stream margin structures

Before and After photos of channel spanning structure

 

Logs in a wide spot
Logs in a wide spot
View of 4-5 newly created structures
View of 4-5 newly created structures
Scott Turo walking down to inspect a new log jam
Scott Turo walking down to inspect a new log jam
Log jam in the river
Log jam in the river
View of some wood from a distance
View of some wood from a distance