• Habitat Tour 2013: scientists tour projects to restore fish habitat in the Columbia Basin

    April 15-18: The Deschutes and John Day subbasins

    Bridge Creek:  An experimental restoration in Bridge Creek, a tributary of Oregon's John Day River. Scientists installed posts in the creek to help stabilize beaver dams that had regularly washed out during periods of high flow. This helped slow water flow and reconnect the creek to its floodplain, providing more food and refuge for fish. Since the project began, steelhead survival in this stretch has increased compared to a control area.  

     

    Camas Creek: John Zakrasjsek, fisheries biologist for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, points out areas on Camas Creek where the CTUIR will be restoring habitat for fish. Camas Creek is a principal tributary to the North Fork of the John Day River, near Ukiah, Oregon.   
       
     

    John Day River:  This project replaced a gravel push-up dam with a lay-flat stanchion to improve fish passage. Project partners are the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs, the Grant County Soil and Water Conservation District, the Bureau of Reclamation and the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board. 

     

    The CTWS also operate a greenhouse on the Forrest Conservation Area in Prairie City, Oregon, to grow native trees and plants from three climate zones in the John Day subbasin. They collect cuttings and seeds from areas where construction or restoration projects disturb vegetation and then cultivate them to re-plant once the project is done.    

     

     

    Mountain Creek: Herb Winters of the Wheeler Soil and Conservation District presented information on the District's project to restore reaches in Mountain Creek to improve conditions for steelhead spawning.  See more here.

      

    Beech Creek (right):  The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife installs approximately 20 fish screens on irrigation diversions in the Umatilla, John Day and Walla Walla subbasins every year. This screen has a fish by-pass trap installed on it, which ODFW uses to evaluate the effectiveness of the program by documenting the numbers of fish trapped. Without the fish screen, fish could become entrained in this irrigation ditch, and likely perish. The most recent trap counts for 2012 show the number of documented juvenile steelhead and chinook at the Beech Creek trap increasing since 2006. 

      

     

     

  • About the ISRP

    The Independent Scientific Review Panel is an eleven-member group of scientists appointed by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council to provide independent scientific review of its fish and wildlife recovery projects. A 1996 amendment to the Northwest Power Act directed the ISRP to advise the Council regarding projects that are directly funded by BPA under the Council’s Fish and Wildlife Program and evaluate whether they:

     

    q are based on sound science principles;

    q benefit fish and wildlife;

    q have clearly defined objectives and outcomes; and

    q have provisions for monitoring and evaluation of results

     

     

    About the Geographic Review

    During the spring and summer of 2013, ISRP and Council staff are visiting habitat restoration projects for salmon and steelhead in the Columbia Basin.  The tour is part of a comprehensive review of 87 habitat projects funded by BPA under the Council’s Fish and Wildlife Program, known as the geographic review.  An important function of these reviews is to evaluate project results (i.e., are they addressing factors that limit salmon and steelhead survival) and how well the projects have adapted proposed future work based on those results.

     

    The tour provides a great opportunity to feature the accomplishments of the federal caucus's many partners in the Columbia Basin.