• Multi-year project in NE Oregon’s Catherine Creek good for fish and farmers

    The Catherine Creek Complex in northeast Oregon’s Grande Ronde Valley is a historic collaboration among fish managers and farmers to improve habitat for ESA-listed fish, while continuing to serve agricultural uses. The multi-year project to restore roughly four miles of stream is in its fourth and final phase this summer on the former Southern Cross Ranch.

    Grande Ronde

    Over the years, Catherine Creek was diverted from its natural floodplain, straightened, and altered for irrigation and farming uses. This destroyed prime off-channel habitat for fish and ultimately led to erosion and flooding. To help restore habitat and natural processes, since 2010 partners have acquired six properties, constructed 25 new pools, nine alcoves, five new side channels and planted 20 acres of new riparian vegetation. They have installed 11,000 feet of new irrigation pipeline, allowing ranchers to remove four gravel push-up dams that had previously posed barriers to fish passage.

    GrandeRondeISRP2013 Orig. Size (2)

    The project was identified by a strategic prioritization initiative called Atlas. Atlas is a BPA-developed tool that brings all partners together to look at how fish are using the habitat and the types of projects that will provide the most biological benefit in those areas. Through the Atlas collaborative framework, partners have developed a prioritized list of habitat restoration projects and associated maps that can be carried out over the next 10-15 years in the Grande Ronde Subbasin.

  • Atlas partners
    • Bonneville Power Administration

    • Grand Ronde Model Watershed
    • Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation

    • Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

    • Nez Perce Tribe

    • NOAA Fisheries

    • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

    • U.S. Forest Service

    • Freshwater Trust

    • Bureau of Reclamation

    • Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board

    • Natural Resource Conservation Service

    • Union Soil and Water Conservation District

    • Northwest Power and Conservation Council