Lower Columbia Fish Enhancement Group

"Working with public and private landowners to enhance the region's

salmon and steelhead populations since 1991"

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2007 LCFEG Projects

Lower Washougal Restoration Phase II

   This proposal represents phase II of the lower Washougal River floodplain restoration project initially funded by SRFB in 2004. The phase I project addressed in-stream channel configuration and re-contoured the side slopes of a 10 acre gravel mining site for use by juvenile salmonids as off-channel rearing habitat. The phase I project will be 75% complete by October 2006.

   The current proposal will address in-stream complexity and wetland/ riparian plantings that were not included in the initial project proposal. The objectives for this phase II proposal are to create one large log jam, add 5 boulder clusters, increase the complexity in the ponds via woody debris placement placement and to re-vegetate the perimeter of the off-channel ponds and wetlands. These actions will increase the spawning and rearing success of ESA listed chum, coho, chinook, steelhead and cutthroat. Project partners include City of Camas, Georgia-Pacific and Burlington Northern Railway.

Grays River Habitat Complexing

    The Grays River LWD Habitat Complexing project will restore in-stream habitat complexity necessary for improving adult holding cover and for improving juvenile rearing success in the highest priority reaches in the Grays River basin. The objectives of this project will be accomplished by placing LWD at two locations covering .25 miles of stream channel. These locations were identified using the LCFRB’s Six-Year Habitat Project Schedule and field surveys by LCFEG staff. Salmon species benefiting from increased in-stream complexity include coho, chinook, chum and steelhead. This reach of the Grays River is especially important for chum spawning which is limited by sediment deposition and channel instability.

   This reach of the Grays River is characterized by lack of pools, lack of in-stream complexity and high depth-to-width ratios. These conditions are caused by anthropological disturbances at the reach and watershed scale. Lack of landowner participation currently prohibits restoration of Channel Migration Zone (CMZ) processes impacted by dikes at the reach scale and chronic inputs of coarse sediment at the watershed scale are being addressed through implementation of the new Forest and Fish rules. This current proposal therefore addresses only the lack of in-stream complexity at the reach level which we believe is limiting productivity of multiple species due to the lack of complex pools necessary for successful rearing.

Washougal Reach 8 Restoration

   This project addresses mainstem and tributary spawning and rearing habitat on a 80 acre property in Reach 8 of the Washougal River. The proposal objectives include installation of one large logjam, five boulder clusters, restoring access to > 4,000’ of tributary habitat, creation of 3 acres of off-channel rearing habitat, groundwater investigation and riparian plantings.  This reach is a high priority for coho salmon and a medium priority for chinook and steelhead, all of which are ESA listed as threatened.

    This property has been the site of previous restoration by LCFEG in partnership with Washington Trout and Columbia Land Trust who completed a SRFB project on Schoolhouse creek upstream of the proposed work site. The previous projects acquired 26 acres of property, restored fish passage, increased off-channel rearing and spawning habitat. Schoolhouse Creek joins the Washougal River on this property but is not the subject of this restoration proposal. Instead, this proposal addresses mainstem habitat conditions and conditions in two tributaries on the North side of the river. Project partners include Gary and Dana Ostensen and WADNR.

South Fork Toutle Restoration

   The purpose of this project is to provide fish habitat and stabilize 1,600’ of eroding stream bank using bio-engineering techniques pioneered in the Washougal River in 2004 when we built our first wood debris collector. The current project is being funded by a fish friendly developer. In three days of flooding in November 2007 the river took 5-8 acres of land with a fine sediment volume far in excess of 100,000 cubic yards. This volume of material not only destroys salmon redds and habitat, it also exacerbates the filling of the floodplain downstream to the Columbia River and increases the likelihood of flooding in the Cowlitz River. The purpose of this project is to install in-stream structures that are durable and provide benefit to salmonids.

Little Washougal Riparian Planting III

 The Little Washougal River riparian restoration project will restore approximately three acres and an estimated 1,600 lineal feet of stream bank by removing non-native blackberry, canary grass and knotweed and planting twenty five hundred native trees.  This project also addresses maintenance of the riparian efforts begun in 2004 to restore salmon habitat near Stauffer’s dairy which is located in the highest priority reach in the sub-basin.

Duncan Creek Restoration

   Duncan Creek flows into the Columbia River at river mile 140.5, approximately 7 miles below Bonneville Dam near the community of Skamania. This project will construct improvements to the existing Duncan Creek spawning channels, assess the habitat conditions and develop conceptual designs for habitat restoration in the reach from SR 14 to the mouth of Duncan Creek. 

   Built in 2001, the groundwater fed channels are often dry during times of low flow creating access and egress problems for chum salmon.  One channel is dry most of the time and not accessible to chum.  The dam at the mouth of Duncan Creek manipulates the lake water surface elevation and creates passage problems for migrating fish and eliminates and impacts over a thousand feet of potential stream channel. The lake bed covers many acres which have filled with fine sediments. The creek flows in a shallow, braided channel through the lake bed and the chum spawning tributary connection also braids when it enters the lake bed.  Upstream of the lake and downstream of SR 14 the floodplain in constrained by roads, RR grades and dikes.  Habitat within this reach has degraded and needs to be reconnected to the floodplain to provide spawning and rearing opportunities. 

   These two areas are critical habitat for Chum & Coho salmon and Steelhead and Cutthroat Trout because of the location within the Duncan Creek watershed.  The area above this reach lacks stable spawning and rearing habitat due to floodplain constriction.

Nutrient Enhancement Phase II

   The goal of this project is to maximize the availability of marine-derived nutrients (MDN) in the Kalama, Lower Lewis, East Fork Lewis and Washougal River sub-basins. The need for nutrient enhancement using salmon carcasses has been well established by numerous scientific studies that highlight the importance of nutrient input to the aquatic ecosystem. Salmon carcasses are the ideal delivery system for MDN as they decay slowly, provide a direct carbon transfer to juvenile salmon rearing, and increase the food web productivity at multiple trophic levels.

   In conjunction with several partners including WDFW, Clark-Skamania Fly Fishers, Fish First and the Kalama Sportsman's Club several thousand salmon carcasses per year will be placed into the Washougal, West Fork Washougal, North Fork Lewis, East Fork Lewis and Kalama River watersheds.

Lower Kalama Assessment

   This project would first gather topographical, surface water and groundwater elevation data at the site to craft a conceptual plan with which the landowner and interested stakeholders could evaluate restoration options.

   Data collected from potential project sites which offer the highest potential for biological benefit to salmonid species and compliment the Lower Columbia Salmon Recovery Six-Year Habitat Work Schedule & Lead Entity Habitat Strategy will be used to calculate and estimate detailed construction budgets and conceptual designs for restoration proposals seeking  2008 funding. This project is intended to benefit adult chum and coho salmon as well as juvenile coho, steelhead, chinook and cutthroat trout.
 

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