The Tribes’ Fisheries Department completed the first phase of habitat enhancement work on the Forrest Conservation Area this summer.  This project aims to improve and expand juvenile rearing habitat for spring Chinook salmon and summer steelhead on the Middle Fork John Day River.  The project is located on the lower end of the Tribes’ property, below Dead Cow Gulch.  The project also restores the river to naturally move again by removal of riprap structures.

The project removed 2600 cubic yards of riprap and rock barbs which were installed in the 1980s to stop river movement and erosion.  In some of these locations 400 cubic yards of seed gravel were placed to fill in the voids.

The project installed 42 large-wood structures, 25 single log placements, 12 floodplain wood placements, 7 alcoves, 3 beaver dam analogue, and 5 picket baffle placements.

Disturbed areas were covered with 5 tons of straw and seeded with 300 lbs of native grass seed. Planting of about 1,400 various riparian shrub and tree species (willow, alder, dogwood, currant, rose, cottonwood, elderberry, snowberry, mock orange) is planned for this fall.

An additional phase of work has been planned to finish removal of riprap structures on the property down to Caribou Creek, but cultural clearances are needed to address impacts posed by an historic spur of the Sumpter Valley railroad grade that bisects the floodplain. The Tribe hopes to complete this work in the next few years.
Below are some images from the project, and some before-and-after sliders.
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Beaver Dam Analog structures are comprised of drive posts with hand woven material, acting as a natural beaver dam.


P8 Before P8 After
Before and After:  Riprap wall removal
P3 Before P3 After
Before and After:  Rock barb removal and large wood jam replacement
P2 Before P2 After