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.