The CTWS Fisheries Department and Tribal Environmental office (Soil and Water Department) are in the process of completing a portion of the Warm Springs River Road Removal Project. Project construction began in late June and is set to end in late September 2017. Goals of the project are
1- Remove portions of 2 roads (W-240 and W-245) that are major contributors of fine sediment to salmon and steelhead spawning areas. By removing the roads the river will regain its floodplain and prevent any unnatural sediment from entering the river and potentially harming any spawning beds.
2- Remove 3 culverts that block fish passage to cold water water refuge. The culverts removed are on one culvert on Bunchgrass Creek and two culverts on Twinflower Creek. By removing these culverts salmon, trout and steelhead will regain access to some of the best cold water refuge on the Warm Springs River and give them areas to reside while temperatures in the main river approach unhealthy levels for juvenile and adult fish.
As a result of this project, portions of the W-245 and W-240 will be permanently closed and traffic are now rerouted around the project area (see map). In addition the W-245 and W-240 roads, the W-230 and W-250 roads will be temporarily blocked (1-5 years), in an effort to provide deer and elk undisturbed access to vital summer and winter range areas. This project is being completed with an interdisciplinary approach where benefits for fish, water and wildlife are expected. Project funding is a combination of Bonneville Power Administration, Fish and Wildlife Service, Environmental Protection Agency and Tribal Restoration dollars. Any questions or comments in regards to this project can be directed to Ryan Smith at 541-553-2023.