BPA Fish and Wildlife FY 1997 Proposal
Section 1. Administrative
Section 2. Narrative
Section 3. Budget
see CBFWA and BPA funding recommendations
Title of project
Rock Creek Riparian and In-Channel Habitat Enhancement Project
BPA project number 5512500
Business name of agency, institution or organization requesting funding
Yakama Indian Nation
Sponsor type WA-Tribe
Proposal contact person or principal investigator
|Mailing address||P.O. Box 151
Toppenish, WA 98948
BPA technical contact ,
Biological opinion ID
NWPPC Program number
The project entails revegetation and restoration of degraded riparian areas, exclosures to grazing, and placement of structures and wood in the channel to provide spawning, rearing and holding habitat. The project is located between the towns of Goldendale and Bickleton in Klickitat County. Streams identified in the project work include Rock Creek, Quartz Creek, Squaw Creek, and Luna Gulch.
Project start year 1997 End year 2002
Start of operation and/or maintenance 0
Project development phase Implementation
Biological results achieved
Annual reports and technical papers
Through restoration efforts, it is expected that increased production of salmonids will occur and can be demonstrated. The restoration project should therefore facilitate recovery of declining stocks. Through monitoring, the project can be assessed for its ability to meet target objectives for riparian conditions and in-channel habitat, as well as judge effects on survival and growth rates of salmonids. This knowledge can then be applied to future projects for determining expected outcomes and benefits to salmonid stocks.
Specific measureable objectives
The objective of the project is to improve spawning, rearing and holding habitat, stabilize stream banks and channels, revegetate riparian corridors with beneficial deciduous and coniferous species, and deter grazing impacts to the riparian area and stream channel.
Currently, the project streams are degraded and lack large woody debris in the channels, pool area, velocity refugia, and spawning gravels. In addition, some adjacent riparian areas are sparse or devoid of vegetation due to timber harvest, grazing and agricultural conversion. Irrigation diversions within the project area are also detrimental due to reduced summer flows. Through restoration efforts on the channel, available habitat is expected to increase by at least three fold for juvenile rearing, at least two fold for spawning area, and at least three fold for velocity breaks and adult holding habitat. The project work is also expected to improve water quality by reducing erosion, filtrating and storing fine sediments, and reducing livestock waste from entering waters. These improvements should benefit both anadromous and resident salmonid populations (steelhead, rainbow and cutthroat trout) in Rock Creek. Rock Creek steelhead are currently listed as a stock of unknown status in the Washington State Salmon and Steelhead Stock Inventory (SASSI, 1992). Ambient monitoring of habitat conditions and fish populations before and after completion of project work will quantify whether objectives were attained.
Underlying assumptions or critical constraints
Much of the project area contains private lands and landowners will be contacted to obtain cooperative agreements to work on their land. Where cooperation can not be procured, easements or land purchase will be sought to allow restoration work to take place. All specific project sites will have a design and monitoring plan completed by the grantee or a subcontractor with restoration experience. The plans will include a description of existing conditions, actions needed to restore the channel and riparian areas to target conditions, logistics to complete the work, expected benefits from the work. The monitoring plan will include an assessment of habitat conditions and fish populations prior to and after project completion. This monitoring approach can be used to statistically compare effects on habitat and populations before and after restoration work. Upon review and acceptance of the plans, the work will be carried out by the grantee or a subcontractor. The work will be evaluated by the grantee for its consistency in meeting the design plans and project objectives. Monitoring work will be completed by the grantee to determine the efficacy and benefits of the restoration work.
Where channels are deficient in rearing habitat, restoration efforts may include placement of large woody debris, boulders, and or bank deflectors in the channel. This work is also expected to help retain/store spawning gravels. In areas of active bank erosion, bio-engineering practices may be utilized such as establishment of dense woody vegetation for rooting strength, placement of large rock at toes of erosion, and construction of bank deflectors to direct main flows away from banks. In addition, exclosure fences may be installed where grazing activities would continue to thwart establishment of beneficial vegetation and cause ground disturbance and bank erosion. Within riparian areas, stands with sparse or no vegetation may be inter-planted with appropriate coniferous or deciduous species to provide future wood recruitment to the channel, shade for temperature moderation, allochthonous nutrient delivery and bank stability. Irrigation diversions which cause inadequate summer stream flows for fish rearing and migration may have water rights purchased for in-stream flows.
Brief schedule of activities
Initial monitoring would take place in the fall of 1997 and spring and summer of 1998, along with design planning. In the summer and fall of 1998, project implementation would begin and be completed by late 2001. Final monitoring would be accomplished in the spring and summer of 2002.
A deficiency of in-channel pool frequency, spawning gravel area, velocity breaks for juvenile and adult holding, and overhead cover has been identified in segments of these tributaries. In addition, some riparian areas along these streams are lacking in ground cover, long-term recruit able trees, shade, and bank stability. Inadequate summer flows has also led to loss of fish. With all of these existing factors in place, fish populations have been substantially reduced. Summer run steelhead stock status for Rock Creek is listed as unknown in SASSI 1992, but believed to be on the decline due to existing habitat degradation and restoration work is needed to facilitate recovery of the stock.
It is expected that the project will provide immediate benefits to fish, but the exact gains will not be known until monitoring is completed. In addition the length of time for complete stream recovery, or period until desired conditions are achieved, is not completely known. For example, revegetation of channel margins and riparian areas will take several years to provide optimal benefits to fish populations.
Summary of expected outcome
Through these restoration efforts, habitat features that are limiting fish populations are expected to, at a minimum, be increased by two to three fold. This increase in critical habitat area should promote recovery and resilience of fish stocks. Monitoring work will further determine the net benefits of the project and identify limitations or areas of improvement.
Dependencies/opportunities for cooperation
Currently, no formal coordination plan has been adopted. Landowners and agencies that are interested in restoration efforts include the Natural Resource Conservation Service, Yakama Indian Nation, Washington Department of Ecology and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Cost sharing or funds may be available on this project from the NRCS or WDOE. Permits that may be needed on this project include Shoreline Variance Permits and Hydraulic Project Approvals. It is not anticipated that these permits will require more than four months to acquire and should not slow down completion of the project. Private land owners within the scope of this project area will also be contacted to determine their interest and cooperation in restoration work.
At the beginning of the project period, the streams will be assessed for quantity and quality of habitat for spawning, rearing, and holding. Erosion and riparian conditions will also be surveyed. Finally, fish population estimates will be conducted to determine existing use under limited habitat conditions. Upon completion of project work the streams will be reassessed for the same parameters. All monitoring will be accomplished by following standard methodology outlined in the Ambient Monitoring Program Manual (TFW-AM9-94-001).
|Historic costs||FY 1996 budget data*||Current and future funding needs|
|(none)||New project - no FY96 data available||1997: 324,800|
* For most projects, Authorized is the amount recommended by CBFWA and the Council. Planned is amount currently allocated. Contracted is the amount obligated to date of printout.
CBFWA funding review group Bonneville Dam - Priest Rapids Dam
Recommendation Tier 2 - fund when funds available
Recommended funding level $324,800