Umatilla River Priority Corridor Habitat Acquisitions VIII

Salmonid Habitat Restoration and Acquisition

Land or Easement Acquisition
Project ID15-Umat-01
Recovery DomainsInterior Columbia
Start Date10/01/2015
End Date05/01/2015
Last Edited10/21/2021
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The 2008 Umatilla River Corridor Acquisition project successfully secured the largest single remaining private ownership within the CTUIR’s priority anadromous fish acquisition area on the Umatilla Indian Reservation. The PCSRF investment of $211,875 leveraged $181,565 in CTUIR Land Acquisition Program matching funds to make the first payment on the 1923 acre conservation acquisition. The lands included 21 separate tracts in Iskuulpa, Meacham and the Umatilla River watersheds including the confluence of Meacham Creek and the Umatilla River. Over 2.5 miles of spawning and rearing habitats for summer steelhead and spring Chinook salmon and 1.5 miles of ephemeral tributary habitat were permanently added to the tribe’s conservation land base. This included ¾ of a mile of Iskuulpa Creek within the Iskuulpa Watershed Project that was threatened with development and over 550 acres of harvestable timberlands.

The FY 2015 PCSRF funds were used to make the eighth payment (10.64% of the total debt) of nine required annual payments to retire the debt on this acquisition. This paid for 204 acres of the total original 1923 acres acquired. The CTUIR proposes to continue to retire the debt on this property using PCSRF as available over the next year.

Land use patterns along the river and prior channel engineering projects (including dredging and diking) have reduced the area of the flood plain (Figure 1). Further, these same actions have compromised the ecological connection and natural exchange of water, sediment, nutrients, and carbon between the flood plain and river channel. Ongoing studies of the flood plain have documented a loss of aquatic habitat diversity due to simplification of the river channel and changes in the patterns of flood-plain inundation during periods of high water. As a result, areas of the flood plain that have not been affected by human land use nor channel engineering have become highly valuable as core fish and wildlife habitat. Research is demonstrating that areas with high levels of hydrologic connection between the river channel and flood plain have a profound influence on the water temperature in the river. The complex geomorphology in these areas promotes the exchange of ground and surface water, thereby cooling the river, and creating pockets of cool water exploited during the hot summer months by anadromous and resident salmonids and resident char (bull trout) in the river.

Ownership patterns make consistent management of floodplain habitats difficult. Within the boundary of the diminished Reservation, 48% of floodplains of the Umatilla River, Meacham Creek, Iskuulpa Creek, and Buckaroo Creek are in fee ownership. Increasing Tribal ownership will; allow for consistent application of regulatory practices; reduce threats of development (housing, livestock pasture) and associated floodplain manipulations (riparian forest removal, diking, & road construction); and provide opportunities for salmonid habitat protection and restoration.

The Umatilla River Flood Plain provides important habitat for a variety of salmonids of cultural significance and economic importance to the Umatilla Tribe (CTUIR). Some species are federally listed including Threatened middle Columbia River summer steelhead and Threatened bull trout. Other significant species include re-introduced Chinook salmon, re-introduced Pacific lamprey, and resident rainbow trout.

Project Benefit    

The acquisitions protect watersheds and floodplains providing habitat for Threatened summer steelhead, Threatened bull trout, reintroduced Chinook and Coho salmon, and selected terrestrial wildlife indicator species. This increases protection from development and resource extraction actions that might degrade aquatic habitats and limit fish production. They include properties adjacent to or within existing protected areas, increasing synergistic benefits.


Metric Completed Originally
Land Acquisition
  Acres Acquired or Protected 204.0 204.0
  Stream Bank Miles Acquired
  or Protected
16.00 16.00

Funding Details

Report Total:$250,000

Project Map


Tubbs Acquisition    

  • Worksite Identifier: Tubbs Acquisition
  • Start Date: 10/01/2015
  • End Date: 10/01/2016
Area Description

No Area Description data was found for this worksite.

Location Information

  • Basin: Middle Columbia
  • Subbasin:
  • Watershed:
  • Subwatershed:
  • State: Oregon
  • Recovery Domain: Interior Columbia
  • Latitude: 45.70036
  • Longitude: -118.36093


  • Middle Columbia River Steelhead DPS




  • C.0 Salmonid Habitat Restoration and AcquisitionY (Y/N)
    •      . . C.0.a Habitat restoration and acquisition funding 250,000.00
    •      . . C.0.b Length of stream treated/protected 8.00
    •      . . C.0.c
      Project identified in a Plan or Watershed Assessment
      Childs, Allen B., May 1996. Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation Wildlife Mitigation Plan for the John Day and McNary Dams of the Columbia River Basin. DeBano, Sandra and David Wooster, May 2004. Umatilla/Willow Creek Subbasin Plan.
    •      . . C.0.d.1 Project Monitoring (LOV)
    •      . . C.0.d.2 Monitoring Location (LOV)
    •      . . C.0.d.3
      Monitoring text (from Phase I)
      Fish Population Assessments – Fish population surveys are conducted every three years in the Umatilla Basin by the CTUIR Fisheries Natural Production Monitoring and Evaluation (NPME) program (BPA #1990-005-01. The NPME program is funded by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council’s Fish and Wildlife Mitigation Program. Surveys characterize fish diversity, distribution, abundance, and length frequency. Methods include electro-fishing stream habitat units (pools, glides, and riffles) and counting Threatened summer steelhead, and re-introduced Chinook and coho salmon redds three times throughout the specie’s respective spawning period. Water temperature monitoring and habitat monitoring is done as part of the Umatilla Basin Habitat Restoration Program funded by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council’s Fish and Wildlife Program.
    •      . . C.10 Land or Easement AcquisitionY (Y/N)
      •      . . . . C.10.a Land acquisition funding 250,000.00
      •      . . . . C.10.b Habitat treatments applied (LOV)
      •      . . . . C.10.c.1 Acquisition or lease of land, wetland or estuarine area for conservationY (Y/N)
        •      . . . . . . C.10.c.2 Type of acquisition to protect habitat (LOV)
        •      . . . . . . C.10.c.3 Type of property protected (LOV)
        •      . . . . . . C.10.c.4 Date of expiration of protection12/31/9999 (mm/dd/yyyy)
        •      . . . . . . C.10.c.5 Miles of streambank protected by land or easement acquisition 16.00
        •      . . . . . . C.10.c.6 Acres of land, wetland or estuarine area acquired 204.0