Crooked River Valley Rehabilitation

Salmonid Habitat Restoration and Acquisition

Instream Habitat Riparian Habitat Wetland
Project ID009 16 CW
Recovery DomainsInterior Columbia
Start Date06/02/2017
End Date03/01/2020
Year2016
StatusCompleted
Last Edited10/21/2021
 
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Description    


The Crooked River Valley Rehabilitation project, in its entirety, is the reconstruction of 2.0 miles of the lower Crooked River Valley over a 6-year period. The purpose of the project is to restore natural processes and reduce the factors that limit the productivity and abundance of Snake River Basin steelhead and Snake River Spring/Summer Chinook salmon. The Crooked River valley, extensively dredged mined from the 1930s-50s, had large tailing piles, tailing ponds, and the river was in an unnatural meandered pattern. The large tailing piles along the river resulted in channel entrenchment and reduced floodplain interactions. The project removed the tailings, and constructed a new main and side channel, and floodplains. Large wood structures were installed within the new river channels to promote scour and increase instream habitat. The new side channel provides off-channel habitat and was routed through several existing ponds and depressions that exhibited groundwater interactions to provide off-channel cold-water refugia and habitat complexity. Constructed riffles consist of larger cobbles and buried small boulders to provide vertical stability in the channel. Pools were constructed along the meander bends of the new channels. Bank stability structures constructed with brush and small trees were installed along meander bends to provide stability in the short term, but allow for lateral movement of the channel over time. Floodplains were constructed at varying elevations that would flood frequently in order to deposit sediment and plant material to rebuild the soil profile, provide off channel habitat for juvenile fish during high flows, and improve riparian health through water storage. All constructed floodplain was treated with microtopography such as adding ridges and furrows, large and small wood, and depressions and swales. Over 22,000 potted plants have been installed and are currently at 80% survival; a native seed mix was successful at starting grasses in the project area, and forbs are coming naturally. Noxious weeds are on an annual treatment schedule.

Preliminary results show that juvenile fish are already using the off-channel habitat flows above bankfull, small channels and alcoves are forming on the floodplain that remain connected at flows less than the bankfull flow, and that juvenile fish have been observed using these newly created habitats into the summer months.

The variations in the proposed vs actual metrics implemented are from changes to the timing of each Phase/Option implemented rather than design changes. While the project in its entirety is a 6 year project, only four of these years included PCSRF funds. The contract was extended by one year to allow for OSC and NMFS to realize more of the habitat benefits from project implementation, since PCSRF funding was integral in completing the early phases. Work on this project will continue into 2022 using other funding sources. The proposed metrics did not include wetland metrics, however final metrics for wetland are reported.

Project Benefit    


This project will implement the following priority habitat actions, in a Priority 1 stream as directed by the 2016 NMFS proposed recovery plan. When implemented the actions are intended to improve productivity rates and increase the effective capacity for natural smolt production in the watershed for the South Fork Clearwater River population of the Clearwater River MPG and the Snake River steelhead DPS.

1. Improve riparian conditions
2. Restore stream channels and floodplain function in reaches impacted by historic dredge mining and other land uses. Projects may include restoring natural floodplain meander patterns by reconnecting historic meanders or reconstructing stream channels.
3. Restore mechanisms that facilitate exchange of surface and hyporheic flows. Remove unnecessary bank stabilization structures to allow natural channel migration, reconnect floodplains to recharge hyporheic flows, and increase channel roughness and complexity with natural wood recruitment or artificial structures to facilitate bar and pool formation.

Accomplishments

Metric Completed Originally
Proposed
Instream Habitat
  Stream Miles Treated 3.00 3.77
Wetland Habitat
  Acres Created
  Acres Treated 8.0 .0
Riparian Habitat
  Stream Miles Treated 2.50 2.16
  Acres Treated 42.0 10.3

Funding Details

SourceFunds
PCSRF$272,518
Other$1,573,779
Report Total:$1,846,297


Project Map



Worksites

Crooked River    


  • Worksite Identifier: Crooked River
  • Start Date: 06/02/2017
  • End Date: 06/02/2020
Area Description
Crooked River - lower mainstem

Location Information

  • Basin: Clearwater
  • Subbasin:
  • Watershed:
  • Subwatershed:
  • State: Idaho
  • Recovery Domain: Interior Columbia
  • Latitude: 45.808486
  • Longitude: -115.528472

ESU

  • Snake River Basin Steelhead DPS

Map

Photos

Metrics

Metrics
  • C.0 Salmonid Habitat Restoration and AcquisitionY (Y/N)
    •      . . C.0.a Habitat restoration and acquisition funding 1,846,297.00
    •      . . C.0.b Length of stream treated/protected 3.00
    •      . . C.0.c
      Project identified in a Plan or Watershed Assessment
    •      . . C.0.d.1 Project Monitoring (LOV)
    •      . . C.0.d.2 Monitoring Location (LOV)
    •      . . C.4 Instream Habitat ProjectY (Y/N)
      •      . . . . C.4.a Instream Habitat Funding 840,372.00
      •      . . . . C.4.b Total length of instream habitat treated 3.00
      •      . . . . C.4.c.1 Channel reconfiguration and connectivityY (Y/N)
        •      . . . . . . C.4.c.2 Type of change to channel configuration and connectivity (LOV)
        •      . . . . . . C.4.c.3 Miles of stream treated for channel reconfiguration and connectivity 3.00
        •      . . . . . . C.4.c.4 Miles of off-channel stream created through channel reconfiguration and connectivity .52
        •      . . . . . . C.4.c.5 Acres of off-channel or floodplain connected through channel reconfiguration and connectivity 67.0
        •      . . . . . . C.4.c.6 Instream pools created/added through channel reconfiguration and connectivity 52
      •      . . . . C.4.d.1 Channel structure placementY (Y/N)
        •      . . . . . . C.4.d.2 Material used for channel structure (LOV)
        •      . . . . . . C.4.d.3 Miles of stream treated through channel structure placement 2.50
        •      . . . . . . C.4.d.5 Pools expected to be created through channel structure placement 10
        •      . . . . . . C.4.d.7 Number of structures placed in channel 52
      •      . . C.5 Riparian Habitat ProjectY (Y/N)
        •      . . . . C.5.a Riparian Habitat Funding 879,405.00
        •      . . . . C.5.b.1 Total riparian miles streambank treated 2.50
        •      . . . . C.5.b.2 Total Riparian Acres Treated 42.0
        •      . . . . C.5.c.1 Riparian plantingY (Y/N)
          •      . . . . . . C.5.c.2
            Species of plants planted in riparian
            Salix drummondiana; Salix boothii; Carex spp; Alnus incana; Salix exigua; and Juncus species; Picea engelmannii; Populus trichocarpa; Cornus sericea
          •      . . . . . . C.5.c.3 Acres planted in riparian 40.0
          •      . . . . . . C.5.c.4 Miles of streambank treated with riparian planting 2.50
        •      . . . . C.5.h.1 Riparian plant removal/controlY (Y/N)
          •      . . . . . . C.5.h.2
            Species of plants treated/removed in riparian
            Cirisium arvense (L.) Scop.; Cynoglossum officinale L.; Hypericum perforatum; Centaurea stoebe; and Phalaris arundinacea
          •      . . . . . . C.5.h.3 Acres of riparian treated for plant removal/control 10.0
          •      . . . . . . C.5.h.4 Miles of streambank treated for riparian plant removal/control 1.50
        •      . . C.8 Wetland ProjectY (Y/N)
          •      . . . . C.8.a Wetland funding 126,520.00
          •      . . . . C.8.b Total acres of wetland area treated 8.0
          •      . . . . C.8.c.1 Wetland plantingY (Y/N)
            •      . . . . . . C.8.c.2
              Species of wetland plants planted
              Juncus species; Carex spp
            •      . . . . . . C.8.c.3 Acres of wetland planted 2.0