1890s Side Channel Restoration Effectiveness Monitoring

Salmonid Research, Monitoring, and Evaluation (RM&E)

Project ID17-Yaka-03
Recovery DomainsInterior Columbia
Start Date10/01/2017
End Date06/30/2022
Last Edited04/22/2022
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Side channel restoration to improve juvenile salmonid rearing habitat remains a key component of the Upper Columbia Basin salmon recovery habitat enhancement strategy. Yakama Nation Fisheries used a sophisticated groundwater collection system instead of surface water diversions to create thermally enhance side channel surface flows and to reconnect roughly 4,000 linear feet of a historic (1890s) Methow River side channel using a 600 foot long groundwater infiltration gallery. This project will evaluate how the 1890’s Side Channel is used by spring chinook, steelhead, coho, and bull trout, and how thermally enhanced flow influences the growth and survival of juvenile salmonids. Metrics of juvenile growth and survival collected from 1890s Side Channel will be compared to similar data collected by co-managing agencies that are monitoring other recently completed non-groundwater based side channel restoration actions in the Methow Basin.

Snorkel surveys and spawning ground surveys will be used to document fish use of 1890s side channel by season, species, and life stage. Fish growth and survival rates will be measured through remote PIT tagging and subsequent recapture and detection. Statistical comparisons will be made between the results obtained from the 1890’s channel and results obtained from other side channel and main-stem habitats in the Methow Basin collected through ongoing monitoring efforts conducted by co-managing agencies. These comparisons will allow researchers to evaluate the benefits and limitations of the novel approach of exclusively using groundwater in the restoration and creation of new habitat.

Worksite #1 Proposed Work: 1890s Side Channel – Conduct snorkel surveys seasonally in the summer, fall, and late-winter/early-spring. All fish will be enumerated by life-stage and species (using PSCSRF funds). Spawning ground surveys and carcass counts will be conducted annually for steelhead, spring Chinook and, coho salmon (non-PCSRF funds). Collect up to 1,000 juveniles from each species (steelhead, spring chinook, and coho) using snorkel herding and/or electrofishing each fall season (using PSCSRF funds). Juvenile steelhead, spring Chinook (using PSCSRF funds), and coho (non-PCSRF funds) will be measured to the nearest mm, marked with a unique PIT tag, and released back into the 1890s channel after a 24 hour holding period. A PIT tag detection system will be maintained year round in the outlet of the 1890s channel (non PSCSRF funds). Snorkel herding and/or electrofishing will be used as a recapture technique during the late-winter/early-spring (using PSCSRF funds). Fish will be scanned for PIT tags and fork length measured to the nearest mm to determine overwinter growth (using PSCSRF funds). Individual growth will be measured directly in recaptured, PIT tagged fish and mean size for the 1890s population will be calculated by species (using PSCSRF funds). Over-winter growth and spring pre-migratory size of juvenile salmonids sampled in the 1890s Side Channel (using PSCSRF funds) will be compared to the pre-migratory size of juveniles salmonids sampled by co-managing agencies in the Silver Side Channel, Methow River flow-through channels, and main channel habitats (non PSCSRF funds).

Tagging to emigration survival rates will be calculated based on the number of fish tagged, detections at the 1890s channel outlet, and a measure of detection efficiency (using PSCSRF funds). TaggingThese data will be calculated and presented (using PSCSRF funds), and will be compared to a similar metric from the Silver Side Channel (non PSCSRF funds). A measure of relative survival between fish tagged and overwintering in different habitats will be made by comparing tagging to Rocky Reach Dam survival rates. These measures will be used to compare 1890s channel (using PSCSRF funds) to other side channels and main channel habitats (usingnon PSCSRF funds).

Project Benefit    

This proposal seeks to create a monitoring project that will detail how both target and non-target fish species actually use the restored 1890s side channel, and compare the effectiveness of this type of side channel restoration action towards increasing juvenile salmon growth and survival in relation to other side channel reconnections recently completed in the Methow Subbasin. Intensive effectiveness monitoring of side channel reconnection projects is now taking place throughout the region, with a specific focus on the effectiveness of recent side channel restoration actions in the Methow Subbasin. At present, three separate monitoring programs are assessing fish use and response to most of the recently completed side channel treatments. However, while these monitoring programs are critical to increasing our scientific knowledge of the effectiveness of differing side channel types and restoration techniques, none of these programs are currently set up to monitor the 1890s side channel or the response target species might have to infiltration gallery fed surface waters.


Metric Completed Originally
Research and Monitoring
  Stream Miles Monitored .80

Funding Details

Report Total:$128,085

Project Map


1890s Side Channel    

  • Worksite Identifier: 1890s Side Channel
  • Start Date: 01/01/2018
  • End Date: 09/30/2020
Area Description

No Area Description data was found for this worksite.

Location Information

  • Basin: Upper Columbia
  • Subbasin:
  • Watershed:
  • Subwatershed:
  • State: Washington
  • Recovery Domain: Interior Columbia
  • Latitude: 48.373022
  • Longitude: -120.122389


  • Upper Columbia River Steelhead DPS
  • Upper Columbia River Spring-run Chinook Salmon ESU




  • E.0 Salmonid Research, Monitoring, and Evaluation (RM&E)Y (Y/N)
    •      . . E.0.a RM&E Funding .00
    •      . . E.0.b
      Complement habitat restoration project
    •      . . E.0.c
      Project identified in a plan or watershed assessment.
    •      . . E.0.d.1 Number of Cooperating Organizations
    •      . . E.0.d.2
      Name Of Cooperating Organizations.
    •      . . E.1 MonitoringY (Y/N)
      •      . . . . E.1.a Monitoring funding
      •      . . . . E.1.b.1 Stream Miles Monitored
      •      . . . . E.1.b.2 Acres of Watershed Area Monitored
      •      . . . . E.1.b.3 Square miles of water monitored (Square miles)
      •      . . . . E.1.c.2 Salmonid smolt or fry monitoringY (Y/N)
        •      . . . . . . E.1.c.2.a # miles (to nearest 0.01 mile) monitored for Salmonid smolt or fry
      •      . . . . E.1.c.4 Redd countsY (Y/N)
        •      . . . . . . E.1.c.4.a # miles (to nearest 0.01 mile) monitored for redds
      •      . . . . E.1.c.5 Carcass countsY (Y/N)
        •      . . . . . . E.1.c.5.a # miles (to nearest 0.01 mile) monitored for Carcasses
      •      . . . . E.1.c.13 Restoration effectiveness monitoringY (Y/N)
        •      . . . . . . E.1.c.13.a # miles (to nearest 0.01 mile) of stream or streambank monitored
        •      . . . . . . E.1.c.13.c # acres (to nearest 0.1 acre) monitored
        •      . . . . E.1.d
          Name Of Comprehensive Monitoring Strategy/Program
        •      . . . . E.1.e
          Description of monitoring