Re-Establishing Floodplain Connection and Ecosystem Function in Hunter Creek

Salmonid Habitat Restoration and Acquisition

Instream Habitat
Project IDYUROK-2017-1
Recovery DomainsN CA - S Oregon
Start Date05/01/2018
End Date09/30/2019
Year2017
StatusCompleted
Last Edited10/31/2019
 
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Description    


The Yurok Tribal Fisheries Program (YTFP) worked with our restoration consultant Rocco Fiori (Fiori GeoSciences – FGS) and a private timber company (Green Diamond Resource Company – GDRC) to 1) relocate a 900 ft section of a streamside road in Hunter Creek (H10) to reconnect and rehabilitate formerly occupied floodplain habitats to benefit native fish and riparian forests, 2) enhanced mainstem habitats by installing 10 constructed wood jams, and 3) enhanced 230 ft of side channel habitat upstream of the road relocation site. YTFP and FGS used heavy equipment to relocate the 900 ft section of the H10 Road to a less impactful location, deconstruct and remove the former floodplain road section, rehabilitate the formerly occupied floodplain habitats by adding wood and re-shaping former flow paths, and to install constructed wood jams in mainstem Hunter Creek and enhance 230 ft of side channel habitat in that reach. Baseline, construction implementation, and post-project photo-monitoring was conducted on-site to help document the work.

Project Benefit    


Project goals included:
• Increasing the quantity and quality of salmon, steelhead, and cutthroat habitat;
• Increasing riparian forest health and resiliency;
• Improving the status of ESA-listed SONCC coho salmon;
• Addressing limiting factors (lack of low velocity rearing habitats; riparian dysfunction; water quality and quantity) for ESA-listed SONCC coho salmon and other native fish;
• Helping to ensure overall sustainability of naturally-spawning salmon, steelhead, and cutthroat in the Lower Klamath Sub-basin;
• Helping to recover, conserve, and maintain ESA-listed SONCC coho salmon;
• Helping to maintain salmon and steelhead for the exercise of the Yurok Tribe’s federally reserved fishing right;
• Restoring habitat for salmon, steelhead and cutthroat.

Outcomes & Benefits

Project outcomes include re-establishing floodplain connectivity, increasing habitat complexity, and improving riparian forest health and resiliency by relocating a 0.2 mile section of a main timber road and rehabilitating the decommissioned areas. Additionally, mainstem habitats were enhanced by installing 10 constructed wood jams to help promote increased pool frequency and floodplain connectivity. Anticipated benefits included: 1) increasing the amount of high quality mainstem and off-channel winter rearing habitat for multiple salmonid species, 2) improving riparian forests through native tree plantings, and 3) facilitating self-maintaining geomorphic function and ecosystem processes that are currently cut off by the floodplain road.

We also anticipate the proposed actions will facilitate increased beaver activity within the treated reaches due to improved floodplain connectivity. This, in turn, is expected to improve and increase holding and rearing habitat for juvenile salmonids that seek out habitat created by beaver. Beaver inhabit the watershed and have been observed building/maintaining seasonal dams that result in improved salmonid habitats (i.e. deeper pools with complex cover). However, flows in mainstem Hunter Creek are very dynamic and thus beaver dams are easily compromised during winter storm events. We anticipate the reconnected floodplain areas will be much more conducive for building and maintaining beaver dams. Flows will be dispersed through creation of multiple side channels and backwater habitats and thus velocities will be greatly reduced and thus better able to support beaver dams. We will also be planting numerous native willow cuttings within the treated reaches to improve riparian habitat complexity and resiliency. Willow species are not only great at providing vital needed ecosystem benefits (i.e. increasing bank stability, reducing stream velocities, supporting invertebrate food webs) they appear to be the preferred food resource for our local beaver.

Accomplishments

Metric Completed Originally
Proposed
Instream Habitat
  Stream Miles Treated .50 .50

Funding Details

SourceFunds
PCSRF$22,500
Report Total:$22,500


Project Map



Worksites

Hunter Creek    


  • Worksite Identifier: Hunter Creek
  • Start Date: 05/01/2018
  • End Date: 09/30/2019
Area Description

No Area Description data was found for this worksite.

Location Information

  • Basin: Klamath
  • Subbasin:
  • Watershed:
  • Subwatershed:
  • State: California
  • Recovery Domain: N CA - S Oregon
  • Latitude: 41.615
  • Longitude: -124.032

ESU

  • Southern Oregon / Northern California Coastal Chinook Salmon ESU
  • Southern Oregon/Northern California Coast Coho Salmon ESU
  • Klamath Mountains Province Steelhead DPS
  • Un-Named ESU Cutthroat

Map

Photos

Metrics

Metrics
  • C.0 Salmonid Habitat Restoration and AcquisitionY (Y/N)
    •      . . C.0.a Habitat restoration and acquisition funding 22,500.00
    •      . . C.0.b Length of stream treated/protected .50
    •      . . 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 22,500.00
      •      . . . . C.4.b Total length of instream habitat treated .50
      •      . . . . 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 .20
        •      . . . . . . C.4.c.4 Miles of off-channel stream created through channel reconfiguration and connectivity .20
        •      . . . . . . C.4.c.6 Instream pools created/added through channel reconfiguration and connectivity 2
      •      . . . . 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 .50
        •      . . . . . . C.4.d.5 Pools expected to be created through channel structure placement 5
        •      . . . . . . C.4.d.7 Number of structures placed in channel 10