Big Springs Lemhi River Confluence Restoration Project

Salmonid Habitat Restoration and Acquisition

Instream Habitat Riparian Habitat
Project ID005 17 SA
Recovery DomainsInterior Columbia
Start Date03/19/2018
End Date12/31/2018
Year2017
StatusCompleted
Last Edited10/21/2021
 
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Description    


This project proposed to restore 1.15 miles of instream habitat on the Lemhi River and Big Springs Creek at their confluence. Big Springs Creek is a tributary of the Lemhi River, is a spring fed channel collecting groundwater and minor surface water from the south and is entirely contained on the Leadore Land Partners Conservation Easement, held by Lemhi Regional Land Trust. The opportunity to address limiting factors on Big Springs and the Lemhi River has resulted from the easement closing. The confluence section of Big Springs and the Lemhi River is lacking riparian habitat, is over-straightened, and over widened. The project area has been heavily impacted by historic land use practices which have reduced channel complexity, floodplain connection, and riparian vegetation resulting in degraded habitat for anadromous fish.

In 2018, approximately 0.18 miles of the project area on the Lemhi River was completed rather than the entire 1.15 miles as planned due to delays in permitting. The project instream work window is July 1 – August 31 and the delay in cultural clearance did not leave time for the project to be completed in 2018. Additionally, the project timeline overall was underestimated as the level of design detail was more detailed than local contractors were accustomed to. These two factors increased the cost of the project.

The Lemhi Regional Land Trust applied for additional funding from the Idaho PCSRF program to complete the project and was awarded funds in November 2018. Phase 2 of the project, to complete the instream habitat actions on the remaining 0.97 miles of stream, will be completed through PCSRF-funded project 005 18 SA in 2019.

Project actions completed during this phase (Phase 1) included adding meanders within the 0.18 miles of stream treated and excavating 3 pools. Thirteen structures were placed in the channel including anchored individual logs, logs fastened together, stumps with roots attached, and other engineered structures. These structures included willow clumps and small wood clusters.

Riparian work included planting native grass, forbes, and tree species along both sides of the stream for 0.36 miles of streambank, which treated approximately 2.5 acres of riparian area. Livestock exclusion fencing was constructed along 0.15 mile of stream protecting 2.5 acres of riparian areas.

This project was a cooperative effort between the Lemhi Regional Land Trust, multiple private landowners, neighboring water users, Trout Unlimited, Bureau of Reclamation, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, and the Upper Salmon Basin Watershed Project. Matching funds were provided by the Bonneville Power Administration.

Project Benefit    


The goals of this project are to establish riparian vegetation to provide cover to reduce stream temperatures and to reduce erosion and sediment delivery to the stream and spawning gravels. It will also develop channel complexity in a stream that has been documented to support salmon and steelhead spawning. The project work proposed is expected to result in immediate and tangible benefits to salmon, which makes this stream a First Priority stream under the NMFS proposed recovery plan, which further directs restoration work be conducted first in streams that support salmonid spawning and rearing.

Accomplishments

Metric Completed Originally
Proposed
Instream Habitat
  Stream Miles Treated .18 1.15
Riparian Habitat
  Stream Miles Treated .36 2.30
  Acres Treated 2.5 20.0

Funding Details

SourceFunds
PCSRF$327,846
Other$99,445
Report Total:$427,291


Project Map



Worksites

Big Springs and Lemhi River    


  • Worksite Identifier: Big Springs and Lemhi River
  • Start Date: 05/01/2018
  • End Date: 11/30/2018
Area Description
Salmon Subbasin, Lemhi 4th Field HUC 17060204, Big Springs and Lemhi River watershed

Location Information

  • Basin: Salmon
  • Subbasin:
  • Watershed:
  • Subwatershed:
  • State: Idaho
  • Recovery Domain: Interior Columbia
  • Latitude: 44.72892
  • Longitude: -113.434736

ESU

  • Snake River Basin Steelhead DPS
  • Snake River Spring/Summer-run Chinook Salmon ESU

Map

Photos

Metrics

Metrics
  • C.0 Salmonid Habitat Restoration and AcquisitionY (Y/N)
    •      . . C.0.a Habitat restoration and acquisition funding 427,291.00
    •      . . C.0.b Length of stream treated/protected .18
    •      . . 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 213,645.00
      •      . . . . C.4.b Total length of instream habitat treated .18
      •      . . . . 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 .18
        •      . . . . . . C.4.c.4 Miles of off-channel stream created through channel reconfiguration and connectivity .04
        •      . . . . . . C.4.c.5 Acres of off-channel or floodplain connected through channel reconfiguration and connectivity 1.2
        •      . . . . . . C.4.c.6 Instream pools created/added through channel reconfiguration and connectivity 3
      •      . . . . 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 .18
        •      . . . . . . C.4.d.4 Acres of streambed treated through channel structure placement .4
        •      . . . . . . C.4.d.5 Pools expected to be created through channel structure placement 7
        •      . . . . . . C.4.d.6 Yards of average stream-width at mid-point of channel structure placement project3 (Yards)
        •      . . . . . . C.4.d.7 Number of structures placed in channel 13
      •      . . C.5 Riparian Habitat ProjectY (Y/N)
        •      . . . . C.5.a Riparian Habitat Funding 213,646.00
        •      . . . . C.5.b.1 Total riparian miles streambank treated .36
        •      . . . . C.5.b.2 Total Riparian Acres Treated 2.5
        •      . . . . C.5.c.1 Riparian plantingY (Y/N)
          •      . . . . . . C.5.c.2
            Species of plants planted in riparian
            Riparian plants: Water Birch (Betula occidentalis), Bebb's willow (Salix bebbiana), yello willow (Salix lutea), coyote willow (Salix exigua), shrubby cinquefoil (Potentilla fruiticosa), Geyer's willow (Salix geyeriana), planeleaf willow (Salix planifolia), false mountain willow (Salix pseudomonticola), black cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa), chokecherry (Prunus virginiana), woods Rose (Roasa wodsii), cottonwood (Populus fremontii), Booth's willow (Salix boothii), serviceberry (Amelanchier) Herbaceous plants: few-flowered spikesedge (Eleocharis pauciflora), northern grass-f-parnassus (Parnassia paustris), short-beaked sedge (Carex simulata), Nebraska sedge (Carex nebraskensis), tufted hairgrass (Deschampsia cespitosa), arrow-grass (Triglochin maritimum), arctic rush (Juncus Articus), golden pea (Thermopsis montana), Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis), bluejoint reedgrass (Calamagrostis canadensis), tufted hairgrass (Deschanpsia casespitosa), blue wildrye (Elymus glaucus), fowl mannagrass (Glyceria elata), american mannagrass (Glyceria grandis), Aquatic plants: monkey flower (Mimulus guttatus), watercress (Rorippa nasturtium-aquaticum), pondweed (Potamogeton vaginatus), hornwort (Ceratophyllum demersum), water buttercup (Ranunculus aquatillis), common bladderwort (Utricularia vulgaris)
          •      . . . . . . C.5.c.3 Acres planted in riparian 2.5
          •      . . . . . . C.5.c.4 Miles of streambank treated with riparian planting .36
        •      . . . . C.5.d.1 FencingY (Y/N)
          •      . . . . . . C.5.d.2 Miles of fence along stream .15
          •      . . . . . . C.5.d.3 Acres of riparian area protected by fencing 2.5