Meacham Creek Bonnifer Reach Floodplain Connectivity III

Salmonid Habitat Restoration and Acquisition

Instream Habitat
Project ID18-Umat-02
Recovery DomainsInterior Columbia
Start Date05/01/2019
End Date06/30/2022
Last Edited04/08/2022
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For FY 2018, the PCSRF funds will be used specifically for channel excavation for up to .19 miles under the ongoing CTUIR Meacham Creek Bonnifer Reach Floodplain Connectivity project. Up to .18 miles of off-channel stream will be created and 25 acres of off-channel connection. BPA funds will be used for stream dewatering purposes. The OregonWatershed Enhancement Board (OWEB) project #217-6049-14269 is also connected to this project but the metrics associated with that funding source will be recorded by them.

Project Benefit    

Over the last 150 years, much of the Meacham Creek watershed has been negatively impacted by road construction, agriculture and livestock grazing, the Union Pacific Railroad and other human activities. Direct channelization and the construction of levees and spur dikes also occurred in Meacham Creek following the 1964 flood (Andrus and Middel 2003), which have altered natural hydrologic and geomorphic processes that shape the form and function of Meacham Creek. Channel sinuosity has greatly decreased from historic conditions from 1916 to present (Andrus and Middel 2003, Tetra Tech 2010a). The decrease in sinuosity corresponds with the construction of levees and spurs dikes and a loss of valley floor width from the railroad encroachment (Andrus and Middel 2003, Tetra Tech 2010b). As a result of extensive levees, spur dikes, cattle grazing, and other impacts, Meacham Creek is subject to problems associated with decreased floodplain connectivity, degraded channel structure, limited large wood and sources, altered hydrology and sediment transport, poor riparian cover and conditions, and elevated water temperatures and rate of heating (Tetra Tech 2010c, CTUIR 2014). Key in limiting salmonid fish production, these watershed impacts led to high stream temperatures, lack of summer flow, limited floodplain connectivity, lack of overall habitat complexity and side-channel habitat, and limited in-stream shade and cover. Specifically identified primary limiting factors for the Meacham Creek watershed include in-channel characteristics, floodplain/riparian, sediment, and water quality – temperature (CTUIR 2015). Each of these factors limiting fish production has contributed toward Middle Columbia River steelhead and Columbia River Basin bull trout that are present in the Meacham Creek watershed being federally listed as threatened under the ESA of 1973, as modified (Tetra Tech 2010c, 2013a).

Habitat enhancement in the upper Umatilla focus area, and specifically in Meacham Creek (refer to Focus Area in the map below), is expected to reduce summer stream temperatures, improve overall channel and floodplain stability, and ultimately improve aquatic habitat conditions. The CTUIR natural resource staff expects measurable response in key characteristics of hydrology, geomorphology, and connectivity resulting in improved riparian vegetation conditions and improved conditions for important aquatic species. Specifically, proposed actions are expected to improve connectivity between surface flow and shallow groundwater in the channel and floodplain, and the riparian forest. This will result in cooler in-stream water due to the influence of increased hyporheic interaction (e.g. buffering and lagging Arrigoni et al, 2008). We expect to observe increases in the incidence of cold water refuge areas for salmonids (e.g. pools and reaches downstream of meander bends or islands). Adverse impacts associated with the implementation actions are expected to be temporary and insignificant when compared to the expected long-term benefits to the upper Umatilla focus area ecosystem.

The future management of these project areas will remain the same as they are currently. The CTUIR owns most of the project areas with some individual allotments interspersed. Since the purchase of the property, the only livestock grazing that has been permitted is the use of goats to control invasive plant species. Furthermore, there is a fence running the full length of the railroad right-of-way to prevent trespass cattle grazing.


Metric Completed Originally
Instream Habitat
  Stream Miles Treated .45

Funding Details

Report Total:$183,807

Project Map


Meacham Creek - Bonifer Reach    

  • Worksite Identifier: Meacham Creek - Bonifer Reach
  • Start Date: 05/01/2019
  • End Date: 12/31/2020
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: 45.6857
  • Longitude: -118.36329


  • Mid-Columbia River Spring-run Chinook Salmon ESU
  • Middle Columbia River Steelhead DPS
  • Un-Named ESU Bull Trout




  • C.0 Salmonid Habitat Restoration and AcquisitionY (Y/N)
    •      . . C.0.a Habitat restoration and acquisition funding .00
    •      . . C.0.b Length of stream treated/protected
    •      . . 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
      •      . . . . C.4.b Total length of instream habitat treated
      •      . . . . 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
        •      . . . . . . C.4.c.4 Miles of off-channel stream created through channel reconfiguration and connectivity
        •      . . . . . . C.4.c.5 Acres of off-channel or floodplain connected through channel reconfiguration and connectivity
        •      . . . . . . C.4.c.6 Instream pools created/added through channel reconfiguration and connectivity