Umatilla River Floodplain Assessment and Action Plan II

Salmonid Restoration Planning and Assessments

Restoration Planning And Coordination
Project ID19-Umat-06
Recovery DomainsMiddle Columbia River
Start Date05/01/2020
End Date09/27/2021
Last Edited05/08/2024
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This project developed a floodplain-scale, geomorphic-based assessment of current habitat conditions, identified data gaps, and developed an action plan for the Upper Umatilla River Subbasin. The assessment and action plan clearly identify the limiting factors and treatments by prioritized reaches and species. They are floodplain-centric and include the mainstem of the Umatilla River and the connectivity to the mainstem of the confluences of the upper tributary streams. This project was completed faster than anticipated (in under 2 years). The first phase was mostly focused on public outreach, compiling and beginning the data analysis, and drafting documents for circulation. Primary use of PCSRF funds supported the following project objectives:
• Develop a floodplain assessment for the Umatilla River, with an emphasis on stakeholder support and a technical team approach.
• Utilize the assessment as the foundation and technical support to produce an Action Plan that prioritizes restoration priorities, both geographically and by type of action.
• Utilize modelled expected climate impacts and use that information to prioritize restoration areas and species, as well as predicted future fish distributions.
• Develop and implement an effective public relations/outreach plan for this project.
Additional funding from the Bonneville Power Administration supported other activities.
The CTUIR chose an environmental firm for assistance with the development of the assessment and action plan. CTUIR worked with the firm to collect and compile biological data to produce a comprehensive assessment and action plan. The CTUIR Umatilla Anadromous Fish Habitat Project (UAFHP) worked closely with the CTUIR GIS department to identify existing data in the CTUIR repositories and in public databases as well as determining where critical data gaps exist. This led to the collection of new LiDAR data in 2020 in support of data collection and analysis for the mainstem Umatilla Assessment. The CTUI UAFHP also continued coordinating with stakeholders including various tribal government departments, federal and state agencies, local governments, and local nonprofits to begin assembling a core technical team and several smaller teams to work on specific components of the assessment (e.g. Fisheries Committee). Following the 2020 largest flood on record in the Umatilla Subbasin, CTUIR utilized these PCSRF’s to support additional LiDAR and high resolution imagery in order to compare pre- and post-flood geomorphic conditions, and current and historic conditions as part of the mainstem Umatilla River geomorphic assessment.

Project Benefit    

The assessment will serve to explain stream conditions as related to fish habitat needs, water quality, hydrology, and land uses, and it includes compiling and reviewing summaries of existing data and conducting technical analyses to provide a summary of the geomorphic setting including historic and current conditions. The action plan element of the work will involve effective stakeholder communication of assessment outputs, systematically compile potential projects supported by assessment outputs, create potential new solutions, evaluate restoration alternatives, and document the preferred path to monitor physical and ecological function from implemented habitat and stream improvements. A primary goal of the planning effort is to attenuate the limiting factors/ecological concerns/nonfunctional River Vision Touchstones related to habitat. The assessment will also serve to characterize the non-point sources of pollution (NPS) issues identified in the Umatilla River Basin Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), and the restoration projects identified in the action plan will include how each project addresses NPS issues, in order to help support implementation of Section 319 of the Clean Water Act. It is hoped that through these actions, additional local concerns about flooding and management of the floodplain/stream channel can be addressed and resolved. Additionally, the Action Plan will identify long term management objectives for the floodplain.

The riparian quality varies from moderately or largely intact in the headwaters, to moderate or highly disturbed in the lowlands. The lower sections are dominated by agriculture and rangeland. Relative to historical conditions, the lower portion of the study area in the Umatilla River Subbasin is highly simplified, straightened, restricted from floodplains, reduced riparian zone, and impacted by irrigation withdrawals. There are a variety of passage barriers in the upper headwaters that currently limit anadromy that will be identified and evaluated for relative population level impacts.


Metric Completed Originally

Funding Details

Report Total:$177,385

Project Map


Upper Umatilla River    

  • Worksite Identifier: Upper Umatilla River
  • Start Date: 05/01/2020
  • End Date: 12/31/2021
Area Description

No Area Description data was found for this worksite.

Location Information

  • Basin: Middle Columbia (170701)
  • Subbasin: Umatilla (17070103)
  • Watershed: Mission Creek-Umatilla River (1707010305)
  • Subwatershed: Cottonwood Creek-Umatilla River (170701030507)
  • State: Oregon
  • Recovery Domain: Middle Columbia River
  • Latitude: 45.66773
  • Longitude: -118.67924


  • Mid-Columbia River Spring-run Chinook Salmon ESU
  • Middle Columbia River Steelhead DPS




  • B.0 Salmonid Restoration Planning and AssessmentsY (Y/N)
    •      . . B.0.a Planning And Assessment Funding 177,385.00
    •      . . B.0.b.1 Area Encompassed 161,895.0
    •      . . B.0.b.2 Stream Miles Affected 89.00
    •      . . B.1 Restoration Planning And CoordinationY (Y/N)
      •      . . . . B.1.a Planning and Coordination funding 177,385.00
      •      . . . . B.1.b.12 Developing restoration/action planY (Y/N)
        •      . . . . . . B.1.b.12.a
          Name of plan developed
          Upper Umatilla River Subbasin Action Plan
        •      . . . . . . B.1.b.12.b
          Description and scope of the plan developed
          This project developed a floodplain-scale, geomorphic-based assessment of current habitat conditions, identify necessary data gaps, and develop an action plan for the Upper Umatilla River Subbasin.