Yainix Ranch Stream Restoration Project
Salmonid Habitat Restoration and Acquisition
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Eliminate fish entrainment at three irrigation diversions by installing fish screens and reconnecting a cold-water spring to the Sycan River on the Yainix Ranch.
The Upper Klamath Basin (UKB) has provided the Klamath Tribes with an abundance of natural resources for thousands of years. Anadromous fish, including Chinook salmon and steelhead trout, were important components of tribal resources before their runs were extirpated by the construction of dams on the Klamath River in the early 20th century. The Klamath Tribes seek to restore ecological health and cultural value to the UKB, in part, through the restoration of native anadromous fisheries.
The Klamath Tribes are a sovereign nation recognized by a treaty signed in 1864. The Tribes historic reservation which included most of the watershed upstream of Upper Klamath Lake was lost but the Tribes maintain hunting, fishing and gathering rights within their historic reservation. The Klamath Tribes also maintains water rights within the historic reservation. The historic reservation is vital to the Klamath Tribes for cultural, historic and subsistence purposes.
The Upper Klamath Basin Keystone Initiative (National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and partners 2008), Klamath River Basin Fish Management Plan (State of Oregon 2008), Klamath Basin Anadromous Fish Reintroduction Plan (OAR 635-500-3890), and Draft Implementation Plan for the Reintroduction of Anadromous Fishes into the Oregon Portion of the Upper Klamath Basin (Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and Klamath Tribes 2019) are currently active conservation and restoration initiatives in the UKB.
The Yainix Ranch is used extensively for cattle grazing from April through October (Figure 1). To support this practice, pumping stations provide water from the Sycan River for irrigation ditches that were constructed throughout the ranch to deliver water to pastures. Currently, three pumping stations do not have fish screens; therefore, entrainment of juvenile fish in the irrigation infrastructure is a management and demographic concern. Redband Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss newberryi), a Sensitive Species in the State of Oregon, were historically abundant in the Sycan River. However, populations of this species have experienced major declines in abundance due to habitat loss, a lack of connectivity across remaining habitats, entrainment in unscreened diversions, and the introduction of non-native species. To reduce the risk of entrainment to native fish species and soon to be re-introduced anadromous fish in the Sprague River drainage, we propose to install ODFW and NOAA Fisheries approved fish screens on three pumping sites on the Sycan River.
The project also includes removing an old concrete barrier that blocks a spring from flowing into the Sycan River (Figure 2). The purpose of this project is to restore the historic spring brook channel, plant some native riparian vegetation on the disturbed areas, and reconnect the spring to the Sycan River. The proposed project will rely on partnerships between The Klamath Tribes, USFWS Partners, Trout Unlimited and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife for success. All project work will be performed by contractors.
This project is considered a crucial step towards achieving the tribal restoration goal of reintroduction and restoration of the Klamath Tribes historic salmonid fisheries, including Chinook, Coho, lamprey, and steelhead species that have been extirpated. Specifically, by screening three diversions fewer fish will be lost from entrainment and additional cold water habitat will be restored for native fish in the Sycan River (tributary to the Sprague River).
| Screens Installed
Yainix Ranch - Lower Sycan River
- Worksite Identifier: Yainix Ranch - Lower Sycan River
- Start Date: 04/01/2020
- End Date:
Lower Sycan River
- Basin: Klamath
- State: Oregon
- Recovery Domain:
- Latitude: 42.470258303065314
- Longitude: -121.27132415771231
No ESU data was found for this worksite.
Salmonid Habitat Restoration and AcquisitionY (Y/N)
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Habitat restoration and acquisition funding .00
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Length of stream treated/protected
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|Project identified in a Plan or Watershed Assessment||
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Project Monitoring (LOV)
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Monitoring Location (LOV)
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|Monitoring text (from Phase I)||
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Fish Screening ProjectY (Y/N)
- . . . . C.1.a
Fish screen funding
- . . . . C.1.b
Quantity of water protected by screens (Acre feet/year)
- . . . . C.1.c.1
Fish screens installedY (Y/N)
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Number of new fish screens installed
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Flow rate of screened water (cfs)