Fry Creek Floodplain Restoration

Salmonid Habitat Restoration and Acquisition

Instream Habitat Riparian Habitat
Project ID004 19 CW
Recovery DomainsInterior Columbia
Start Date01/01/2020
End Date12/31/2022
Year2019
StatusOngoing
Last Edited03/08/2022
 
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Description    


Fry Creek is a formerly perennial stream in Latah County, Idaho that contributed surface runoff to steelhead designated critical habitat. Historical logging, grazing, and beaver extirpation has forced Fry Creek into a static channel that rarely inundates the floodplain. Surface runoff is quickly routed out of the watershed, and the lower half of Fry Creek is now frequently intermittent in late summer and early fall. The Fry Creek Floodplain Restoration will install 21 beaver dam analogs, 8 log jumbles, and two constructed riffles. The structures will be placed to induce maximum inundation of the available floodplain near historic channels, and to rehydrate 17.9 acres of floodplain. A ~50 foot persuasion channel will be constructed to reconnect Fry Creek to 844 feet of existing, but disconnected, historic channel. Restoration actions will improve the habitat quality of 1.12 miles of stream channel by creating 32 pools and placing 280 linear feet (0.2 acres) of spawning gravel. Regrading four abandoned railroad berms that restrict floodplain flows (levee removal) will allow access to the floodplain. The Fry Creek project will also remove two unauthorized stream crossings and harden two stream crossings to mitigate sedimentation and streambank erosion from recreational vehicle use. These four crossings have degraded habitat and are regular sediment inputs, but do not prevent fish passage.

In addition, IDL will increase groundwater elevation and floodplain inundation by removing and filling a cattle pond. The extant cattle pond is an in-channel structure designed to capture surface runoff from a tributary of Fry Creek, but the dam has been breached. Surface runoff from this tributary is therefore rapidly routed into Fry Creek and out of the watershed before interacting with the historic floodplain. During no-flow periods the pond serves as an evaporation basin that lowers the overall water table. IDL will fill the cattle pond with excavated material from the railroad berms, and will route flows overland into a constructed floodplain channel. Surface water (perennial pools) for livestock use will remain available in upper Fry Creek at the hardened road crossings.

Wherever possible, native wetland (sedge and grass) sod and riparian plants will be lifted and reserved until earthwork and grading are completed. Reserved vegetation will then be recycled/replaced to reduce colonization by weeds and non-native vegetation. Any remaining disturbed ground will be seeded and/or planted with native species. IDL will install 580 linear feet of fencing to exclude cattle from the former pond during the vegetation recovery period.

Project Benefit    


The primary goal of the project is to improve steelhead population status in the East Fork Potlatch River basin by improving the quality and extent of coldwater habitat (NMFS 2017). IDL intends to accomplish this goal by increasing the duration of perennial flows coming from Fry Creek and entering the East Fork Potlatch River, including specifically eliminating zero-flow intervals. A secondary objective of the project is to improve habitat quality and complexity in Fry Creek itself (reducing turbidity, increasing substrate size, inducing heterogeneity in water velocities, increasing pool depths; Reiser 2008), allowing steelhead to spawn and rear locally. The most straightforward method to achieve these goals is to establish an active colony of beavers in Fry Creek (Pollock et al. 2018). However, until Fry Creek becomes perennial, beavers are unlikely to naturally colonize the stream or remain there if translocated. Fry Creek almost has the perennial flows necessary for colonization by both beavers and steelhead, and the Fry Creek floodplain restoration is intended to lengthen the duration of flow until the watershed passes that threshold.

Accomplishments

Metric Completed Originally
Proposed
Instream Habitat
  Stream Miles Treated 1.12
Riparian Habitat
  Stream Miles Treated .56
  Acres Treated .9

Funding Details

SourceFunds
PCSRF$212,977
In-Kind Other$64,893
Report Total:$277,870


Project Map



Worksites

WS-1    


  • Worksite Identifier: WS-1
  • Start Date: 06/01/2020
  • End Date: 10/31/2022
Area Description
Fry Creek

Location Information

  • Basin: Clearwater
  • Subbasin:
  • Watershed:
  • Subwatershed:
  • State: Idaho
  • Recovery Domain: Interior Columbia
  • Latitude: 46.8672
  • Longitude: -116.3478

ESU

  • Snake River Basin Steelhead DPS

Map

Photos

Metrics

Metrics
  • 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
      •      . . . . 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
        •      . . . . . . C.4.d.4 Acres of streambed treated through channel structure placement
        •      . . . . . . C.4.d.5 Pools expected to be created through channel structure placement
        •      . . . . . . C.4.d.6 Yards of average stream-width at mid-point of channel structure placement project (Yards)
        •      . . . . . . C.4.d.7 Number of structures placed in channel
      •      . . . . C.4.f.1 Spawning gravel placementY (Y/N)
        •      . . . . . . C.4.f.2 Miles of stream treated with addition of spawning gravel
        •      . . . . . . C.4.f.3 Cubic yards of spawning gravel placed (Cubic yards)
      •      . . C.5 Riparian Habitat ProjectY (Y/N)
        •      . . . . C.5.a Riparian Habitat Funding
        •      . . . . C.5.b.1 Total riparian miles streambank treated
        •      . . . . C.5.b.2 Total Riparian Acres Treated
        •      . . . . C.5.c.1 Riparian plantingY (Y/N)
          •      . . . . . . C.5.c.2
            Species of plants planted in riparian
          •      . . . . . . C.5.c.3 Acres planted in riparian
          •      . . . . . . C.5.c.4 Miles of streambank treated with riparian planting
        •      . . . . C.5.d.1 FencingY (Y/N)
          •      . . . . . . C.5.d.2 Miles of fence along stream
          •      . . . . . . C.5.d.3 Acres of riparian area protected by fencing