Middle Fork John Day Riparian Planting

Salmonid Habitat Restoration and Acquisition

Riparian Habitat
Project ID21-Warm-03
Recovery DomainsInterior Columbia
Start Date03/01/2022
End Date10/31/2023
Year2021
StatusOngoing
Last Edited03/29/2022
 
1 - 1

Description    


The Middle Fork Fencing and Planting Project is a multi-year effort to implement wildlife exclosures and install riparian and upland plantings along the upper Middle Fork John Day River in Grant County, Oregon. Legacy effects on the Middle Fork have contributed to degraded stream conditions and poor water quality, primarily in-stream temperature. Gold dredging, heavy grazing with little to no riparian protection, amongst other alterations to the river to accommodate agricultural practices, have resulted in a loss of shading vegetation, increasing solar inputs, and causing stream temperatures to rise. In the summer, these high stream temperatures verge on the upper thermal tolerances of the salmonid species of the sub-basin (namely, Chinook and ESA-listed steelhead), and is a contributing factor in the decreased abundance of anadromous species. Additionally, heavy browsing by wild ungulates has exacerbated the problem by limiting riparian plant diversity and cover. PCSRF funding will be used for fencing. The exclosures are designed to eliminate wildlife access and are expected to remain in place until vegetation has been able to become sufficiently established and grow above browse height (approximately ten years). Through both planting and fencing, this project aims to revegetate large sections of the Middle Fork to reestablish the riparian corridor and reduce average stream temperatures.

The Middle Fork Fencing and Planting Project is part of a larger collaboration including the US Forest Service, the North Fork John Day Watershed Council, Bureau of Reclamation, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. The upper Middle Fork is part of an Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board Focused Investment Partnership for the John Day Basin Partnership that includes 30 organizations signed onto an MOU. Restoration work is prioritized through the Partnership’s Atlas focusing on high ranking projects with high benefit to restoring ecological processes. This effort is integrated with other restoration actions such as improving floodplain connection and instream habitat that will assist in the improvement to the riparian canopy. The upper Middle Fork is also the location of an Intensively Monitoring Watershed (IMW) and part of a larger network of IMWs throughout the Pacific Northwest designed to measure the effects of river restoration projects on salmon and steelhead. Looking at how river restoration improves fish habitat and fish populations. Efforts help learning how we can improve future restoration projects to get the best cost-benefit. The Middle Fork IMW focuses specifically on how restoration impacts spring Chinook salmon and summer steelhead, both of which are in decline. The IMW brings together a wide range of interests made up of local, state and federal agencies, academic institutions, private landowners, tribal entities, ranchers, environmental and community groups, and recreationists.

Project effectiveness monitoring efforts will be conducted by the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs to measure vegetation growth and solar radiation input overtime on the Middle Fork.

The project and metrics in this proposal solely describe the PCSRF-funded portion of this effort, namely the fencing to be performed at Phipps Meadow and Beaver Creek.

Project Benefit    


The Middle Fork John Day River is home to two anadromous fish species, ESA-listed summer steelhead and spring Chinook salmon. High water temperature is a widespread concern throughout the John Day River basin, and is a primary limiting factor to Chinook and steelhead recovery in the Middle Fork John Day. Much of the upper Middle Fork lacks shading riparian vegetation, resulting in high solar inputs to the stream and increasing water temperatures significantly. Late summer temperatures verge on the upper thermal tolerances of salmonids, commonly reaching up to 21*C. This contributes to not only the reduced survival of salmonines, but increases stress on spawning adults.

Accomplishments

Metric Completed Originally
Proposed
Riparian Habitat
  Stream Miles Treated .65
  Acres Treated 23.9

Funding Details

SourceFunds
PCSRF$163,188
State$200,000
Other$383,390
Report Total:$746,578


Project Map



Worksites

Phipps Meadow    


  • Worksite Identifier: Phipps Meadow
  • Start Date: 03/01/2022
  • End Date: 10/31/2023
Area Description

No Area Description data was found for this worksite.

Location Information

  • Basin: John Day
  • Subbasin:
  • Watershed:
  • Subwatershed:
  • State: Oregon
  • Recovery Domain: Interior Columbia
  • Latitude: 44.584392
  • Longitude: -118.432001

ESU

  • Mid-Columbia River Spring-run Chinook Salmon ESU
  • Middle Columbia River 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.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.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

Beaver Creek    


  • Worksite Identifier: Beaver Creek
  • Start Date: 03/01/2022
  • End Date: 10/31/2023
Area Description

No Area Description data was found for this worksite.

Location Information

  • Basin: John Day
  • Subbasin:
  • Watershed:
  • Subwatershed:
  • State: Oregon
  • Recovery Domain: Interior Columbia
  • Latitude: 44.654617
  • Longitude: -118.673941

ESU

  • Mid-Columbia River Spring-run Chinook Salmon ESU
  • Middle Columbia River 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.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.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