Yakima River Mile 89.5 Side Channel Reconnection

Salmonid Habitat Restoration and Acquisition

Instream Habitat Wetland
Project ID23-Yaka-05
Recovery DomainsMiddle Columbia River
Start Date07/15/2024
End Date12/31/2026
Last Edited06/13/2024
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This project has been developed as part of the Yakima Basin Integrated Plan (YBIP) collaborative. It will restore 6 miles of off-channel anadromous fish rearing and wintering habitat, and enhance hydrology to riparian and wetland habitat, in the Yakima River floodplain. Restoration will be enacted by re-connecting the side channel network to fall, winter, and summer flow (out of irrigation season). This will provide extensive new rearing and migration habitat for juvenile chinook and steelhead in a reach that has lost much of its off-channel habitat quantity and complexity.

Project will deepen 2 inlet channels at the head of a 6 mile long side channel and wetland complex by excavation of former channel scars. A third inlet channel will be constructed by deepening a high flow channel and building a deflector engineered log jam at the entrance to direct and maintain flow into the inlet. In addition, selective excavation in the 6 miles of side channels will remove earth plugs that have built up over time due to insufficient flooding caused by flow regulation. Several beaver dams will be breached to ensure sufficient flow in the first years after construction. Inlet elevations will be set to connect to flow at 1,000 cubic feet per second. This flow will reconnect the side channel for the fall, winter, and spring months. During the summer, when upstream irrigation diversions reduce streamflow, the side channel will not be connected in order to leave all flow in the main channel. In addition, a section of an irrigation drain berm that has eroded will be built back to original grade to protect nearby lands from back-watering during large floods. Wetland habitat will be restored through this effort.

PCSRF funding will pay for construction oversight and project management, for construction of the third inlet channel and deflector wood structure, to excavate sediment plugs in the side channel, and to rebuild the irrigation drain berm in order to prevent backwater flooding caused by the project. Washington State Department of Ecology will pay for permitting, final design and engineering, bid support, a portion of project management costs, mobilization, a portion of inlet construction costs, and groundwater monitoring. Separately, Washington Office of Conservation and Recreation is funding additional mobilization, erosion and environmental controls, site dewatering, excavation and hauling of sediment plugs removed from the side channel, riparian revegetation, a portion of inlet construction, and as-built plans, but this is being reported separately to avoid double-counting and the metrics here solely reflect direct PCSRF (+WA DOE) funding.

A long-term monitoring plan has also been established. Hydrologic connectivity will be monitored using drone photography/videos at flows above design connection thresholds to verify that the project is functioning hydrologically as designed. Wetland water levels and innundation will be monitored in the same way. Fish use will be monitoring once or twice per season by snorkelling and electrofishing to collect presence/absence data. The fish data will be compared to similar data collected in prior years in the project area.

Project Benefit    

Project will increase side channel habitat by 6 miles and 40 acres of water surface, and off-channel habitat by more than 120 acres of wetlands. This habitat will provide rearing, wintering, and migratory habitat for juvenile chinook salmon, middle Columbia summer steelhead, and Pacific lamprey. The project reach is almost entirely lacking in well-connected slow-water side channel and off-channel habitat, so the increase in habitat is from a very low base-level. The reach is known to be important rearing and wintering habitat for chinook juveniles, and steelhead and lamprey juveniles are also documented in the reach.


Metric Completed Originally
Instream Habitat
  Stream Miles Treated 2.18
Wetland Habitat
  Acres Created
  Acres Treated 27.0

Funding Details

Report Total:$656,000

Project Map


Yakima River Mile 89.5 Reach    

  • Worksite Identifier: Yakima River Mile 89.5 Reach
  • Start Date: 07/15/2024
  • End Date: 12/31/2026
Area Description

No Area Description data was found for this worksite.

Location Information

  • Basin:
  • Subbasin:
  • Watershed:
  • Subwatershed:
  • State: Washington
  • Recovery Domain: Middle Columbia River
  • Latitude: 46.395564
  • Longitude: -120.272895


  • Mid-Columbia River Spring-run Chinook Salmon ESU
  • Upper Columbia River Summer- and Fall-run Chinook Salmon ESU
  • Middle Columbia River Steelhead DPS




  • 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.0.d.3
      Monitoring text (from Phase I)
    •      . . 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.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.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.8 Wetland ProjectY (Y/N)
        •      . . . . C.8.a Wetland funding
        •      . . . . C.8.b Total acres of wetland area treated
        •      . . . . C.8.e.1 Wetland improvement/restorationY (Y/N)
          •      . . . . . . C.8.e.2 Acres of wetland treated