Belshaw Creek Irrigation Efficiency

Salmonid Habitat Restoration and Acquisition

Pre-Restoration Acquisitions And Nursery Operations
Project ID18-Warm-03
Recovery Domains -
Start Date04/01/2024
End Date06/30/2024
Last Edited05/29/2024
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This project is located on Belshaw Creek, which is a tributary to the upper mainstem John Day River and is home to Endangered Species Act (ESA)-listed adult and juvenile Mid-Columbia River summer steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss and provides year-round habitat for all life stages of resident redband trout (O. mykiss) and west-slope cutthroat trout (O. Clark Lewis).

Limiting factors for salmonids in the Belshaw Creek system include insufficient water/drought and water quality degradation. The CTWS Tribal Strategy lists four target restoration actions for the Upper John Day subbasin in which Belshaw Creek is located; water quantity/irrigation efficiency enhancement, fencing/plantings, improvements to instream habitat complexity, and fish passage. Phase I of this project will specifically address water quantity/quality by replacing the current open-ditch irrigation system with a buried pipeline conveyance system, estimated to save 1.5 cfs of in-stream flow and retain these savings within Belshaw Creek.

In this project CTWS is proposing to use PCSRF funds to purchase materials needed for the irrigation efficiency component of the overall project. Installation of efficiency irrigation infrastructure will improve ecological resilience by allowing water to remain in-channel and contribute to the Upper John Day River in the hot summer months when the drought is more prominent. This project is being implemented as a portion of a larger effort scheduled to be completed in 2024 which includes remediation of fish passage barriers at and below an irrigation diversion. The combination of these efforts intends to improve quality of, and access to, critical spawning and rearing habitat for resident and anadromous salmonids in Belshaw Creek.

Worksite #1 Belshaw Creek

Proposed Work: PCSRF funding will be used for the purchase of irrigation efficiency materials. This is primarily composed of 10,185 feet of pipeline necessary to replace existing open-ditch conveyance system to retain water in-stream and bolster in-stream water quantity and quality. PCSRF funds will also be used for materials necessary to remediate a failing fish screen associated with the diversion which feeds the relevant irrigation infrastructure.

Project Benefit    

The upper John Day River sustains two anadromous fish species: ESA-listed summer steelhead and spring Chinook Salmon. High water temperature is a limiting factor in this watershed and is exacerbated by low-flow conditions caused by local irrigation needs and climate conditions. This project will enhance salmonid productivity and resilience by increasing irrigation efficiency, providing approximately 1.5 cfs in water savings, and ultimately providing additional cold-water inputs to the Upper John Day River in the hot summer months when drought is more prominent.


Metric Completed Originally

Funding Details

Report Total:$241,528

Project Map


Belshaw Creek Irrigation Efficiency    

  • Worksite Identifier: Belshaw Creek Irrigation Efficiency
  • Start Date: 04/01/2024
  • End Date: 06/30/2024
Area Description

No Area Description data was found for this worksite.

Location Information

  • Basin:
  • Subbasin:
  • Watershed:
  • Subwatershed:
  • State:
  • Recovery Domain:
  • Latitude: 44.4425
  • Longitude: -119.2863


  • 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.12 Pre-Restoration Acquisitions And Nursery OperationsY (Y/N)
      •      . . . . C.12.a Pre-restoration funding
      •      . . . . C.12.b.1 Restoration materialsY (Y/N)
        •      . . . . . . C.12.b.2
          Describe what was purchased