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Project Summary

Project 2007-173-00 - Upper South Fork McKenzie Channel Restoration
Project Number:
Upper South Fork McKenzie Channel Restoration
This project will restore habitat essential to rearing spring chinook salmon and bull trout through restoration of large woody material to the upper South Fork McKenzie River.
Proponent Orgs:
US Forest Service (USFS) (Govt - Federal)
Starting FY:
Ending FY:
Province Subbasin %
Lower Columbia Willamette 100.00%
Focal Species:
Species Benefit:
Anadromous: 100.0%   Resident: 0.0%   Wildlife: 0.0%
BiOp Association:

No photos have been uploaded yet for this Project.

The table content is updated frequently and thus contains more recent information than what was in the original proposal reviewed by ISRP and Council.

Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review

Council Recommendation

Assessment Number: 2007-173-00-NPCC-20090924
Project: 2007-173-00 - Upper South Fork McKenzie Channel Restoration
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Approved Date: 10/23/2006
Recommendation: Do Not Fund

Independent Scientific Review Panel Assessment

Assessment Number: 2007-173-00-ISRP-20060831
Project: 2007-173-00 - Upper South Fork McKenzie Channel Restoration
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Completed Date: 8/31/2006
Final Round ISRP Date: None
Final Round ISRP Rating: Meets Scientific Review Criteria
Final Round ISRP Comment:
While budget-wise this is a small project, the proposal effectively addresses all of the elements needed for a successful project. If carried through as proposed, this project will add needed rearing habitat to aid in recovering spring Chinook salmon and bull trout.

The background section clearly describes the issue of restoring habitat upstream of Cougar Dam. Past forest management practices have resulted in low rates of recruitment of large wood to the channel. The McKenzie River populations are considered to be capable of being self sustaining, but habitat improvements are needed.

Regarding channel lateral migration capability, the South Fork McKenzie River and large tributaries have lost a significant portion of their ability to migrate laterally due to recent salvage of in-stream wood (1960-86). Removal of large fallen timber from the channel of the Upper South Fork of the McKenzie River significantly altered the river channel and eliminated many side channels important for rearing habitat of juvenile Spring Chinook and bull trout. The proposal's background section clearly and simply identifies the problem and provides the logic for a solution: place large woody debris back in river channel.

The project has a single objective: improve Chinook and bull trout habitat by restoring side channels. This is a measurable objective. A description of how many side channels will be added; how each will be measured for increases of added rearing habitat should be added. More details could be added to better describe placement of logs to create side-channels and some explanation of how pre- and post- project rearing habitat will be quantified.

This proposal is an element of a larger effort where spring Chinook salmon adults are transported upstream of Cougar Dam (from McKenzie Salmon Hatchery) to use isolated habitat. Transported adults and their offspring will utilize habitat restored in this effort. Downstream migrating juvenile spring chinook salmon will be trapped upstream of Cougar Reservoir by Army Corps of Engineers and transported downstream of Cougar Dam in an effort to maximize survival of naturally produced salmon in the upper South Fork McKenzie River. Juvenile salmon originating from the restoration reach may be expected to experience higher survival rates as transported fish. This project is in the planning stage.

The project is consistent with high-priority restoration, identified by the subbasin plan and the McKenzie Watershed Council. It meets objectives of the aquatic conservation strategy of the Northwest Forest Plan and also addresses action items identified in the Draft Bull Trout Recovery Plan. It appears consistent with Oregon Plan and the Oregon Aquatic habitat Restoration Enhancement Guide.

A short section summarizes relationship to ODFW project to increase natural reproduction upstream of Cougar Dam and ACE project to improve migration. ODFW has special angling protections in this watershed. The site is adjacent to an earlier USFS large wood introduction project, which is monitored by OSU.

M&E will be conducted through periodic measurement of changes in channels by aerial photo flights. Biological response will be measured by tracking proportion of juvenile Chinook downstream, under the assumption that juveniles will remain in upstream rearing habitat longer once channel habitat is modified.

Publishing results in peer-reviewed journals is anticipated as this project will be incorporated into the Large River Monitoring Project (a partnership between USFS and Oregon State University - Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife) to monitor multiple project effectiveness.

Benefits to focal species may be cumulative with other coordinated projects and will likely persist over a long period. The effect on other native aquatic biota, such as macroinvertebrates, should be positive.
Documentation Links:

Legal Assessment (In-Lieu)

Assessment Number: 2007-173-00-INLIEU-20090521
Project Number: 2007-173-00
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Completed Date: 10/6/2006
In Lieu Rating: No Problems Exist
Cost Share Rating: None
Comment: Channel restoration on FS lands; assume BPA-FS MOU covers.

Capital Assessment

Assessment Number: 2007-173-00-CAPITAL-20090618
Project Number: 2007-173-00
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Completed Date: 2/27/2007
Capital Rating: Does Not Qualify for Capital Funding
Capital Asset Category: None
Comment: None

Project Relationships: None