Xapnish Property - Toppenish Creek
The Yakama Nation is working to restore natural production of Pacific lamprey to a level that will provide robust species abundance, significant ecological contributions and meaningful harvest within the Yakama Nations Ceded Lands and in the Usual and Accustomed areas.
Columbia River steelhead are iteroparous (able to spawn multiple times). However, as post-spawned steelhead (kelts) attempt to migrate downstream to return to the ocean, their survival is adversely affected by major dams. Therefore, an innovative approach to effectively increasing abundance and productivity of steelhead populations is to capitalize on their inherent iteroparity by reconditioning kelts.
This project expands research, monitoring, and evaluation (RM&E) activities conducted by the co-managers in the Yakima Basin (Yakama Nation and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife-WDFW) to better evaluate viable salmonid population (VSP) parameters (abundance, productivity, spatial structure, and diversity) for Yakima River steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) populations. It was developed to fill critical monitoring gaps identified in the 2009 Columbia Basin monitoring strat
Yakama Nation Fisheries (YNF) removed a six-foot diameter culvert and the concrete fill material associated with it. The culvert was located on Toppenish Creek (watershed area is greater than 200 sq. mi.) near the confluence of Toppenish and Simcoe Creeks, approximately ½ mile west of Brownstown Rd. The culvert is on property recently acquired by the Yakama Nation.
A reach assessment of the area adjacent to the culverts was conducted to identify any risks such as potential head-cuts or areas primed for avulsion.
This project was implemented to assist in managing the migration of cattle from low elevations in the spring to higher elevations in the early summer. Prior to the project, upon cattle turnout on May 1, cattle would quickly travel approximately 25 miles to the headwater meadows of Satus and Toppenish Creeks. Livestock immediately impacted several important high elevation meadows, by overgrazing and by creating hardened cattle trails. These impacts further increased channel incision and bank erosion in these areas..
The factors limiting fish passage and habitat degradation at the Durham Irrigation Dam restoration site were the result of an obsolete irrigation diversion dam. This site is located at river mile five on Toppenish Creek. During periods of heightened instream flows, the confines of the dam abutments created a hydraulic pressure gradient, limiting successful fish passage.