Industrial and agricultural pollution and toxic contamination, dams that block fish migration and access to spawning habitat—the decline of salmon, steelhead, sturgeon, and lamprey in the Columbia River is has many causes. To restore the river and the life that depends upon it, the Yakama Nation Fisheries is employing many and varied strategies, simultaneously. In some areas, habitat recovery is the key; in others, supplementation of salmon runs may need to be the driver.
Lincoln Meadows is a headwaters meadow for Toppenish Creek. Headwater meadows are important because they contain culturally important first foods and function as water storage to maintain summer base flows in streams, which supports aquatic life.
Renchler’ Meadow is an important water storage area for Dry Creek, a tributary of Satus Creek, both of which support culturally important fish species.
Yakama Reservation Watershed Project (YRWP) proposed to remove a culvert on North Fork Simcoe Creek just above its confluence with Diamond Dick Creek within the closed area of the Yakama Nation Reservation.
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.
Branch Creek enters North Fork Toppenish Creek at river mile 3.2, and drains a 23-square-mile watershed. Mid-Columbia River steelhead use the stream for spawning and rearing.
Satus Dam—also known as the Shadduck Dam—was installed in Satus Creek over a half-century ago by Wapato Irrigation Project (WIP). The dam was used to divert water to supplement the irrigation water in the Satus District of WIP.
Yakama Nation fisheries staff developed a plan to install fish screens on three irrigation diversion ditches in Simcoe Creek Watershed, which is home to multiple freshwater life history stages of ESA listed Mid-Columbia River steelhe
A major limiting factor affecting the healthy function of the watershed/habitat is the presence of an unscreened surface water diversion located on South Fork Simcoe Creek.
On August 6, 2011, Yakama Nation Fisheries, Yakama Reservation Watersheds Project (YRWP) completed the implementation of a restoration action at two road/stream interfaces on Panther Creek to improve stream function and facilitate fish movement.
The factors limiting fish passage and habitat degradation at the Durham Irrigation Dam restoration site were the result of an obsolete irrigation diversion dam.