Yakama Nation Fisheries (YNF) has been exploring sturgeon culture requirements by rearing small numbers of white sturgeon in tribal hatchery facilities since the 1990s. Fish were obtained from various sources, including the private Pelfrey sturgeon hatchery operating downstream from Bonneville Dam and mid-Columbia hatchery research by CRITFC and the USFWS.
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.
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. Two locations on Branch Creek were identified as suitable for culvert removal and replacement by armored stream fords. One is located at RM 1.1 and the other at RM 1.4. The project is located in the NW1/4, NE1/4, Township 9 North, Range 14 East, Section 1, on tribal trust land in the closed area of the Yakama Reservation.
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. The culvert was undersized and a seasonal barrier to ESA listed Middle Columbia River Steelhead (MCRS). At high flow, the culvert became clogged and temporarily re-routed water down the adjacent road stranding fish and damaging the road surface.
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.
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. The diversion had been obsolete for over 20 years and WIP intended to remove the dam, but lacked funding.
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. Sites within the Panther Creek watershed have been degraded due to various human activities (e.g., grazing, road building, and logging). These problems are most obvious at the site on Panther Creek where Fort Simcoe Road # 80 transects T10N, R13E Section 13 and further downstream in T10N, R13E Section 26.
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.