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.
Agency Creek enters Simcoe Creek at river mile 9.5, and drains a 23-square-mile watershed. Middle Columbia River steelhead use the creek for spawning and rearing. Steelhead redd counts in Agency Creek have ranged from 4 to 20 since 1999, and the creek is recognized as a spawning aggregation for steelhead recovery purposes. Juvenile steelhead rear through the summer in the creek near its confluence with Simcoe Creek.
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.
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..
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. Lincoln Meadows has been impacted by a variety of human related activities, such as roads and cattle grazing, that have severely degraded the meadow's capabilities.
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.
Yakama Reservation Watersheds Project staff completed a bank stabilization and floodplain restoration project in and adjacent to Ahtanum Creek. Anthropogenic and natural factors have led to the rapid erosion of three stream meanders, a discontinuity between the floodplain and the stream, and a domination of non-native invasive vegetation within the project site. Endangered Species Act listed species: Mid-Columbia River steelhead trout and bull trout, Chinook, and coho; utilize Ahtanum Creek for multiple life history stages.