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. There has been a continuous effort since 2009 to identify three unscreened surface diversions that need to be screened. The Smartlowit diversion was screened in 2010. The feeder ditch on South Fork Simcoe Creek is the second to be screened of the three identified diversions.
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.
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.
To restore sustainable and harvestable populations of salmon, steelhead, and other at-risk species, the YKFP is evaluating all stocks historically present in the Yakima and Klickitat Subbasins and, using principles of adaptive management, is applying a combination of habitat protection and restoration, as well as hatchery supplementation or reintroduction strategies to address limiting factors.
Dramatic declines in the abundance of anadromous Pacific salmonids have occurred over the last century in the Columbia River basin. Population declines followed harvest, hydrosystem and watershed development, habitat loss and degradation, and reduced survival in freshwater, estuary, and marine environments. These declines are accompanied by greatly reduced levels of natural production due to an array of anthropogenic factors.
The Yakama Nation's Fisheries Resource Management Program (FRMP) is tasked with managing and carrying out the deliverables for the Tribal Response grant.
Enhance instream habitat and water quality to benefit Middle Columbia steelhead and spring Chinook at three priority sites totaling 0.29 cumulative river miles. Work will involve reshaping and replanting 0.62 miles (cumulative) of bank and 2.1 acres of floodplain.
The Klickitat Watershed Enhancement Project (KWEP) focuses on restoration, enhancement and protection of aquatic habitats in the Klickitat River and its tributaries to support native anadromous fish production.