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. Barriers are listed in the Yakima Steelhead Recovery Plan as a factor for MCRS decline, removing barriers is a critical recovery goal for the Toppenish population of MCRS. To increase channel bank roughness and floodplain water holding capacity, YRWP replanted the riparian area with native vegetation and seed.
- Remove fish passage barrier
- Increase availability/quantity of potential MCRS spawning habitat
- enhance migratory pathways for juvenile MCRS and resident trout
- Increase floodplain connectivity of North Fork Simcoe Creek
- Provide seasonal access and stream crossing for tribal hunters
Re-vegetation of the site will aid in the self-sustainability of the project components and add roughness to areas that have been damaged from avulsion. Construction plans mimicked upstream and downstream conditions of the stream channel. The road is closed to large vehicles due to unstable road conditions; however, 4x4 vehicle access will be maintained for tribal hunting.