The Sunnyslope Side Channel Project is located on the Wenatchee River at RM (river mile) 1.4. This excavated side channel is approximately 1,350 feet in length. It is connected to a natural side channel of the Wenatchee River at the upstream end and flows into the mainstem of the Wenatchee River at the downstream end. This project is aimed at creating a groundwater fed side channel with an upstream connection during high flows (approximately 7,000 cfs or greater).
- Increase connection with floodplain
- Provide high flow refugia
- Provide summer-time rearing habitat for juvenile anadromous salmonids
Construction on the project completed in June 2011. The ground water provides a cool refuge during hot summer periods creating excellent juvenile anadromous salmonid rearing habitat. Based on what we have observed in the natural side channel connected at the upstream end, adult salmonid spawning may occur within the new channel. Additionally, there are depositional areas for fine sediment in the constructed side channel that provide lamprey rearing habitat.