Background: During the pre-treaty era, 44,000 to 150,000 coho returned to the Yakima Subbasin annually. By the mid-1980s they were extinct. Habitat loss and overharvest are factors that led to the extinction. The fish’s cultural significance combined with U.S. v. Oregon objectives to restore salmon to upriver areas resulted in the release of hatchery fish (raised outside the subbasin) beginning in the mid-1980s.
The Yakima Basin "Wood Fiesta" Helicopter Aquatic Restoration project is a multi-watershed collaborative effort aimed at enhancing aquatic habitat in remote watersheds that have been greatly altered by past management practices. Large wood will be placed in stream and on the floodplain of seven Yakima River tributaries using a helicopter to improve habitat for native fish species. The projects are located in remote areas where terrain and or vegetation limits the use of ground-based equipment to place large wood. More information on these projects and associated temporar
The proposed Goodfellow/Chotzen Floodplain Reconnection Project (Sunnyslope side channel) utilizes natural processes to restore floodplain functions in an approximately 5-acre area located along the left bank (north side) of the Wenatchee River at RM 1.4. The project will remove a low earthen berm from the floodplain, allowing water from an existing side channel to access a larger portion of its historic floodplain during high flows.
This fish habitat enhancement project recreates habitat that is below historical and potential conditions. A total of 7 logjams were constructed in areas that would naturally accumulate wood, channel migration rates will be slowed while improving fish habitat. Large woody debris (LWD) was partially buried in adjacent banks and it extends out into the active channel. Buried vertical snags are associated with each logjam site to provide stability and increase wood recruitment.
The 8 Mile Ranch Project (8 Mile Ranch) restores habitat and hydraulic refuge for fish rearing and holding within one reach of the Chewuch River. The work performed provides fish habitat, stream complexity and restores a functional riparian zone in an area currently without any vegetation.
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).
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.