Metolius River Alert: Wood Needed for Salmon Restoration [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Metolius River Alert: Wood Needed for Salmon Restoration

10-25-2007, 01:08 PM
Here's another alert from the Native Fish Society I want to pass on. The Metolius River, a tributary of the Deschutes, used to be the main producer of Spring Chinook in the Deschutes system. The Metolius also had a unique race of summer steelhead, morphologically distinct from other Deschutes native Type-A summer steelhead. It's wonderful to contemplate that the Metolius may at long last be brought back as a viable anadromous spawning stream.

Please read and if you will, support the NFS proposals. Thanks, Eric

From the Native Fish Society:

Please Support the Metolius River Wood Restoration Project

Please - take a few minutes now to support the Forest Service proposal to add wood to the Metolius River in anticipation of the reintroduction of Chinook salmon above Pelton Round Butte dams on the Deschutes. Chinook last spawned in the Metolius River in 1967.

Please support Alternative 2, which is the Forest Service’s proposal. The EA is available on the web

The comments can be received by sending them to the email listed below (should work with one click). Deadline – November 3, 2007

Surveys conducted by the Forest Service show low wood densities and indicate natural recovery of instream wood is occurring at a very slow pace. The goal of the Metolius wood restoration project is to restore fish habitat that has been lost because of the removal of wood. Wood forms pools and slow, deep water that offer habitat to redband trout, bull trout, and soon Chinook salmon.

Alternative 1 is No Action. Opposition to the project is coming from boater organizations, even though the Metolius is not a prime boating river. But it is superb fish habitat that will be essential after reintroduction.

Proposed Action - Alternative 2 would add large wood to near historic levels at 206 sites over 11 miles of river, from Riverside Campground to Jefferson Creek. It would provide increased habitat for all fish species, in particular Chinook salmon. Habitat for Chinook is low in the Metolius due to the lack of pools. The program to reintroduce Chinook above Pelton Round Butte Dams assumes the Metolius will provide the majority of the spring habitat. This project is designed to improve the success of a sustainable population over time.

Alternative 3 includes active wood restoration on 173 sites above Bridge 99 only. It would exclude the river segment downstream of Bridge 99 and rely on natural processes to regain the wood lost from removal in the past. It reduces, but doesn’t eliminate, conflict with boaters.

Comments to date fall into the following categories: a) The River needs more wood to restore fish habitat, especially in fast water areas. b) Boat safety is a concern, especially downstream of Bridge 99. c) Don’t create hazards downstream of Bridge 99. d) Post notices of increased challenges to boating. e) Preserve the scenic quality of the river and protect the riverbanks from disturbance. f) Mimic natural wood in the river. g) Let the river heal itself though natural processes. h) Protect spawning fish.

What is proposed?

Where? - 4 reaches from Riverside Campground to Candle Creek (see map).

How much? - Over 200 sites are proposed for wood placement. As many as 1000 trees could be added to the river over 11 miles.

How? - Most sites would be accessed from existing roads or skid trails. Some only from helicopter. Log trucks, skidders and an excavator would be used to place the logs. Lower sites would need to be buried into the bank to resist movement during floods. No full spanning logjams are proposed to protect boating safety.

When? Instream work would be scheduled to avoid fish spawning seasons and periods of high public use.

This is an excellent and much needed project. Thanks for your help.


Tom Davis, PE
Native Fish Society, River Steward
Upper Deschutes
69217 Tapidero
Sisters OR, 97759
541 549 1222