Silver Side Channel Design

The Silver side channel is roughly half of a mile long located on the Methow River in the reach between Twisp and Carlton.The Methow River is limited in off channel rearing habitats, and this site is one of the best opportunities in the Methow to restore and provide this critical habitat. Further, this project will address the #1 Ecological Concern according to the Biological Strategy put out by the Upper Columbia Salmon Recovery Board and leading regional fisheries scientists.

The overall goal of Silver Side Channel Design project is to improve and increase salmonid habitat within the floodplain corridor of Silver side channel in a manner consistent with the Methow Wildlife Area Riparian Restoration Goals. The side channel was historically the main channel of the river. Currently, a dike limits the upstream connection with the river and flow in the side channel is limited to groundwater inputs, and occasional overland flow. The downstream end is still connected to the river but fish passage into and throughout the side channel is limited by inadequate flow (in part due to the over-widened channel dimensions - the channel geometry is greatly oversized relative to the current flow regime).

The short-term goals are to enhance and increase the existing habitat values throughout the side channel, while developing channel, riparian and floodplain conditions that will be compatible with possible future treatments to fully connect the side channel with the mainstem of the river.

Map highlighting Silver Side Channel:

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Project Partners: WDFW, USFWS, WADNR, BOR.

Project Funder: Tributary Committee

Completion Date: May 30th, 2015