In 2014 CCFEG was selected among several other project sponsors to implement habitat restoration projects in the Middle Entiat River. We are currently in the planning phase connecting the needs of fish, designs by engineers and scientists, and the concerns of landowners.
The Gray and Stormy Reaches of the Entiat River have both been significantly impacted by humans over the past 100+ years. Although the Gray and Stormy Reaches have more large woody material than many other stream reaches in the area, when compared with undisturbed reference reaches (i.e.the Chiwawa River), the Gray and Stormy reaches are significantly lacking LWM both in quantity and size. The Chiwawa River has thousands of pieces of LWM per mile, many of which are 4-6ft diameter old-growth conifers whereas the gray and stormy reaches have tens of pieces of relatively smaller diameter LWM per mile. LWM stabilizes banks, obstructs flow, promotes lateral channel migration, improves overbank flow, stabilizes side-channels, and forces flow convergence forming pools (among other physical benefits).
Despite close proximity to prime spring Chinook spawning areas, relatively few Chinook utilize this reach for over-summer or over-winter rearing but instead move downstream to occupy lower river habitats. This downstream migration is likely driven by a limited amount suitable habitat within Gray and Stormy reaches. The observed impact of this downstream migration is evident as higher densities of fish within the lower river have resulted in low overwinter survival rates and thus fewer outmigrating smolts
Partners: Chelan County Natural Resources Department, Cascadia Conservation District, Yakama Nation Fisheries Department, Chelan-Douglas Land Trust.
Funders: Bureau of Reclamation, Bonneville Power Administration.