Idaho Department of Fish and Game confirms that we wish for the Red River Restoration Project to be renewed in FY 2006. The FY 2006 budget ($99,000) identified for this project is consistent with our expectations.
|# of stream miles treated, including off-channels, after realignment (0.1 mi.)||Restoration of 2.4 miles of stream. Reconnecting historic meanders and constructing new meanders increased channel length by 5,045 feet, increased sinuosity by 60 percent, and decreased channel slope by 40 percent.|
|# of riparian miles treated (0.01 mi.; count each bank separately)||Planted over 100,000 native riparin and wetland plants, including a variety of woody shrubs and herbaceous seedings, enhancing approximately 1.5 miles of stream.|
The Lower Red River Meadow Restoration Project began implementation activities in 1996, under the sponsorship of the Idaho County Soil and Water Conservation District. The overall project goal was to restore the physical and biological processes and functions of the Lower Red River Meadow ecosystem to provide high quality habitat for chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), steelhead trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus), and other fish and wildlife species. Restoration of 1.5 miles of stream on the property was divided into four phases, and included reconnecting historic meanders, constructing new meanders, reshaping channel cross sections, and installing rock grade control structures. Over 100,000 native riparian shrubs were planted to accelerate the establishment of native communities, provide bank stabilization, and improve fish (overhanging vegetation, undercut banks, reduced water temperatures, and sources of nutrients and instream woody debris) and wildlife habitat. Restoration activities increased channel length by 5,045 feet (from 1.5 miles to 2.4 miles) increased sinuosity by 60 percent, and decreased channel slope by 40 percent. Resulting decreases in water velocities and increases in water depth significantly increased habitat for fish and other aquatic organisms. In 2005, Idaho Department of Fish and Game assumed sponsorship of the Red River Restoration Project. Project goals in 2005 include maintenance of past riparian plantings in addition to establishment of an additional 15000 native trees and shrubs on approximately 0.5 miles of stream. Plantings are in progress during spring 2005.
|# of riparian miles treated (0.01 mi.; count each bank separately)||Plant 15,000 native trees and shrubs on approximately 0.5 miles of stream. Maintain existing plantings on 2.4 miles of stream.|
Anticipated FY 2006 accomplishments include the continued maintenance of existing riparian shrub plantings and the establishment of an additional 15,000 shrubs along 0.5 miles of stream. New sites will include vegetative plantings along small perennial streams entering the Red River Wildlife Management Area property. Shrub densities will also be increased along Red River. Goal is to provide habitat connectivity and travel corridors from initial plantings into forested areas and to increase survival and densities of existing shrub communities. Maintenance techniques will include vegetation removal around existing shrubs, construction of 10 enclosures to prevent big game damage, and the maintenance of existing fences, cages, and tree tubes. Approximately 15 acres of noxious weeds will be controlled.
Continued implementation of the Red River Restoration Project is consistent with the following objectives and strategies included in the Clearwater Subbasin Management Plan. Page 33 Objective Q: Reduce water temperatures to levels meeting applicable water quality standards for life stages specific needs of anadromous and native resident fish, with an established upward trend in the number of stream miles meeting standards by 2017. Strategy: Restore riparian functions related to temperature—continue efforts aimed at increasing streamside shading where streamside shading has been reduced by anthropogenic activities. Maintenance of existing riparian plantings and the establishment of new plantings will increase streamside shading along Red River and meadow tributaries. Page 37 Objective U: Improve aquatic habitat diversity and complexity to levels consistent with other objectives outlined in this document, with particular emphasis on recovery of anadromous and fluvial stocks. Strategy: Restore complexity—address priority problems with protection and restoration activities designed to promote development of more complex and diverse habitats through improved watershed condition and function. Strategy: Restore ecosystem functions—identify and rehabilitate upland, wetland and floodplain areas. Maintenance of existing riparian plantings and the establishment of new plantings will provide natural bank stabilization, provide overhanging vegetation for fish habitat, reduce water temperatures, and provide a source of nutrients and instream woody debris. Page 42 and 43 Objective BB: Protect and restore an additional 300 miles of riparian habitats by 2017. Strategy: Identify and prioritize riparian habitats for protection and restoration. Give highest priority to riparian habitats supporting spawning and rearing for anadromous and native resident salmonids. Red River provides both spawning and rearing habitat for chinook salmon and rearing habitat for steelhead trout. It also provides seasonal habitat for bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout. Protection and maintenance of existing riparian plantings and the establishment of new plantings will benefit all of the above species, in addition to a variety of focal and other wildlife species.
The 22 Potential Management Units (PMU’s) in the Clearwater Subbasin Management Plan are divided into three groups, those dominated by private ownership, mixed ownership, and federal ownership The Red River drainage is primarily located with PMU #FD-3, which is dominated by federal ownership. Restoration opportunities are rated as high in FD-3 (Section 4.4, page 86). Protecting and restoring riparian/wetland habitats are rated as high priorities in FD-3 (Section 4.4, page 86). Riparian and wetland restoration projects can be used to restore areas damaged by dredging and/or grazing, thereby improving both aquatic and terrestrial habitats. The Clearwater Subbasin Management Plan Supplement provides additional discussion on priorities. Page 3 of the Supplement identifies instream temperature, sedimentation, and loss/disturbance of riparian habitats as three of the five high priority limiting factors in the Clearwater Subbasin. Implementation of the Red River Restoration project will address all three of these limiting factors.