Salmon habitat restoration, monitored watershed, design rationale
The incised and degraded habitat of Bridge Creek is thought to be limiting the population of ESA-listed steelhead. We are assisting a small, extant beaver population to restore geomorphic, hydrologic, and ecological functions in this system. The primary hypothesis we are testing is that by working with beaver to create stable colonies and aggrade incised reaches of Bridge Creek, there will be measurable improvements in riparian and stream habitat conditions, which will translate to increased abundance of steelhead. Continued monitoring is assessing the geomorphic and biological changes that are occurring at individual structures (21 PLs, 44 PLWWs, 11 SDs, 5 REDs, and 4 RADs) and to the reaches as a whole (Lower Owens, Meyer's Camp, Pat's Cabin, and Sunflower). Such monitoring will be used to test the hypotheses outlined in Table 1 and to assess whether the structures follow one of the stochastic developmental pathways outlined in Figure 5, or whether there are additional pathways followed that were unanticipated. Ongoing monitoring will also allow us to modify structural designs as needed for the purposes of achieving the overarching goal of improving stream and riparian habitat."
2011. Pollock M, Wheaton JM, Bouwes N and Jordan CE. Working with Beaver to Restore Salmon Habitat in the Bridge Creek Intensively Monitored Watershed: Design Rationale and Hypotheses, Interim Report, NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center, Seattle, WA, 63 pp.