Native fish and aquatic restoration planned for the Bumping Rive - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Native fish and aquatic restoration planned for the Bumping River

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NACHES, WA - The Naches Ranger district will be putting several hundred blown down trees to good use improving habitat for listed fish in the Bumping River this August.  The trees are from a windstorm that hit Soda Springs Campground in the winter of 2015. 

This aquatic habitat improvement project is being done in partnership with the Yakama Nation fisheries program and will improve six in-stream sites within a six mile section of the river. The fish habitat improvements will benefit Yakama Nation treaty reserved fish species, including the Middle Columbia River steelhead and Bull trout, both of which are listed as threatened by the Endangered Species Act.  

 “This project will meet several objectives by directly benefiting watershed condition by helping to return the river to a more natural state,” said Naches District Hydrologist Scott Nagel.  “Placement of large wood, in this case blown down trees, within and alongside the river will improve hydrologic and habitat function, including channel complexity, spawning habitat and pool creation.”    

Lack of large wood, elevated water temperatures and reduced stream flows have been shown to be limiting factors in recovery of these species. Benefits of this stream restoration work include improvements in recharge of shallow groundwater and reduction in peak flows, stream temperatures and refugia, where habitat conditions exist to support species survival.

“Dispersed camping within the construction area will temporarily be closed until August 15 while restoration work is taking place.  We are mindful of dispersed recreation use, and have taken into consideration both water access for swimming and recreation, and safety considerations of log placement locations adjacent to dispersed use sites,” Nagel said.   

This project represents progress in work being done under the 2008 Columbia Basin Fish Accords Memorandum of Agreement which provides funding to implement fish and wildlife restoration projects throughout the Yakama Nation’s Ceded Lands, as well as other areas utilized by aquatic treaty trust or reserved fish species which are protected under the Yakama Nation’s Treaty of 1855 (12 stat. 951) with the United States of America.

“The Yakama Nation has been an invaluable partner through the entire process,” said Naches District Ranger Kelly Lawrence. “They have helped to remove the blown down wood out of Soda Springs Campground, funded cultural and botany surveys for NEPA, and funded the equipment to place the wood in the stream. Together, we are able to accomplish so much more, and the benefits are for all forest users.”