Canyon Creek Suite of Rehabilitation Sites Under Construction!
If youíve driven west through the Junction City area recently, you may have noticed some big equipment working along the river. The Trinity River Restoration Program (TRRP) began construction in early October on a large project that involves four work areas downstream of Canyon Creek. The project, officially known as the Canyon Creek Suite of Rehabilitation Sites, will affect a mix of privately and publicly owned lands at Conner Creek, Valdor Gulch (Cooperís Bar), Elkhorn, and Pear Tree Gulch.
The purpose of this project is to provide much needed juvenile fish habitat on the mainstem Trinity River downstream of Canyon Creek. This will be accomplished by implementing a combination of channel and riparian rehabilitation measures to restore river form and function. These new project sites, plus the recently completed Hocker Flat Project, are expected to function together to restore complex river habitat while reducing erosive pressure of high flows on the areaís steep banks.
The principal designers for the Canyon Creek project were engineers from the California Department of Water Resources and the private consulting firm of McBain and Trush. Several habitat features have been incorporated in their designs that will provide immediate juvenile fish habitat at medium and low river flows. Other features will facilitate the formation of habitat under higher river flows. Canyon Creek habitat enhancements include a low meander cut on the river right at Conner Creek site (right side as the observer looks downstream) and low water alcoves at Elkhorn, Pear Tree Gulch, and Valdor Gulch. A side channel at Valdor Gulch has been re-opened as well. In addition, the accumulation of fine sands, which could not be swept out by lower flows resulting from construction of Lewiston dam in the early 1960s, are being excavated and removed from the berms along the riverís banks throughout the project. Please check out the pictures and their captions to get a better feel for the developing project.
Since the Trinity River Restoration Program's (TRRP) Hocker Flat Channel Project was completed in fall 2005, monitoring has indicated that leaving certain trees and vegetation may benefit the development of fish habitat and natural movement of the river within its floodplain. Within the Canyon Creek Project, approximately 32 miles downstream of Lewiston dam, there is more room for a vegetated floodplain than directly downstream of the dam where high flows are confined to the narrow river corridor by vegetation. What is more, leaving select mature native trees in place may assist in efficiently seeding areas of the floodplain, thereby reducing the need for manual re-planting after project completion.
The TRRP wants to thank all the landowners involved for their patience and cooperation, both during project implementation and as the riverís edge habitat evolves and vegetation re-grows during the next several years.
If you have any questions concerning the ongoing Canyon Creek Suite of Rehabilitation Sites,
please contact Brandt Gutermuth or Joe Riess at the TRRP office (623-1800).