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Washington Department

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1 Washington Department
of Fish & Wildlife Rockview Diversion Eliminate Surface Water Diversion and Restore Side Channel Habitat of the Methow River Good morning. My name is Connie Iten. I am with the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife. I am the Area Habitat Biologist for Okanogan County and I am here this morning to present our proposal <CLICK> to eliminate the surface water diversion of the Rockview ditch and rehabilitate the by-pass channel as a functioning side channel of the Methow River. Connie Iten – Area Habitat Biologist

2 Rockview Proposal Conversion of surface water diversion to well.
Removal of screen and restoration of screen site. Removal of check dam. Development of side channel. Channel enhancement with instream structure. Plantings. Monitoring. We are requesting $142,000 to increase side channel habitat quantity and quality in the upper Methow sub-watershed. By removing the existing screen on the Rockview ditch and converting the diversion to a well, reconfiguring the by-pass as a functioning side channel, and enhancing the quality of the side channel with instream structure and plantings, we feel we can increase the survival of juvenile salmonids by providing additional over-wintering and rearing habitat, as well as providing riparian habitat for breeding, feeding and thermal protection to many terrestrial vertebrate species.

3 Project Location Big Valley Ranch
<CLICK> The project is located approximately 8 miles northwest of the town of Winthrop, <CLICK> at RM 60.6 of the Methow River <CLICK> in the upper Methow sub-watershed. <CLICK> The Rockview diversion was included in the purchase of the Big Valley Ranch Unit <CLICK> of the Methow Wildlife Area. <CLICK> <CLICK> which was purchased to maintain spring and fall migration corridors for deer, protect the riparian corridor of the Methow River and provide a spring recovery area for mule deer and white tail to regain the energy deficit incurred during winter stress periods. <CLICK> The project is located immediately downstream of the Weeman Bridge. <CLICK> Between State Route 20 <CLICK> and the Methow River.

4 The existing screen for the Rockview ditch was to be replaced in 2001, and plans were discussed as to the best way to repair the transfer ditch, originally constructed in the late 19th century.

5 After a survey of the by-pass channel by WDFW staff,

6 it was found, that due to deteriorating conditions in the channel, fish were being stranded. It was determined that conversion to a well and

7 rehabilitation of the by-pass channel as a functioning side channel habitat would have the greatest benefit to fish and wildlife.

8 Channel Conditions in the Upper Methow Sub-watershed
Area below the Weeman bridge is a gaining reach. Spring chinook spawning in the upper Methow sub-watershed would benefit from additional off channel habitat. <CLICK> The portion of the Methow River <CLICK> above the Weeman bridge has been identified by the USGS as a losing reach. Flows in areas of the river between Mazama <CLICK> and the bridge naturally sub-surface during the late summer/early fall months of many years. A gaining reach begins at the Weeman bridge as the water level again flows at the surface and other groundwater joins the river. <CLICK> Making this area especially important to salmonids.<CLICK>

9 Biological Objectives:
Restore floodplain complexity. Protect and enhance riparian habitat. Increase instream and riparian habitat diversity to provide cover, breeding and feeding areas for fish and wildlife. Restoration of floodplain complexity provides juvenile salmonids access to over-wintering and rearing areas, increasing the likelihood of survival to outmigration. Connected side channels support riparian habitat, a critical component of both aquatic and upland ecosystems. Functioning riparian habitat supports a variety of fish and wildlife. Supplying nutrients, shade, stream bank stability, and large wood recruitment for instream structure which benefit fish and, Thermal cover nesting and resting habitat, and travel corridors for wildlife.


11 Lack of Side Channel Habitat
Identified as limiting to salmonids in the Methow Watershed. Methow Limiting Factors Report – WCC 2000 Priority Considerations for Protection & Restoration of Salmonid Habitat in the Upper Columbia Region – UCRTT 2001 Sub-basin Summary – CBFWA Lack of side channel habitat has been identified as limiting to salmonids in the Conservation Commission’s Limiting Factors Report; By the Regional Technical Team of the Upper Columbia River Salmon Recovery Board; And in the Sub-basin Summary produced for the Columbia Basin Fish & Wildlife Authority.

12 Need for Project Loss of available side channel habitat.
Exisiting conditions are limiting and potentially harmful to listed species. Supplementation and recovery efforts create demand for increased carrying capacity of available off-channel habitat. Without restoration, the side channel habitat available at the site will not be accessible. Because current conditions are potentially harmful to listed species, to avoid stranding fish, the inflow would need to blocked. As recovery and supplementation efforts add more fish to the system the demand for off-channel habitat will increase.

13 Increased survival to outmigration is aided by adequately functioning, available rearing and over-wintering habitat. Improvements to the Rockview diversion will increase the available quantity and quality of side channel habitat in the upper Methow sub-watershed.

14 Removal of Screen and Restoration of Screen Site
Eliminate conveyance loss and provide more water to the side channel. Eliminate the potential for stranding fish. By removing the existing screen, filling and planting the area with native vegetation more water will be returned to the river by the elimination of the conveyance loss from the failing ditch system. The potential for stranding fish will be eliminated by allowing fish both ingress and egress from the river.

15 Removal of Check Dam Allow natural flows through the channel.
The existing check dam currently directs the flow into the screen and transfer ditch. By removing the check dam and placing a structure that maintains the flow into the side channel all water diverted from the Methow River will be directed to the side channel.

16 Develop Side Channel Provide adequate gradient for flows.
Assure connection with the mainstem Methow river. Current conditions in the side channel do not allow water to flow back to the river. It will be necessary to re-grade the channel to achieve the necessary gradient for flows to reach the Methow at the downstream end of the channel.

17 Channel Enhancement Establish functioning channel geomorphology.
Provide habitat diversity. Provide adequate velocities for flows to maintain channel condition. The goal of channel enhancement is a properly designed channel, with an appropriate width to depth ratio, sinuosity and pool riffle ratio. The addition of instream structures will help to create and maintain scour pools, flows and channel integrity.

18 Plantings Provide shade, structure, and nutrient sources to the channel. Provide thermal cover, breeding and feeding areas for wildlife. Areas disturbed by construction efforts will be planted with native vegetation. Other plantings will include those necessary to create a multiple layered canopy within the riparian area.

19 Monitoring Determine pre-project use by fish & wildlife.
Assess fish & wildlife use of restored channel and riparian area. Evaluate changes in water quality, channel morphology and habitat diversity.

20 Feasibility Complements other projects in the upper Methow watershed.
Previously functioning channel. Channel is used by salmonids. This project will bring return on the investment by providing functioning side channel habitat in a gaining reach of the upper Methow sub-watershed. It will provide increased carrying capacity to accommodate recovery and supplementation efforts in the basin. The project is an enhancement of an existing channel where salmonid use has been documented. Channel design will incorporate elements that provide channel modifying processes to limit or prevent returning the channel to its present condition.

21 Benefits: Increase in available side channel habitat.
Increased floodplain complexity. Protection and enhancement of riparian habitat.

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