Watershed Specifics 137,400 acres 90% privately owned 80% within Nez Perce Reservation 60% agricultural land use
Watershed Specifics narrow watershed approximately 35 miles long 3 to 4 miles stream/mile drainage area tributaries tend to be straight & steep
PROBLEMS Limiting factors to steelhead habitat within Lawyer Creek are associated with climate and land use patterns, including: –excess sediment delivery –flashy storm events –low sustained summer base flows
PROBLEMS Listed on State §303(d) list for: –habitat alteration –flow alteration –dissolved oxygen –bacteria –ammonia –nutrients
PROBLEMS Water moves quicker through the watershed today due to: –change of vegetation in uplands –alteration/removal of ground cover in uplands
PROBLEMS Less water is retained or stored in the watershed for base flow after runoff events Higher peak flows impact stream channel by widening and scouring channels, moving large substrate downstream
PROBLEMS Surface soil erosion is the dominant type of erosion from most cultivated lands in the watershed Source of sediment and water quality problems Sediment contributes to increased stream temperature and reduced stream productivity
SOLUTIONS To protect, enhance and/or restore fish habitat, best management practices should be developed and implemented on agricultural lands.
SOLUTIONS BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES Dryland Agriculture
SOLUTIONS Best Management Practices –Combination of practices that effectively and practicably prevent or reduce the amount of sediment delivery to receiving streams –Techniques that will begin restoration and protection of aquatic habitat impacted by land management
SOLUTIONS Best Management Practices –Control and reduce erosion and subsequent sedimentation: conservation tillage (no-till) sediment basins gully plugs culvert outlets grade stabilization grassed waterways permanent vegetation
SOLUTIONS Best Management Practices –Promote upland water storage: conservation tillage (no-till) ponds sediment basins riparian habitat improvements and protection
Lawyer Creek Project Predominant land use is cropland Cropland and grazing activities take place on each side of and adjacent to Lawyer Creek Soils have a high erosivity rating and low permeability rating Drainageway lengths are short within each of the subwatersheds (higher potential for immediate sediment delivery)
Implement BMPs on agricultural uplands and adjacent riparian areas Survey baseline instream and riparian habitat conditions in Lawyer Creek Monitor water quality parameters Coordinate monitoring efforts with DEQ and Nez Perce Tribe Lawyer Creek Project
Lawyer Creek Subwatershed Steelhead Trout Habitat Improvement Project Sponsored by: Lewis Soil Conservation District
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