Historic logging and clearing of large, wood structures from the river channel have contributed to channel incision and a reduction in number of pools, islands and seasonal side channels, the amount of cover, and overall channel complexity. This has reduced the availability of spawning and rearing habitat, including seasonally inundated off-channel habitat, available to federally listed salmonids such as Chinook, steelhead and bull trout.
Over the course of this project Wild Fish Conservancy (WFC) engineers and ecologists developed restoration treatment designs including using Engineered Log Jams (ELJs) to capture and retain sediment in the mainstem of the Beckler river channel, which when implemented, will improve aquatic habitat diversity and reconnect the channel to its historic floodplain. The designs developed in this project are an important step towards the development of a restoration treatment for the alluvial fan of the Beckler River. The future restoration project will improve instream habitat conditions for all native fish species, including ESA listed Chinook salmon, Steelhead and Bull Trout, which all use this reach. The project will also improve connectivity between the river and its floodplain, likely resulting in the development of off channel habitat, which serves as important rearing habitat for coho salmon as well as flood refuge habitat for all juvenile salmonids.
Remote sensing with Green (bathymetric) LiDAR applications were used to create a map of the project area. This was more time efficient and more cost effective than previously used topographic methods.
This project is ongoing.
Confluence of Beckler River & South Fork Skykomish, King County
The goal of the project will be to reconnect the lower Beckler River to its historic alluvial fan. Restoring historic structural elements (LWD) to the reach will alter sediment routing, sorting patterns, dissipate flood flows, and increase channel roughness. By altering the river in this way, it will increase habitat complexity in the reach, benefiting salmonid populations trapped and hauled above Sunset Falls by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).
Primary Habitats Impacted By Project:
Managing Agency/ Organization:
Riparian stream channels
Wild Fish Conservancy
Budget or Project Cost:
Puget Sound Acq. & Restoration, Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office
Land owner Joseph Neal