Fish habitat restoration on the Metolius to start Thursday

September 21, 2021
Fish habitat restoration on the Metolius to start Thursday

A fish habitat restoration project will start Thursday on the Metolius River with work expected to last through Saturday, according to a release from the Deschutes National Forest.

The restoration includes placing logs and downed trees into strategic locations of the Metolius near Camp Sherman for fish to use as cover and spawning areas.

The habitat restoration work is part of an ongoing project that started in 2008 to improve fish habitat. Around 1,000 trees have been placed in the river over the past 13 years. The work to be done over the coming week will see 80 trees placed in the river at 20 locations.

The project is funded by the Pelton Round Butte Fund, with proceeds provided by Portland General Electric and the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs.

Monitoring of previously restored areas shows chinook salmon populations have increased by 300%, according to the release. The project will benefit chinook as well as native redband trout and bull trout.

The work will result in the periodic closure of some trails and roads in the Camp Sherman area this week and next week. Drivers and walkers may be halted or re-routed while the work is underway.

Deschutes National Forest is working with Deschutes Land Trust and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on the project, said Mike Riehle, a fish biologist with the Forest Service. Riehle said another phase of the project will start in the spring of 2022 north of Camp Sherman.

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