LARGE SCALE CONSERVATION PROJECTS

Large Grants Awarded

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UPPER HAY CREEK RESTORATION OF RARE AND DECLINING HABITAT

The project is located on the Dryfork of Hay Creek approximately 15 miles from the mouth in the uppermost perennial reach of the watershed. The Dryfork of Hay Creek is a tributary to Hay Creek, Hay Creek is a tributary to the John Day River and the John Day River drains into the Columbia River. It is approximately 8 miles north of Condon in Gilliam County. The major watershed issue for this reach is intermittent flow during the summer months and very little riparian vegetation. The reaches upstream and downstream have perennial flow and this project aims to extend those wetted reaches. This project will use various floodplain connection actions to create pool habitat and extnd perennial flow. Once perennial flow is established riparian plantings will begin. The District will utilize the Farm Service Agency Conservation Reserve Enhancement program to install a riparian fence and establish riparian plantings to following the Low-Cost Process-Based Restoration structure installation. Project partners include FSA, OWEB, NRCS, ODFW, DSL, and Gilliam SWCD.

THIRTYMILE FLOODPLAIN ANALYSIS AND PRIORITIZATION

1) The project is located within the Thirtymile Creek watershed in Gilliam County, a tributary of the lower John Day River 2) The recovery planning process conducted by the John Day Partnership was used to identify tar-get watersheds for implementation of restoration actions as part of the John Day Focused Investment Part-nership (FIP). Within these watersheds, finer spatial scale (i.e., 500 m – 1 km) watershed condition assess-ments capable of prioritizing the distribution of limited restoration funding is currently lacking. Further, cur-rent restoration planning within the lower John Day does not currently leverage contemporary spatial analysis tools and frameworks. This mismatch between recovery planning assessments and the scale at which riverscape restoration actions are implemented under the FIP makes allocation of restoration resources difficult and potentially inefficient. 3) Funding under this TA grant application would be used to prioritize the location of riverscape restoration actions within the Thirtymile watershed that will be implemented as part of the John Day FIP. The prioritization will be based on quantification of the current vs. potential floodplain (i.e., recovery potential) extent throughout 65 miles of the Thirtymile watershed network that are considered essential salmonid habitat. Specifically, the funding will be used to identify locations where channel and floodplain connectivity, the expansion of salmonid habitat, and riparian vegetation distributions can be maximized. 4) Partners include, Gilliam-East John Day Watershed Council, ODFW, BLM, USFS, CTWS, and OWEB.

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JOHN DAY BASIN PARTNERSHIP UAV IMPLEMENTATION AND EFFECTIVENESS MONITORING PROGRAM

The purpose of this project is to develop a Partnership-wide monitoring plan that addresses a “tiered” approach for Districts and Partners to respond to the monitoring needs and requirements of the Results Chain Model (2019). This project will utilize UAV technology to do so on projects implemented by the Partnership in the first biennium of the FIP. Subsequent, applications will be submitted for the next two biennium. This project proses to train three partners to effectively and efficiently obtain, analyze, and store remote sensing data captured by UAVs. During these trainings baseline data will be secured for the projects that are planned to be implemented in the first year of the FIP. These partners will also collect baseline data in the following year for the second round of FIP implementation projects. The Partnerships believes that adding UAV data collection before and after project implementation will allow for the Partnership to better inform implementers to help adaptive management strategies and to track project effectiveness more efficiently.

ADULT STEELHEAD MIGRATORY ROUTES INVESTIGATION

Some of the John Day River adult overshoots stray into, and apparently spawn in, non-natal tributaries in the vicinity of McNary Dam. In addition to the risk of straying (and hence complete loss of reproduction in the John Day basin) adult overshoot could also impose additional mortality. Fallback over mainstem dams may increase mortality of adult steelhead. John Day steelhead which overshoot to McNary Dam and then return downstream to the John Day are migrating at least an additional 238 km greater than their direct route migration distance. A steelhead returning to the South Fork John Day (approximately centrally located in the basin) with no detours will have a 692 km migration from the ocean. Adult overshoot to McNary Dam will add at least 34% to this migration distance. Energy and lipid levels in salmonids upon ocean exit are correlated with migration distance to spawning areas (Quinn
2005). A South Fork John Day steelhead (for example) may be physiologically less prepared for a 930 km migration than a 692 km migration. This may result in less successful mating and spawning behavior.

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