Upcoming Trinity River Channel Rehabilitation Projects
With Hocker Flat completed, the TRRP plans to continue constructing fish habitat projects along the mainstem Trinity River. Towards this end, two TRRP channel rehabilitation projects are planned for 2006: The Canyon Creek Suite of Rehabilitation Sites (downstream of Hocker Flat) and the Indian Creek Channel Rehabilitation project (in Douglas City). A third TRRP project, to supplement coarse sediment (gravel) at the Trinity River hatchery, is also planned for implementation in late July/August 2006. All of these projects will be constructed to enhance river processes and to increase fisheries habitat. These projects will remove fossilized riparian berms and increase access by juvenile fish to the floodplain at higher flows, while setting the stage for geomorphic changes brought on by coarse sediment and high flows. Features such as side channels, alcoves, and feathered edges will be created to provide slow water juvenile fish habitats at a variety of intermediate flows.
The Canyon Creek project starts about 1 mile downstream of Junction City, and goes downriver nearly 5 miles to just above the confluence with the North Fork Trinity River. The project reach includes four separate rehabilitation areas: Conner Creek (near Powerhouse Road), Valdor Gulch (near Cooper’s Bar), Elkhorn (near Lime Point), and Pear Tree Gulch. A Draft Environmental Assessment/Environmental Impact Report (EA/EIR), now available for public review and comment through March 27, outlines the project in detail and identifies potential environmental impacts and mitigation measures. To receive a copy of the EA/EIR, please contact Brandt Gutermuth at 623-1806 or visit the TRRP’s website at www.trrp.net under the Canyon Creek Complex heading.
The Indian Creek Channel Rehabilitation Project will not only provide increased juvenile salmonid rearing habitat, but will also reduce high flow impacts to homes and other improvements located adjacent to the river. The project will require extensive removal of riparian vegetation, excavation and removal of earth materials from the floodplain, and reshaping portions of the active river channel. Though the project is still in the planning phase, the TRRP’s partner on the project, Trinity County, has already received funding via the California Department of Fish and Game’s Coastal Salmon recovery program and a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. A public meeting for this project was held at the Weaverville library on February 8th. A public Draft EA/EIR for this project is expected to be available for review and comment in late May. The TRRP plans to implement the project during fall 2006.
The last rehabilitation project scheduled for 2006 is placement of gravel adjacent to the Trinity River fish hatchery in Lewiston in August. This project will require some vegetation removal and excavation along 1,800 feet of river, and placement of approximately 6,000 cubic yards of clean gravel into the channel. The project will place coarse sediment in the river that used to be provided naturally from upstream, prior to construction of the dams. Though fishing in the hatchery reach will be temporarily impacted by construction activities in August, it is expected that the system will quickly rebound as spawners will use the newly placed gravel starting in September 2006. For more information on the hatchery gravel project, contact Loren Everest of the U.S. Forest Service at 623-1754.