Writers Team Members


Habitat Areas and Quality



Download 2.86 Mb.
Page12/41
Date conversion14.06.2018
Size2.86 Mb.
1   ...   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   ...   41

Habitat Areas and Quality

Fish


Salmonid habitat in the Umatilla subbasin has been considerably reduced over the last century. Since the late 1800’s, habitat has been fragmented and degraded from increasing land use and disturbance (Oregon Department of Environmental Quality 2000). Approximately 70% of the Umatilla River has been levied or channeled (observation, aerial photography, CTUIR habitat survey), effectively disconnecting major portions from the floodplain (Shaw and Sexton 2000). Similarly, it is estimated that 70% of all Umatilla tributaries are in need of riparian improvement (Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife 1990).

Extensive vegetation removal and disturbance associated with urban development, cultivation, forestry, transportation corridors, flood control and navigation has occurred and continues to occur in the subbasin (Oregon Department of Environmental Quality 2000). This results in an aquatic landscape which suffers from inadequate streamflows, excessive temperatures, structural impediments, inadequate riparian corridors, simplified and reduced instream habitat, and excessive erosion (e.g., CTUIR 1996; Crabtree 1996; Shaw and Sexton 2000; ODFW 1990). These factors have jeopardized stronghold habitats, reduced the number of adult spawners and have contributed to decreased smolt-to-adult returns in anadromous species. According to the Oregon Statewide Assessment for the Umatilla River Basin, “[t]he most commonly cited causes of beneficial use degradation were vegetation removal along streambanks, removal of thermal cover over streams, and surface erosion. The land uses most commonly cited in connection with these problems were irrigated and non-irrigated agriculture, grazing, and associated vegetation management within grazing and agriculture” (Oregon Department of Environmental Quality 1988; Purser, 1994). Habitat alterations have often resulted in negative fish and wildlife habitat impacts due to lack of enforcement of environmental regulatory requirements. Examples of regulations include Section 404 Fill and Removal Permits, Water Quality Standards, local land use planning regulations and ESA Take Prohibitions.

Despite these problems, limited high quality salmonid habitat continues to persist in the subbasin. Habitat conditions generally follow an elevational gradient, with higher quality habitat in the upper portion of the subbasin, while lowland portions contain the most degraded habitat. Subwatersheds with high to moderate-high quality habitat are shown in Table 30.

Table 30. Characterization of the “best remaining salmonid habitat” in the Umatilla subbasin (Umatilla National Forest 2000).



Subwatersheds with high quality salmonid habitat

Subwatersheds with moderate-high quality habitat

Lower North Fork Umatilla

Ryan Creek

Upper North Fork Umatilla

Shimmiehorn Creek

Buck Creek

Camp Creek

Middle North Fork Meacham

Owsley Creek

Upper North Fork Meacham




Pot Creek




Bear Creek



The Umatilla National Forest (2000) recommends that the lower North Fork of the Umatilla, Coyote Creek, upper North Fork of the Umatilla, upper North Fork of Meacham Creek, Pot Creek, Ryan Creek and Bear Creek be managed as salmonid refugia because of their high quality habitat. They also suggest that Buck Creek, Shimmiehorn Creek, Camp Creek and Owsly Creek could provide high quality habitat given time and restoration efforts.


Comparisons of habitat variable averages (Table 31) show that woody debris number and volume per 100m of channel rank lowest among all variables, and that width:depth ratios rank third lowest (Contor et al. 1995-1998). In addition to other factors, the poor width:depth ratios of many stream segments in the Umatilla subbasin may be due to the absence of habitat-forming and bank-stabilizing woody material. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife summarized key habitat parameters within the Umatilla Basin and compared those values to measurable benchmarks (Table 32).

Table 31. General habitat conditions throughout the Umatilla subbasin. Data provided and summarized from surveys conducted by the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation over the years 1992-1997 (Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation 1994; Contor et al 1995; 1996; 1997; 1998).


Stream Segment

(RM)

Survey

Year

General

Condition1

Habitat Feature Ranking

Pool Area (%)

Dry

Channel (%)

Width:

Depth

Fines

(%)

Open sky (%)

Canopy Closure (%)

Woody Debris

(#/100m)

Woody Debris (m3/100m)

Buckaroo


1992-93

1.5 (poor-fair)

Fair

Poor

Poor

Good

Fair

Poor

Poor

Poor

Meacham

1992-93

2.0 (fair)

Good

Poor

Poor

Good

Poor

Poor

Poor

Poor

Boston Canyon

1992-93

2.1 (fair)

Fair

Fair

Fair

Good

Good

Good

Poor

Poor

Boston Canyon trib.


1992-93

2.0 (fair)

Fair

Fair

Poor

Good

Good

Good

Poor

Poor

Line

1992-93

2.1 (fair)

Fair

Fair

Fair

Good

Good

Good

Poor

Poor

Umatilla (RM 56.1-81.8)

1993-94

1.2 (poor)

Fair

Fair

Poor

Fair

Poor

Poor

Poor

Poor


Squaw

1993-94

1.7 (poor-fair)

Fair

Poor

Poor

Good

Fair

Good

Poor

Poor

Camp

1993-94

2.1 (fair)

Fair

Fair

Fair

Fair

Fair

Good

Poor

Good

Camp trib.

1993-94

1.8 (poor-fair)

Fair

Poor

Fair

Good

Fair

Good

Poor

Poor


Umatilla (RM 81.8-89.6)

1994-95

1.6 (poor-fair)

Fair

Fair

Poor

Fair

Good

Poor

Poor

Poor

Moonshine

1994-95

1.5 (poor-fair)

Fair

Poor

Fair

Poor

Good

Poor

Poor

Poor

Mission

1994-95

1.3 (poor)

Fair

Poor

Poor

Poor

Good

Poor

Poor


Poor

Cottonwood

1994-95

1.5 (poor-fair)

Fair

Poor

Fair

Poor

Good

Poor

Poor

Poor

Coonskin

1994-95

1.6 (poor-fair)

Fair

Fair

Fair

Poor

Good

Poor

Poor

Poor

Umatilla (RM 0-56.1)

1995-96

1.8 (poor-fair)

Good

Good

Fair

Fair

N/A

Poor


Poor

Poor

Average condition of habitat features:

2.1

1.6

1.5

1.8

2.3

1.8

1.0

1.1

1 General habitat condition was derived using an average of the eight categorical habitat feature ratings (poor, fair, good) expressed in numerical format (1,2,3) respectively.

Table 32. Summary of key habitat parameters relative to benchmarks developed by the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife Aquatic Inventories Program. Habitat data was collected by the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife Aquatic Inventories Program from 1992 through 1996.




Stream

Pool

Area

Pool Frequency

Complex

Pools


Wood

% Shade

W/D

Ratio

% Silt/Sand

>12m

<12m

>1.5%

<1.5%

Desirable

>35

5-8

>2.5

>20

>50

>60

<10

<8

<12

Undesirable

<10

>20

<1.0

<10

<40

<50

>30

>15


>25

Upper Meacham

14

NA

NA

5




46

32

22

3

N. Fk. Meacham

11

NA

NA

10

45

57

32

11




Beaver Creek

79

NA

NA

22




50

20

61

40

Little Beaver

10

NA

NA

13




65

NA

77




Mill Creek

5

NA

NA

14


67


25

28




Sheep Creek

2

NA

NA

17




75

17

56




Twomile Creek

19

NA

NA

9




55

15

76

61

N. Fk. McKay

10

21

0

6

49

71

39

17




Bell Cow

4

22

0

9

72

72

34

14




Calamity

5

26

0

2




62

28


3




Darr

5

32

0

3




78

17

16




Lost Pin

NA

55

0

10




73

21

17




Rail

4

40

0

3




56

28

17




Wood Hollow

3

49

0

3




54

26

8




East Birch

9

NA

NA

2

33

64

29

3


6

West Birch

10

8

0

3




47

29

15




Definition of Parameters (for further definition see Moore et al. 1997):

Pool Area: Percentage of wetted stream channel identified as pool habitat.

Pool Frequency: The distance between pools in bankfull channel widths

Complex: The percentage of pools determined to be complex.

Wood: Pieces of wood per 100 meters of stream channel

% Shade: Percentage of canopy closure for stream widths wider or narrower than 12 meters

Width/Depth Ratio: The ratio of bankfull width to mean depth.

% Silt/Sand: The percentage of wetted channel substrate classified as silt and sand for channel gradients greater than or less than 1.5%.

In 1984, the CTUIR established riparian area restoration priorities, totaling more than 130 miles (Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife 1990; Shaw 1996-1997). The following are priority streams for restoration:


  • Meacham and lower North Fork Meacham Creeks

  • South Fork Umatilla River and Thomas Creek

  • Mainstem Umatilla River (Meacham Creek to North and South Forks of Umatilla River)

  • Squaw Creek

  • East Fork, West Fork and mainstem Birch Creek
  • Buckaroo Creek


  • Ryan Creek

  • Mainstem Umatilla River (Pendleton to Meacham Creek)

  • Spring Creek and Shimmiehorn Creek

Relative habitat quality in the Umatilla subbasin will be discussed using eight broad habitat parameters. These include instream flow, water temperature, water quality (chemical), passage condition (structural impediments), channel condition (bank stability, sinuosity, channelization), instream habitat diversity, sedimentation and riparian condition. Based on similarities in land use and stream character, the subbasin was divided into thirds. The lower third includes the mainstem Umatilla River and all associated tributaries from its confluence with the Columbia River to McKay Creek (referred to hereafter as “below McKay”). The middle third consists of the mainstem and tributaries from McKay Creek upstream to Meacham Creek (referred to hereafter as “McKay to Meacham”), while the upper third consists of everything above Meacham (referred to hereafter as “above Meacham”).





1   ...   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   ...   41


The database is protected by copyright ©hestories.info 2017
send message

    Main page