Buffalo Flats Floodplain Restoration – The USWCD is collaborating with landowners and the Bureau of Reclamation to design and implement floodplain restoration on a private property located east and adjacent to the City of Union, Oregon. The project encompasses 268 acres of floodplain and pasture and includes reaches of Catherine Creek and Little Creek. Detailed project information and updates are provided at a dedicated website found at buffalo-flats.org.
Catherine Creek River Mile 38 Fish Habitat Restoration – The USWCD has been working for many years with landowners to implement conservation and restoration projects along the first 3 miles of Catherine Creek downstream of Union, Oregon. The CC-38 Habitat Restoration Project (named for its location at River Mile 38) is located in this reach on a private farm. The landowners have an interest in maintaining a balance between healthy riparian conditions while continuing a successful farming and ranching operation. Specifically, on this property, several areas of streambank are unstable and creating erosion that is a concern to the landowner and impacts fish habitat conditions. Throughout 2020 the District worked with the landowner and an engineering firm to produce construction-ready designs.
The project design for CC-38 is intended to benefit Endanger Species Act (ESA)-listed fish species and improve natural stream function. The CC-38 reach of Catherine Creek has documented some of the highest densities of overwintering Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha). The Grande Ronde Subbasin Plan (NPCC 2005) lists several factors limiting the success of those ESA-listed fish; the most important being a lack of habitat diversity with a low amount of holding pools and large wood in the channel. In addition, high water temperatures and sedimentation also pose problems. Considering these limitations, project elements were developed and include:
• Installation of large wood structures
• Reduction of streambank erosion and sedimentation
• Maintenance and enhancement of existing fish habitat conditions
• Additional seeding and planting of riparian plant species
The CC-38 Restoration Project was constructed during the summer of 2022 and will continue to be monitored for effectiveness.
The Red Mill Reach, Catherine Creek River Mile 38.5 Restoration Project – This project area is located directly west and downstream of Union, Oregon and includes a reach of Catherine Creek that flows through several privately-owned agricultural properties. The USWCD has teamed with the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) to investigate opportunities in this area to improve water quality and quantity and restore aquatic habitat conditions. The project is organized into three stages that include 1) irrigation upgrades, 2) stream channel and floodplain restoration, and 3) riparian protection and conservation.
Free Willow, Willow Creek Fish Passage Improvement –
Elmer Dam Fish Passage Improvement –
Little Creek LC5 and LC6 Fish Passage Improvement –
Little Creek LC2, LC3, and LC4 Fish Passage Improvement –
Dry Creek Aiwohi-Cisco Fish Habitat Restoration –