Idaho Fish and Game personnel and landowners in the Lemhi River Valley have been working to restore the river to a more natural state, Fish and Game Fisheries Biologist Hunter Distad reports.
The goal is to create diverse habitat for fish at all life stages.
The Lemhi River historically included a large active floodplain that contained complex fish and wildlife habitat, Distad said. As the region was settled and developed, the historic floodplain was modified and separated from the river and the river was straightened and channelized. The result was a loss of riparian, side channel and instream habitats for fish.
Plans now call for creating braided channels, meanders, large woody debris structures and deep pools all to help re-establish the floodplain, Distad said.
A challenge is finding enough woody debris to create ideal habitat structures. Fish and Game acquired timber from fire breaks created in 2021 to limit growth of the Trail Creek and Mud Lick fires near Salmon. Fish and Game and Forest Service personnel relocated thousands of downed trees to the Lemhi River for a major project on the Eagle Valley Ranch. The project will realign the river channel, add side channels and expand the floodplain, Distad said. The woody debris will boost habitat for salmon and steelhead. Distad said the project will take several years to complete and more woody debris is needed to finish it.
Post a comment as anonymous
Watch this discussion.
Welcome to the discussion.
We welcome comments, however there are some guidelines:
Keep it Clean: Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexual language. Don't Threaten: Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated. Be Truthful: Don't lie about anyone or anything. Be Nice: No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading. Be Proactive: Report abusive posts and don’t engage with trolls. Share with Us: Tell us your personal accounts and the history behind articles.