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High Flows benefit fish, wildlife, and streams

During the end of 2022, we received two significant precipitation events, which resulted in the reconnected secondary (side) channel receiving flow at the South Fork Little Butte Creek RM 6.2 project.


Secondary channel, South Fork Little Butte Creek RM 6.2 project. Credit: SeaRunMedia

Seasonal (side) channels offer lower water velocity and spawning opportunities for salmon and trout.

Adult Coho Salmon and summer and winter steelhead can use flowing winter/ spring side channel as spawning grounds. The lower water velocities and large wood placement are advantageous for them as well. We are happy to report that we have found redds (nests) of adult fish, likely Coho Salmon, during our recent monitoring survey on January 3rd, 2023!






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The graphs below display how stream flows changes during rain events!




Example of when juvenile fish seek refuge in secondary (side) channels. This is actual instantaneous flow data from the Oregon Dept of Water Resources stream gage on South Fork Little Butte upstream of the restoration project (12/22/2022 – 01/04/2023). The current flow is at 28.5 cubic feet/ second (CFS) at the farthest right side of the blue line.




Example of when adult fish complete spawning activity. This is actual instantaneous flow data from the Oregon Dept of Water Resources stream gage on South Fork Little Butte upstream of the restoration project (12/22/2022 – 01/04/2023). The current flow is at 28.5 cubic feet/ second (CFS) at the farthest right side of the blue line.

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