passage barrier data

The South Fork John Day watershed contains numerous tributary streams that serve as spawning and rearing habitat for federally listed Mid-Columbia Wild Summer Steelhead, resident Columbia River trout and juvenile spring Chinook Salmon. These tributaries form the bulk of the high quality rearing habitat in the watershed due to the South Fork's muddy flows in spring and high water temperatures in summer. Access for spawning and migration, feeding, predator avoidance, and thermal refuge are all vital aspects of the habitat.

Unfortunately many potential spawning and rearing areas are blocked by fish barriers in the form of road culverts, stream head-cuts, rock check dams, boulder cascades and dry sections of stream channel. Some barriers block all fish migration (full barriers) or block only juveniles (partial barriers). The South Fork John Day Watershed Council is committed to correcting these barriers, and performed a survey in 2016-17 to locate, measure and prioritize all barriers. The amount of blocked habitat in these 3 streams is significant and this data clearly indicates that barriers are affecting the viability of this steelhead population. It is entirely possible by correcting these barriers that steelhead population viability goals can be met in the South Fork John Day and someday remove the federal listing of “Threatened.”

The full report can be read here.