Much of the technical and cost-share assistance we provide to landowners has a common goal of improving water quality.
These photographs from several different projects we have completed demonstrate the process of restoring a damaged riparian area.
When streambanks erode, silt enters the stream, degrading the habitat for fish and other aquatic species. The eroded banks in this late summer photo show the effects of the high spring flow.
We have assisted several landowners in the past few years with streambank stabilization. Here is an illustration of one method of strengthening a streambank: anchoring large woody debris (LWD) into the bank. This helps prevent erosion during periods of high water.
Once the streambank is stabilized, a fence will be constructed (set back from the stream) to keep livestock from damaging the streambank.
After a streambank is stabilized and fenced to keep livestock out, often an alternate watering source is provided for livestock.
Repairing and Replacing Fish Passage Barriers
Another important water-related conservation issue we have addressed is the removal of fish passage barriers. Many fishbearing streams have barriers, including culverts such as this one, which block the movement of fish. It is estimated that as many as 40,000 such fish passage barriers may exist on Washington streams.
We recently helped a landowner replace a culvert in order to provide passage for fish to the upper reaches of the stream. Much of the rock for this project came from the site.
With funding from the Washington Recreation and Conservation Office's Family Forest Fish Passage Program, along with in-kind match contribution from the landowner, a sturdy bridge was built across the creek. Fish now have an unobstructed trip upstream.