Grouse Creek Floodplain Restoration: Whole Valley Restoration for Coho Salmon
To address the dire impacts of accumulated anthropogenic impacts and climate change on Coho Salmon, and all riparian dependent species, the scale and scope of recovery efforts must increase. Moving from site scale to whole valley restoration with the goal of achieving Stage Zero conditions meet this imperative. The Klamath National Forest has identified the East Fork of the Scott River as a focus Watershed for restoration, and among the high priority actions is restoring Grouse Creek, which has been highly degraded by placer mining resulting in loss of floodplain connectivity and associated habitats. The streambed has severely incised, eliminating pools, spawning gravel, and vegetation necessary to provide shade to the stream, also lowering the water table of the former floodplain. As a result, fish have no refuge from high stream velocities and therefore cannot persist without access to missing or water habitats provided by side channels, oxbows and wetland terraces, all functions of accessible floodplains.