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Case Study: Upper Grande Ronde River, Oregon

Case Study Summary

Background: Elevated Summer Water Temperatures

Overall Project Goal: Conduct an analysis for selecting techniques to restore riparian zone and lower instream temperatures to sustain a healthy coldwater ecosystem, including habitat for salmon.

Restoration Techniques and Parameters of Concern: See table below.

                       -----------Parameter of Concern-----------

Restoration Technique/   Stream      Salmon   Stability of   DO

Functional Attribute  Temperature Populations Stream Banks Levels

=============Riparian Zone Characterization Project==============

Classify riparian

     zone vegetation

     patterns               d           u           u         u

Classify stream

     channel morphology     d           u           u         u

Provide input for

     basin temperature

     model                  d           u           u         u

==================Temperature Modeling Project===================

Predict stream

     temperatures           d           u           u         u

Identify priority

     locations for

     restoration            d           u           u         u

u means that the restoration technique increases water quality parameter;
d means that the restoration technique decreases water quality parameter;
ud means that site-specific conditions can dictate increase or decrease in parameter;
o means that the restoration technique has a negligible effect on water quality parameter.

Highlight on Techniques to Address Elevated Summer Water Temperatures: Widespread alteration and removal of riparian vegetation has caused elevated summer water temperatures on the Upper Grande Ronde River, resulting in impaired ability of the river to sustain a healthy coldwater ecosystem, including annual salmon runs and resident salmonid populations. The initial phase of the restoration project has two components. In the first, data on riparian vegetation patterns and stream channel morphology are gathered for input into the basin temperature model; a GIS database is also created. In the second phase, the temperature model is used to identify priority locations for stream restoration by predicting stream temperatures under various scenarios. To date, several potential restoration projects have been identified.

For a more complete project description, including techniques to address additional parameters of concern, refer to Chapter 6.

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