This project is located on the North and South Forks of Granite Creek approximately 6 miles northeast of Nordman, Idaho in the Washington portion of the Priest Lake Ranger District. Segments of these creeks are currently suffering from insufficient amounts of large wood. This limits critical spawning and rearing habitat for native salmonids, including the federally listed bull trout. Historically, logging practices required taking large wood out of creekbeds, the thought being that this was a clean-up method.
Stream adjacent roads are also contributing sediment to the Granite Creek system via surface erosion and dust. Hydrologically connected road segments are directly contributing sediment to the stream system via culverts and ditches.
Lack of wood in streams results in poor fish habitat and poor channel structure which can lead to catastrophic events in the creek system. The project will address the large wood issue by installing approximately 380 pieces of large wood (trees) in six reaches over 6 miles in the North and South Forks of Granite Creek. Trees will be taken from the adjacent riparian zone using skilled sawyers and handcrews. The project includes all the necessary environmental analysis and permitting needed to allow the project to be implemented on federally-managed land within the subbasin.
This project is being planned and implemented through a partnership between the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Idaho Panhandle National Forest and PCFC. Funding for the project is being provided through grants from the Salmon Recovery Funding Board, U.S. Fish and Wildlife (recovery initiative projects), the above agencies and PCFC.
Implementation involving in-water work may only occur between July 1 through Auguist 31 to protect other wildlife and aquatic species. The work will be performed during those months in both 2012 and 2013.
Update: July 26 – The Project is underway! Here are a couple of photos; more to come soon.
Photographer Nick Ivie and PCFC Executive Director Liz Johnson-Gebhardt took flight in a helicopter on September 7th to visually document the fish restoration structures on the North and South forks of Granite Creek. Over 3000 photos were taken. They will be compared to photos which will be taken during the 2nd monitoring flight next spring. These photos will help to evaluate the movement of the structures and their resulting habitat improvements.
In March 2013, the Granite Creek Large Wood Replenishment monitoring crew headed north from Nordman, Idaho to implement the Spring portion of the monitoring program. Read more, with photos, here.