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Yankee Fork Salmon River Restoration 2013 Water Quality Data

Data Categories Dissolved Oxygen
Specific Conductance
Dates of Data 2013 TO 2013
Data Set Status In work
Data Set Update Schedule Annually
Date Data Set Published on StreamNet Data Store 01-30-2014
Project Name & Number 2002-059-00
Purpose of Data Set The goal of the Yankee Fork Dredge Tailings Restoration Project is to restore natural river channel characteristics, floodplain function, hydraulic and sediment regimes, and aquatic habitat within the dredged reach of the YFSR, initially by redistributing dredge tailings piles from the floodplain. Restoring the YFSR, historically a major Chinook salmon producer, to natural conditions will create a healthy, functioning riparian community providing numerous benefits to fish and wildlife.

The Yankee Fork Restoration Project is working to improve floodplain/riparian zones along the dredge sections of the Yankee Fork Salmon River (YFSR). Approximately six miles of stream habitat on private land on the YFSR have been severely altered by dredge -mining (1938-1952), eliminating much of the natural meander pattern of the stream and associated in-stream habitat, and riparian vegetation and function. The altered stream corridor consists of unconsolidated and un-vegetated dredge tailings, which have increased sedimentation of spawning gravels and rearing pools. The mainstem YFSR has down-cut, causing upslope instability, also affecting many tributary streams. As a result of the extensive dredge mining, a complete re-channeling of lower portions of the Yankee Fork has occurred along with the deposition of extensive unconsolidated dredge piles. This section of the river has been widened and the channel straightened compared to pre-dredging conditions. The substrate has been severely altered and is now dominated by boulders and cobbles with few spawning gravels. The historic floodplain can no longer be accessed and the riparian zone has been severely altered. Following dredge mining, the Yankee Fork road was rebuilt over the dredge tailings. This road is the primary public thoroughfare to the Yankee Fork drainage, and provides access for popular seasonal recreational activities, and also to the jointly-administered USFS and State of Idaho "Land of the Yankee Fork" State Park and Historical Area established for the interpretation of historic mining in this area of Idaho. The road also provides access to an on-going large-scale open pit gold mine and to private holdings and residences within the drainage.

The goal of the Yankee Fork Dredge Tailings Restoration Project is to restore natural river channel characteristics, floodplain function, hydraulic and sediment regimes, and aquatic habitat within the dredged reach of the YFSR. Restoring the YFSR, historically a major Chinook salmon producer, to natural conditions will create a healthy, functioning riparian community providing numerous benefits to fish and wildlife. Expected outcomes include benefits to anadromous salmonids through a healthy, functioning floodplain and riparian community, an increase in spawning and rearing habitat for salmonids, an increase in instream habitat diversity, and upslope stabilization.

The Yankee Fork, one of the larger watersheds within the upper Salmon River, is a large stream with diversity of habitats, availability of low gradient stream channel reaches, aquatic productivity, and a remnant spawning and rearing population, make the Yankee Fork a potential important Chinook drainage within the upper Salmon River subbasin. Snake River stocks of Chinook salmon have used the Yankee Fork and its tributaries for spawning and rearing long before human settlements or mining within the watershed. Every summer the Bannock Tribe would camp at the mouth of Ramey Creek to harvest spawning salmon. Because of the strong historical fish populations, habitat capability must have been high to support the different species' life histories. More recently, Snake River Chinook salmon populations have suffered direct mortality associated with hydropower operations of on the Columbia River and the lower Snake River. In addition, habitat degradation, introduction of exotic species, hatchery supplementation, and instream flow diversions have induced additive pressures on the population as a whole. Due to the decline of this species, Snake River spring/summer salmon were listed under the Endangered Species Act as threatened on April 22, 1992 (57 FR 42529), and the Yankee Fork is classified as critical habitat (57 FR 14653). Until passage problems are resolved, the resiliency and persistence of remaining wild Chinook salmon stocks will be largely dependent on the quality and diversity of remaining stream habitats. All remaining populations and habitats for Chinook salmon are critical to the persistence and recovery of this species.
In accordance with the Fish and Wildlife Program goals, this project will benefit the biological needs of salmon, steelhead, and bull trout and protect other native fish and wildlife species by improving habitat conditions in the Yankee Fork Salmon River. This project will involve cooperative habitat protection and improvement with private landowners; majority of the land is owned by Simplot, Inc. These priva
Summary / Abstract 2013 water quality data for Yankee Fork Salmon River, West Fork Yankee Fork, Pond Series outlets
Broad Biological Groups n/a
Location Yankee Fork Salmon River
West Fork Yankee Fork
Pond Series 1-4
NPCC Subbasins (2001 Subbasins) Provincial (Mountain Snake/Salmon)
Keywords water quality, sonde, dissolved oxygen, pH, conductivity, turbidity, temperature
Lead Person and Organization That Created the Data Set Shoshone-Bannock Tribes
Other Participating Organizations Funding provided by Bonneville Power Administration
Contact Person for Questions About the Data Name:  Josh Gable
Organization:  Shoshone-Bannock Tribes
Address:  Shoshone-Bannock Tribes P.O.Box 306
Fort Hall, ID  83203
Phone:  208-241-3385
email:  Send a note to addressed for jgable.
Broad Category of Methods Field
Data Collection Methods YSI 6600 Multi-Parameter Water Quality Monitor
File Formats Microsoft Excel
Data structure description See data set files.
URL where updated data may be available
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