200754100 - Reecer Creek Floodplain Restoration Project to support ecosystem function using build-in-the dry and 3 yrs revegetation to encourage channel dynamics, habitat formation and natural sediment management

Sponsor: South Central Washington Resource Conservation and Development

Short description: Restore 69ac of historic floodplain on City of Ellensburg land to increase channel length, complexity and habitat area, add high flow channels and backwater swales to support water quality, dissipate flood energy, increase rearing and spawning habitat.

Location: Columbia Plateau province, Yakima subbasin

Budgets: FY08: $400,307 | FY09: $28,000

Primary species:
Anadromous: Anadromous Fish
Anadromous: Chinook: All Populations
Anadromous: Steelhead: Middle Columbia River ESU (threatened)


ObjectiveDescriptionSubbasin planStrategies
1. Reconnect to Historic Floodplain Reconnect Reecer Creek channel to historic floodplain to increase channel complexity and available habitat area, particularly that suitable as juvenile salmonid rearing areas; to provide spawning habitat; to dissipate flood energy by incorporating high flow channels and swales which will decrease streambed and bank scouring and reduce sediment loading; support ground water-surface water interactions for water cooling and nutrient cycling; and overall support more natural sediment management and channel forming process. Yakima Table 11. Habitat Quantity. Table 12. Habitat Diversity: Work with cooperating public agencies through purchase...land use agreements to protect intact floodplain habitats and for restoration.
2. High Flow Channels and Swales High flow channels and swales will be installed to accommodate flood flows, dissipate flood energy and reduce water velocity; reduce bed and bank erosion, reduce turbidity, and allow for infiltration and filtration of flood waters. The larger footprint of the restored floodplain and new geometry will accommodate flood volumes with a reduced likelihood of loacl flooding at Dolarway Rd or into West Ellensburg. Yakima Table 12. Floodplain Restoration
3. Pond Habitat Locate ponds connected to main creek channel to provide a variety of available aquatic habitat, including deep, cool, slow moving areas. At least one pond will be able to be isolated (lowered elevation, gated or other barrier) from the main channel to allow for holding and reintroduction of hatchery raised coho juveniles. Table 12. Habitat Diversity Table 13. Temperature
4. Install Habitat Features Install habitat features to provide bank stability, streambed elevation control to allow for fish passage without scouring. These features and the channel geometry will allow the stream to move within the floodplain. The habitat features will include placement of boulders and large woody debris (LWD) to encourage bank stability an and dissipate stream flow energy. Create initial conditions of dynamic equilibrium (balanced sediment transport). Yakima Table 12. Habitat Diversity: Installation of in-channel LWD. Restore or protect function. Table 15. Channel Stability.
5. Revegetation The revegetation work will lead to bank stability from the rooting of the plants and will cool the stream as shade is provided. The rooting, tree trunks and grasses will also enhance sediment trapping in the stream and along the stream and swales during high flows. Revegetation work will be partially implemented with this grant and the remainder handled under a separate project through YTAHP and/or SRFB. Plantings will include native grasses, shrubs and trees in the floodplain and along riparian areas to provide soil stability, stream and ground shade, and habitat. Supplemental irrigation will be provided as needed, likely by the City of Ellensburg. Yakima Table 12. Habitat Diversity: Riparian restoration associated with all strategies. Table 13. Temperature
6. Setback Levee Construction The setback levee will be constructed in large part from the spoils of the new channel excavation. Final levee construction work is anticipated from additional YTAHP and/or SRFB and must be completed prior to introducing the creek to the new channel - anticipated to be two to three years after channel construction during which time the site will be revegetated and interim irrigation provided. Yakima Table 12. Habitat Diversity: Levee removal/reconfiguration. Table 15. Channel Stability. (levee setback)
7. Levee Modification (by others) The removal, breaching or other alteration of the approximately 0.7 miles (3,700 ft) of left (east) bank levee to allow the creek to occupy its historic floodplain will occur approximately three years after channel construction. This objective will be done under separate funding (YTAHP, SRFB or other) in coordination with the City of Ellensburg. Yakima Table 12. Stategies to Address habitat Diversity: Levee removal/reconfiguration. (Objective: Restore channel form and process by removal, relocation or alteration of levees, bridges, diversion dams.
8. Community Involvement This is a multi-dimensional and overall innovative project located near the developing town of Ellensburg, Washington and includes a habitat enhancement component, recreational trail development, and provides for educational opportunities. Concurrent with the habitat component, trails are being developed between the Irene Rinehart Riverfront Park along the Yakima River and Carey Lakes (~0.5 miles downstream of the project). The City of Ellensburg is negotiating an easement and developing a trail under I-90 that will connect the West Ellensburg Park and the Riverfront Park and Carey Lakes. The trails will be extended along the setback levee and where possible into the floodplain area on non-hardened trails. Central Washington University (CWU) is nearby and students will be encouraged to use the floodplain site as a research tool, particularly in the resource management masters program. Educational kiosks are anticipated to include a presentation of habitat restoration, salmon recovery, community expenditures and university involvement. For the last five years, local elementary/middle schools have incubated, hatched and released coho into Yakima River tributaries. This will provide an ideal release site as well as offer educational opportunities to students on tours and for science projects. Table 7. Institutional efficienty, vision, and values strategy



  • ISRP: Unranked
  • Council: Not fundable
  • BPA: Not fundable