Photo: Open Rivers Fund

Restoration

Healthy watersheds contain expansive streamside forests and rivers and streams that flow freely. Healthy watersheds produce cool, clean water. And healthy watersheds accommodate the high flow events during storms and during snowmelt by occupying side channels, streamside ponds, and low lying floodplain areas. Decades of land and water management and development have constrained many of these characteristics through the Rogue River Watershed Council’s area.

Rogue River Watershed Council identifies conditions in and along streams that limit habitat quality for fish and wildlife and water quality. We reach out to landowners and land managers to discuss these limiting factors, develop approaches to reduce or eliminate the impact, and implement restoration projects to address them.

How do we restore a stream?

Instream restoration includes the removal of fish passage barriers, placement of logs and boulders in the stream channel, and other activities aimed at increasing and enhancing fish habitat. Barriers such as dams and undersized culverts prevent fish from accessing important upstream reaches, which are often ideal spawning and rearing habitats. Removing these barriers not only improves fish habitat but has an effect on decreasing water temperature as well. Placing logs and boulders in the stream helps collect gravel and allows for deep pools to form where juvenile fish can hide from the hot summer sun.

The council works with landowners throughout the watershed to restore streamside habitat. Streamside restoration, including planting native trees and shrubs, benefits the stream as well as the landowner’s property. Deep-rooted trees and shrubs provide more shade for the stream and increase slope stability to help prevent erosion. Replacing blackberries and other invasives with a variety of native plants also increase the aesthetic quality of the property along the stream.

Learn more about our stream restoration work on Our Projects page »