Proposals for four river-restoration projects intended to improve conditions for endangered and threatened salmon in the Methow Valley have been submitted to Okanogan County for environmental review or permit exemptions.

Yakama Nation Fisheries is working on a project that would enhance fish habitat on the Twisp River. The project involves the construction of three engineered large wood structures that will help shore up a failing section of a levee that is causing bank erosion and loss of property. The wood structure will use logs between 18 and 24 inches in diameter secured by a steel cable.

The Yakama Nation’s second project on the Twisp River, the Mile 3 Enhancement Project, involves placing three engineered wood structures to improve fish habitat and stabilize an eroding bank. It would also create pools for fish. Fisheries managers have submitted a Joint Aquatic Resource Permit Application (JARPA) for an exemption from the county’s shorelines permits and fees for the project.

Yakama Nation Fisheries is also doing a project to improve fish habitat in Poorman Creek, which runs into the Twisp River, constructing two engineered wood structures to increase habitat complexity and provide places where fish can take refuge. Fisheries managers have also submitted a JARPA for this project.

The lower Twisp River supports spawning, rearing and migration habitat for spring Chinook, steelhead and bull trout, according to the Yakama Nation Fisheries’ description of the projects. The Fisheries plans to do construction this summer.

The Methow Salmon Recovery Foundation is doing a project on the Methow River to restore a side channel and improve the functioning of an adjacent floodplain, part of a larger effort to improve habitat for spring Chinook and steelhead. It involves the placement of three engineered wood structures. The foundation has submitted a JARPA for this project.

For more information or to comment on the projects, contact Okanogan County Senior Planner Charlene Schumacher at (509) 422-7113 or cschumacher@co.okanogan.wa.us. Information about the Yakama Nation projects is also available from Methow Project Biologist Jarred Johnson at 996-5005 or johj@yakamafish-nsn.gov. Comments about the Yakama’s large-wood levee project are due to Schumacher by Friday (May 9).