The Yakama Nations Fisheries are planning two habitat-enhancement projects on the Twisp River.
The Newby Narrows Fish Habitat Enhancement Project is at river mile 10 on the Twisp River, about 8.5 miles west of town. The intent is to enhance a 1,200-foot-long side channel by installing six buried log structures and three wood jams, and placing 15 whole trees. Plans also call for planting 6 acres of riparian vegetation.
A survey done in 2015 determined there are 12.5 acres of wetlands adjacent to the project. In the vicinity of the project, the river meanders through irrigated and non-irrigated fields, forest and planted lawns.
The largest impact would be where the side channel is being constructed. That work will require excavation and removal of native material, including grass, shrubs, cottonwoods and evergreens. Woody material will be salvaged and incorporated into the constructed habitat features in the side channel.
The side-channel project is intended to create a more-complex and higher-quality habitat for endangered and threatened salmon, with rougher areas for diversity and micro-habitats, according to the application submitted to Okanogan County.
The work will occur on private land and on property owned by the Yakama Nations and the U.S. Forest Service.
The work would be done from July 1 through Nov. 31.
The Twisp Ponds Left Bank Channel Restoration Project will create 1,400 feet of new and enhanced side channels for juvenile salmon and steelhead. It will also restore native riparian vegetation with cottonwoods, willows and shrubs.
The Twisp Ponds, located about 1 mile west of town, have been undergoing restoration as fish and wildlife habitat for almost 10 years, according to the application submitted to the county. This work would be done on the north side of the Twisp River.
To restore the channel, plans call for creating a hole in existing riprap and in an existing berm so that the channel will have water year-round. Side channels would be excavated with heavy equipment.
Most of the project area is abandoned pastureland. Woody debris removed during construction will be incorporated as fish habitat.
The work will be done between July and September, with vegetation planting in October.
Both projects are intended to provide better habitat and conditions for three listed fish species — steelhead, spring Chinook and bull trout.
The Okanogan County planning director has determined neither project would have a significant or adverse environmental impact.
People can comment on either project to Charlene Schumacher, a natural resource senior planner in the Okanogan County Planning Department, at email@example.com until April 13. For more information, contact Schumacher at (509) 422-7113.