Jack Creek Restoration

The Jack Creek Restoration project aims to restore streambank condition, floodplain function, and spawning and rearing habitat for steelhead, Chinook, interior redband and westslope cutthroat.  Restoration will be achieved by restoring stream processes in Jack Creek, adding large wood to the stream, revegetating the stream banks and floodplain, relocating nearly one mile of road, and restoring floodplain function in the footprint of the old road.

The project is located in the lowest two miles of Jack Creek, above its confluence with the North Fork Teanaway River at RM 5.9.  Click here for a map

Jack Creek and its contributing watershed have been subject to historic railroad logging, road building, farming and cattle grazing that have combined over many decades to degrade the channel and floodplain.  The contemporary channel is entrenched or incised into what was once a much wider and wetter valley bottom with intermittent stringer meadow habitats.
The goals of this project are to:
  1. slow streambank erosion,
  2. restore floodplain function,
  3. improve complex rearing habitat using imported large wood material and
  4. enhance spawning habitat in two miles of Jack Creek.

The project is divided into two reaches. Reach 1 is from the confluence of the NF Teanaway up to the county road; Reach 2 is from the county road up to approximately RM 2.0. The entire project area is located on land owned by American Forest Holdings, LLC, and managed by American Forest Land Company, LLC.

The USDA Forest Service relocated 0.9 mile of FS Road 9738 in August of 2011 and 2012.  Mid-Columbia Fisheries will work in concert with the road relocation to fully restore the streambanks and floodplain in the footprint of the old road alignment.  Reach 1 work was completed in summer 2012.

The project is supported by the Yakima Tributary Access and Habitat Project (YTAHP), the USDA Forest Service, Overlake Fly Fishing Club, Mid-Columbia Fisheries Enhancement Group, the National Forest Foundation, US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Salmon Recovery Funding Board, and the WA Department of Ecology.

Interfluve completed an assessment of restoration alternatives in lower Jack Creek in December, 2010, and Herrera created draft permit-level plans for Reach 2 in April, 2011.  A small working group reviewed those plans in the field in May, 2011, and Herrera prepared a memo summarizing their revised recommendations. 

Jack Creek construction photos, summer & fall 2012:

Restoration at Jack Creek was completed in summer 2012.

Reach 1 project objectives included reducing channel incision and enhancing shallow groundwater storage. Approximately 850 feet of an old stream channel (the channel abandoned in the early 1990s) was re-graded so that it will become the primary channel in summer months. This channel includes more mature riparian cover in the upper section. Floodplain roughness and complexity was achieved by planting 600 native trees and shrubs across much of the 20 acres that encompass most of the historic stream traces. Large wood was also added to the old stream channel. As the stream avulses in the future, it will encounter live and downed trees throughout the floodplain.

Reach 2 project work consisted of relocating an existing 0.9 miles of Forest Service Road #9738 out of the valley bottom. Relocating this section of the road improves hydrologic connection through the former road prism that feeds existing valley bottom wetland areas, reduces long-term road related sediment, reduces or eliminates off road vehicle soil disturbance and improves riparian and habitat conditions where the road is immediately adjacent to Jack Creek. Log jams were also installed in areas of Jack Creek that had no woody riparian vegetation or lateral roughness to slow erosion rate.