IMA has been working with the Cascade Columbia Fisheries Enhancement Group, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service since 2013 to design a stream restoration project geared towards Chinook salmon and Steelhead trout habitat.   The project is located on a side channel of the Methow River, a tributary to the Columbia River on the eastern slope of Washington’s Cascade Mountains.  IMA collected all necessary field data, and engineered a design to address project goals and objectives.  In addition to design work, IMA's role is to lead the project through stakeholder coordination and design team collaboration.  Flow in the side channel is limited to groundwater inputs and occasional overland flow when the river exceeds bankfull discharge. Fish passage into and throughout the side channel is limited by overly-widened channel dimensions.  The intent of the design is to mimic natural processes that occur when side channels are disconnected from main stem rivers.  These processes include sedimentation, wetland vegetation colonization and channel narrowing.  In addition, the Methow River watershed is limited in off-channel juvenile rearing habitat, and this site is one of the best opportunities in the area to provide this critical habitat.  The main design goal is to improve and increase over-winter habitat for juvenile Chinook salmon and Steelhead trout.  Interconnected goals include spawning habitat development, restoring riparian diversity, and floodplain improvements all within FEMA no-rise requirements of floodway zone work.  The project is currently being permitted with anticipated construction in 2016.

60% Draft Design - Grading Plan

60% Draft Design - Grading Plan

60% Draft Design - Planting Plan

60% Draft Design - Planting Plan

Existing conditions: overly widened channel provides little cover for Chinook Salmon and Steelhead trout

Existing conditions: overly widened channel provides little cover for Chinook Salmon and Steelhead trout

Existing conditions: stagnant water only supporting algeal growth

Existing conditions: stagnant water only supporting algeal growth