Middle Fork John Day
In summer 2006, The Freshwater Trust launched the Middle Fork John Day River (MFJDR) Channel Relocation and Riparian Restoration Project, a multi-phase effort to increase stream length and complexity, restore natural floodplain and meadow function, and restore riparian habitat along 3.8 miles of the John Day River. During the early and mid-1900s, the MFJDR at the project site was straightened and diked in order to drain wet meadow floodplain habitat and create livestock pasture. This resulted in a higher stream energy system with reduced habitat diversity. By reconnecting the currently straightened river to its remnant historic channel and replanting the riparian area, The Freshwater Trust seeks to restore normal stream and riparian form and function to benefit spring Chinook and summer steelhead. And though the project is designed to benefit primarily these wild fish species, we expect American beaver, western meadowlark and Oregon swallowtail - all of which are present at the project site - to also benefit from planned aquatic, riparian and meadow restoration.
The Freshwater Trust’s partners include the U.S. Forest Service Malheur National Forest, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, a private landowner, the grazing permittee, The Nature Conservancy and Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. On-the-ground work began in summer 2009 and is scheduled to be completed in 2010.