Studies have shown that the upper Willamette River is critically lacking in side-channel habitat for native fish rearing and that reconnecting and restoring flow to side channels is critical to improving over-wintering habitat for imperiled native fish species. This project, led by The Nature Conservancy, focuses on restoring a natural, historic side channel complex along the Middle Fork Willamette river and allowing natural river flow to access the side channel area for the first time in decades. The project has restored natural flow to 7,200 linear feet of newly restored habitat, allowing a minimum 50 cubic feet per second of flow from the Middle Fork Willamette River to enter a newly restored channel complex perennially. The project provides critical over-winter rearing habitat that has been largely removed from the main stem Willamette and lower Middle Fork Willamette Rivers.
* Project restores natural hydrologic conditions to facilitate improved capture and infiltration of surface water and groundwater recharge