Sevenmile Creek Flow Restoration
The Klamath River Basin, covering more than 12,000 square miles in southern Oregon and northern California, is considered one the most important waterfowl areas in North America. It is home to six National Wildlife Refuges and supports more than 430 species of wildlife. Extreme over allocation of water resources in the upper Klamath River Basin has resulted in inadequate stream flows and the degradation and/or loss of critical riparian and aquatic habitat.
Historical water use in this area has led to the diversion of the entire flow from the upper reaches of Sevenmile Creek, resulting in the complete dewatering of two miles of the stream and limiting fish access to some of the most critical, intact habitat in the stream system. This dewatering also prevents high quality, cold, clear water from flowing down the remaining 17 miles of Sevenmile Creek to areas located in the National Wildlife Refuge.
Since 2004, the Klamath Basin Rangeland Trust has tested the results of improving flows in Sevenmile Creek. Keeping water in the stream has improved habitat and provided a critical migratory corridor for endangered and threatened species. Through habitat monitoring, there has been a demonstrated linkage between keeping water flow in stream and improvements to fish habitat. With increased flows, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has reported dramatic increases in the occurrence of Red-band trout.
This project restores approximately 1.2 billion gallons of water per year to a critical and previously dewatered stream system.
* Project supports voluntary transactions to change, reduce or stop water use – either temporarily or permanently – to protect or restore water for environmental benefit