Wenatchee & Entiat River Habitat Restoration
Located in North Central Washington, the Wenatchee and Entiat subbasins stretch from their headwaters on the east slope of the Cascade Mountains to the Columbia River. Beloved for their varied beauty from rugged peaks to verdant valleys, theses watersheds serve as home to native plants and an abundance of wildlife, while also supporting a variety of activity from recreation to agriculture.
Historical land uses have altered function of stream ecosystems in these watersheds, threatening the conditions necessary for survival and persistence of several native salmonids. The impact of stream channelization, forest harvest, floodplain development, and water diversions has been compounded by the systematic removal of beaver—and their dam building—from these watersheds.
To reverse habitat degradation, Trout Unlimited, in partnership with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and other public agencies and private landowners, will establish several new family groups of beavers and implement beaver dam analogs (BDAs) throughout the Wenatchee and Entiat Subbasins.
Once perceived as a nuisance animal, beaver may prove to be a valued partner in the ability of communities to respond to flooding, drought, wildfire, and other natural phenomena that impact economies and ways of life.
Since beavers preferentially select locations where flow is constricted or where they can create or use something to anchor their structures, the altered watersheds prove difficult for dam building. Beaver dam analog (BDAs) have been successfully used to supplement or encourage natural beaver dam building while promoting fish passage and adapting to water and sediment flow. In addition to fostering salmonid habitat through development of complex habitats, beaver dams can improve water quality, increase groundwater storage, mitigate floods, reduce stream power, retain enriched sediment, and encourage floodplain reactivation.
* Project restores natural hydrologic conditions to facilitate improved capture and infiltration of surface water and groundwater recharge