Metolius River Restoration Project
TU is working to restore habitat and water quality for native redband, bull trout, salmon and steelhead habitat on central Oregon’s Metolius River, one of the state’s most popular fishing destinations. The Metolius supports one of the healthiest populations of bull trout in the lower 48 states. This popularity, unfortunately, has led to heavy trail and river use by anglers and recreationists which has resulted in eroded streambanks and trampled vegetation. As a result of the heavy use, there is increased sediment in the stream and the water quality has suffered, thus degrading spawning habitat for the river’s trout and salmon.
The river is popular with anglers, boaters and other recreationalists, but the heavy use has, over time, eroded the banks of the river and has destroyed plant life along the river.
Working with partners like the Deschutes National Forest, TU is working to restore a 15-mile stretch of the Deschutes to improve conditions for fish. Sediment is a problemand in some places, it literally smothers important trout spawning areas. Also, the lack of plants alongside the river reduces shade for fish and leads to warmer water temperatures which aren’t good for trout survival.
In addition to addressing sediment and planting new plants along the river, we’re also working to rebuild trails and to create specific entrances to the river specifically for boaters and anglers to use to allow teh river to recover.
We're also looking raise community awareness about the river and are engaging in a community-wide education campaign to let people know about the benefits of the river.
We’ve established an extremely successful educational program—the Deschutes Restoration Outreach Program (DROP)—to inspire and train adult volunteers about river stewardship and restoration, on the Metolius and across the watershed. DROP participants study stream ecology and are taught how to employ best restoration practices and proven techniques to repair local rivers and streams.