TU awarded four major NFWF grants for habitat restoration in upper Klamath River Basin


August 6, 2018

Trout Unlimited awarded four new grants for habitat restoration work in upper Klamath River Basin

Funding from National Fish and Wildlife Foundation will support restoration work in the Wood and Sprague Rivers and Threemile Creek

KLAMATH FALLS, OreTrout Unlimited (TU) announced today the award of four major grants from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) for projects in the upper Klamath River Basin that will restore and improve instream and riparian habitat and enhance migration for native fishes in this stronghold for native redband and bull trout.

Chrysten Lambert, director of TUs Oregon Program, said We are thrilled with the award of these grants, which total over $675,000. This funding recognizes the critical role TU continues to play in the upper Klamath in restoring and reconnecting coldwater habitat, and that our formula for success, based on building cooperative partnerships with ranchers, private landowners, and resource agencies, really works for everyone.

Lambert added that habitat restoration work typically involves employment of local contractors to accomplish design, construction and monitoring. So there is real benefit from this kind of funding for rural economies such as ours, she said.

Coldwater habitat in this region has been significantly disconnected over the past century. This loss of access to historic habitat has affected bull trout in particular, which are now listed as threatened. Restoration work under the new NFWF grants will significantly improve fish passage and other conditions that will help fish spawn, rear and migrate successfully. These projects will also help prepare the upper Klamath Basin for the return of salmon and steelhead to the watershed above Klamath Lake after four dams are removed downstream of the lake, beginning in 2020.

Specifically, the four NFWF grants are for water acquisition and channel restoration in the Threemile and Crane Creek drainage; fish screening on the Wood River; riparian habitat protection and enhancement on the Upper Sprague River; and installation of large wood structure (to improve habitat complexity) on the Wood and Sprague Rivers. These projects will reduce nutrient or sediment pollution, help stabilize water temperatures, improve instream flows to reduce disconnection of habitat for spawning, rearing and migration, and enhance stream channel and ecological function.

NFWF funding for the Upper Klamath supports efforts to restore water quality, water quantity, and the aquatic and terrestrial habitats for the benefit of fish, wildlife, and local communities. The twin goals of this funding are to restore and conserve resident populations of Lost River and shortnose suckers, bull trout and redband trout, and to foster actions that will lead to successful reintroduction of anadromous fish to the upper Klamath Basin. Since its creation by Congress in 1984, NFWF has become the nation’s largest conservation grant-maker, working with both the public and private sectors to protect and restore fish, wildlife, plants and habitats.

TU is the largest and oldest sportsmens organization dedicated to conserving and restoring trout and salmon and their watersheds in North America. TU has been doing successful habitat restoration for fifteen years in the upper Klamath Basin, initially through the Klamath Basin Rangeland Trust, which merged with TU in 2015.

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