[env-trinity] Coarse sediment project

Jay_Glase at nps.gov Jay_Glase at nps.gov
Thu Feb 3 08:09:27 PST 2005

Hi everybody - how are things out there these days?  Hope you're all
staying dry, although it's a great time of year to put on a mask and
snorkel and get in the river!

Sorry, but I just have to chime in and clarify a couple of things re the
message below.  I hope that folks have learned that the so called "side
channels" were in large part a construction experiment with varying degrees
of what some might call success and others failure.  We shouldn't have
expected that all those channels would flow year round, just as we wouldn't
expect the floodplain of the river to be flooded year round - and some
people didn't expect that.   Many of the side channels ended up functioning
similar to the way they would in a naturally flowing river - as high flow
channels, during the time when limited habitat is most needed.  Some of
them actually performed well as both spawning and rearing channels, if only
for a short time before reverting back to high flow channels.  But at least
they were once again functioning as high flow channels during moderate
floods.  A lot was learned during the time that Byron is talking about

And there were more than a few projects that had some design and thought
put into them with gravel and cobble actually placed in specific areas to
take advantage of channel meander and expected thalweg flow.  The second
channel upstream of the one Byron mentioned below had spawning adults in it
three to four months after it was constructed.  It also had the highest
population estimate for chinook fry of any side channel we ever monitored.
This was most likely because of the gravel and cobble that was placed
there.  And yes, it was rock from the Trinity basin.  Of course, the river
decided to add another six feet or so of gravel to the channel during the
winter of 1995, so it only had water during high flows after that.  But
with an estimate of somewhere around 13,000 fry produced in that channel
the previous spring, and with moderate flows once again able to flood that
area, I wouldn't call it a complete failure.  It just performed differently
than some folks wanted it to.  Which is pretty much what that river always
does.  It doesn't want to do what you want it to do, so be prepared to be
disappointed with whatever projects you take on, but don't forget to look
for some of the positive things that will undoubtedly be there too and take
the opportunity to learn from that.  And Byron, keep on questioning things
like you do so well to keep people on their toes!
Finally, if anyone is interested in seeing chinook, coho and steelhead
juveniles at the same time and in the same place, put on a mask and snorkel
next spring and swim through the salt flat side channel.  They'll be there
- that is, if that channel is flowing.


Jay Glase
Great Lakes Area Fishery Biologist
Isle Royale National Park
800 E. Lakeshore Dr.
Houghton, MI 49931

|         |           "Byron " <bwl3 at comcast.net>        |
|         |           Sent by:                           |
|         |           env-trinity-bounces at velocipede.dcn.|
|         |           davis.ca.us                        |
|         |                                              |
|         |                                              |
|         |           02/02/2005 11:02 PM PST            |
|         |                                              |
  |                                                                                                                               |
  |       To:       "'Kevin Wolf'" <kjwolf at dcn.davis.ca.us>, "'Sid & Arline'" <samickelson at snowcrest.net>,                        |
  |        <env-trinity at velocipede.dcn.davis.ca.us>, "'Loren Everest'" <leverest at fs.fed.us>                                       |
  |       cc:       "'Carl Mesick'" <cmcfish at innercite.com>, (bcc: Jay Glase/Omaha/NPS)                                           |
  |       Subject:  RE: [env-trinity] Coarse sediment project                                                                     |

Gravel used to come from Clear Creek below Redding.  It was contaminated
with mercury, but was washed a couple of times (or whatever) and was said
to be "clean."   Trinity gravel has been used most recently.

It was obvious that it took anadromous fish several years, if then, to
spawn or otherwise to inhabit areas where imported gravel was located
within the river.  That, however, also was in the days when gravel was
dumped and no high flows were available to move it, to spread it and/or to
send it downstream.  The gravel would just sit where it was dumped until
flows ultimately increased and moved it.

The same situation prevailed in constructed "side channels," although only
one of those ultimately was functional from what I've seen.  The side
channel above Bucktail Bridge was interesting - loaded with fish in the
normal channel and none in the constructed side channel.  Most side
channels now are dry, choked closed and/or up to 50 or more feet from the
river channel.  Check out the Sky Ranch “side channel,” for example.

Also in those days, gravel was dumped in whatever location was most
convenient for dumping.  That was the only criterion for placement.  There
was no scientific input, to say nothing of "before the action" assessments
- just dump some gravel.

Current gravel introductions are based upon some scientific analysis by
staff and also by science consultants from U. C. Davis, if I recall
correctly.  In addition, we now have the Science Advisory Board in place –
but no independent peer review groups yet.  The SAB presumably will review
results of actions such as gravel introductions.

Byron Leydecker

-----Original Message-----
From: env-trinity-bounces at velocipede.dcn.davis.ca.us
[mailto:env-trinity-bounces at velocipede.dcn.davis.ca.us] On Behalf Of Kevin
Sent: Wednesday, February 02, 2005 10:18 PM
To: Sid & Arline; env-trinity at velocipede.dcn.davis.ca.us; Loren Everest
Cc: Carl Mesick
Subject: Re: [env-trinity] Coarse sediment project

Hi all
I hope the gravel for the Trinity is coming from the Trinity or at
least one of its tribs.  Carl Mesick, a fishery biologist has strong
evidence that salmon don't spawn in gravels from another system.
Carl now works with the USFWS.  He can bring people up to date on the
literature and studies on the importance of using gravel from the
same river system.


At 8:47 PM -0800 2/2/05, Sid & Arline wrote:
>Dear Loren
>Thanks for the info - and that the fifty one truckloads of course sediment
>is coming from the beautiful Trinity River.
>There is a great need to remove some of this material west of Indian
>this would help the Trinity River and also and the current Trinity River
>Restoration Project, being done at this reach of the river.
>The Trinity doesn't need the possible diseases from the Sacramneto River
>system. It doesn't take that much effort to screen the sediment to size.
>Thank you,
>Sid Mickelson
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Loren Everest" <leverest at fs.fed.us>
>To: <env-trinity at velocipede.dcn.davis.ca.us>
>Sent: Tuesday, February 01, 2005 7:36 AM
>Subject: [env-trinity] Coarse sediment project
>>  Dear Interested Party
>>  The Shasta-Trinity National Forest is proposing to place about 5,100
>>  yards of coarse sediment in a 1,200-foot reach of the Trinity River
>>  the Trinity River Fish Hatchery.  Forest Service personnel are
>>  conduct National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analysis of the
>>  project within the Trinity River watershed about two miles north of the
>>  community of Lewiston. The legal location is: Township 33 North, Range
>>  West, Section 8.
>>  The purpose of this letter is to invite you to participate in the NEPA
>>  analysis by providing your comments about this proposal during what is
>>  referred to as the public scoping process.  If you have information you
>>  feel the Forest Service may not be aware of, or feel you have issues
>>  (points of dispute, debate, or disagreement) regarding potential
>>  this proposed action, please send those issues in writing to project
>>  Loren Everest, Trinity River Management Unit, P.O. Box 1190,
>>  CA 96093 (530) 623-1754 on or before February 25, 2005.
>>  The Forest Service proposes to place about 5,100 cubic yards of coarse
>>  sediment in a 1,200-foot reach of the Trinity River near the Trinity
>>  Fish Hatchery during the summer of 2005 or 2006. A 20-foot strip of
>>  and alders will be removed along the west bank of the river to allow
>>  additional channel width.
>>  The purpose of this project is to improve geomorphic function of the
>>  Trinity River.  High river releases since 1993 have caused channel
>>  degradation to a depth of about 2 feet. This project proposes to
>>  lost channel bed material in a manner that maintains or increases the
>>  quality of fish habitat.  The Bureau of Reclamation, through the
>>  River Restoration Program, has contracted with Dr. Greg Pasternack of
>>  Davis to provide designs for the project. The proposed design can be
>>  at http://shira.lawr.ucdavis.edu/trinity_design_06.htm.
>>  The decision to be made is whether to implement the project as
>>  implement a modified project analyzed under an alternative that
>>  significant issues and meets the purpose and need statement, or take no
>>  action at this time.
>>  District Ranger
>>  Weaverville Ranger District
>>  _______________________________________________
>>  env-trinity mailing list
>>  env-trinity at mailman.dcn.org
>>  http://www2.dcn.org/mailman/listinfo/env-trinity
>env-trinity mailing list
>env-trinity at mailman.dcn.org

env-trinity mailing list
env-trinity at mailman.dcn.org
env-trinity mailing list
env-trinity at mailman.dcn.org

More information about the env-trinity mailing list