Over the last 6 years, two organizations have completed habitat restoration projects in the Gray’s River Habitat Enhancement District in SW Washington
The Lower Columbia Fish Enhancement Group
Executive Director: Tony Meyer
Construction Methods: Currently, LCFEG uses primarily strategically placed log jams composed of large woody debris from local forests, anchored by pilings driven into the river-bed, held together by cable and bolts.
Working Philosophy: Tony looks at river restoration as an art, and takes a more intuitive approach. Detailed drawings, if required for funding and approval, have been rarely followed in construction, sidestepping a key process.
Project Performance: In the first two years, 2007-2009, most log jams failed during winter floods, redistributing logs and debris down river. The third and fourth years, 2010-2012, the newly replaced log jams (pictured right) fared better because of the use of pilings, more cable, and anchor bolts, but many bank erosion problems still remain because the structures are not tied back to the stream bank. Not doing this standard practice allows flanking behind the structures and resulting failure.
Communication Skills: Communication with land owners, the community, and the local enhancement district, is often contentious.
Comment: Who pays for failures? The tax and rate payers pay for the failures and ESA listed fish lose!
Contrary to plan, the restoration was placed opposite the eroded cliff base exacerbating the bank erosion.
Russ Lawrence: Fluvial Geomorphologist and river engineer
Construction methods: Russ uses proven science engineer driven restoration concepts using rock/wood, combining log structures with rock cross vanes, J-hooks, and W-vanes that deflect river flows away from the bank, reducing bank erosion and creating fish habitat.
Working Philosophy: Flow and stress analyses in addition to addressing habitat “limiting factors” are done prior to completed plans. Completed plans have elevations and distances with detailed drawings.
Construction: Implemented according to plan.
Project Performance: This 800 foot project has been monitored for the last four years with an excellent rating in all categories.
Communication skills: Russ works well with landowners and the community in all phases of a project.
Comment: Project was completed on time and within budget. The ESA listed fish love the new spawning habitat.
Log structure and rock W-veins direct flow to center of the river
Rock J-hooks direct flow away from bank
Problem: severe bank erosion
Solution: Bank stabilized with rock cross vanes, J-hooks and W-vanes
Given the choice, which organization would you want to do restoration?
GRAY’S RIVER HABITAT RESTORATION DISTRICT
Del Fredrickson – Chairman
P.O. Box 117, Gray’s River, WA 98621
(Click on diagram to open larger)