Wednesday August 24, 2022

Yakima Herald-Republic

A busy two months transformed a problematic one-mile reach of the Little Naches River into what biologists hope will become a fertile spawning ground for salmon and steelhead.

Mid-Columbia Fisheries and the U.S. Forest Service partnered on an extensive project to eliminate levees, raise the sunken riverbed and add wood to create a more natural habitat in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest’s most popular recreation area.

Naches Ranger District fisheries biologist Gary Torretta said the largest in-stream project on his district should help undo nearly 50 years of degradation caused by misguided efforts to help fish and decrease flood risks.

“Just a lot of things that compounded on it and us fishery folks at the Naches District have always referred to this as the dead zone reach,” Torretta said. “So now we’re hoping to bring life back to it from an aquatic standpoint.”

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