Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 8677
Title: A Geomorphic Assessment to Inform Strategic Stream Restoration Planning in the Middle Fork John Day Watershed, Oregon, USA
Author: G. O. O'Brien, Joseph M. Wheaton, K. Fryirs, Pete A. McHugh, Nicholaas Bouwes, G. Brierley, Chris E. Jordan
Publication Year: 2017
Journal: Jounal of Maps
Volume: 13
Issue: 2
Pages: 369¿381

Geomorphic attributes of the Middle Fork John Day Watershed, Oregon, USA, were assessed using the River Styles Framework to generate a nested-hierarchical, map-based understanding of the catchment. Specifically, we assessed (1) river diversity (character and behavior) and patterns of river types (and their controls); (2) assess and explain the geomorphic condition of the streams; (3) interpret their recovery potential; and (4) create realistic and visionary management plans that strive to maximize the geomorphic and ecological potential of this river. Prospectively, these findings provide guidance for river rehabilitation, design and implementation.  Fifteen distinct River Styles were identified, two-thirds of which are found along perennial streams. Approximately two-thirds of all perennial stream reaches were classified as being in good geomorphic condition, whereas one-third fell in moderate and poor condition categories. Most impacts are related to (1) vegetation removal and floodplain agriculture conversion (farming and grazing); (2) logging; and (3) channel bed dredge mining. The majority of reaches classified as being in moderate geomorphic condition were found to have high recovery potential. In addition to lending insight for the Middle Fork John Day River in particular, our assessment illustrates the potential utility of the River Styles framework for informing salmonid habitat restoration more generally and represents its first application in the U.S. Pacific Northwest.  

Theme: Habitats to Support Sustainable Fisheries and Recovered Populations
Foci: Develop effective and efficient habitat restoration and conservation techniques.
Characterize the interaction of human use and habitat distribution, quantity and quality.
Official Citation:

Gary R. O¿Brien, Joseph Wheaton, Kirstie Fryirs, Peter McHugh, Nicolaas Bouwes, Gary Brierley & Chris Jordan (2017) A geomorphic assessment to inform strategic stream restoration planning in the Middle Fork John Day Watershed, Oregon, USA, Journal of Maps, 13:2, 369-381