Climate change will have a disproportionate impact on summer steelhead. Lower, warmer flows will adversely affect both upstream migration, over-summering survival, and rearing habitat for juveniles. Steamboat Creek is a primary spawning area for summers, recognized by the recent federal bill designating Steamboat Creek watershed as the Frank & Jeannie Moore Wild Steelhead Sanctuary. However little specific management direction was included in the legislation, and no funding was provided.
Steamboaters, along with Native Fish Society and Pacific Rivers, is trying to establish a collaborative effort with Umpqua National forest to improve conditions in Steamboat Creek for summers.
Jeff Dose and Joe Ferguson met with UNF staff to discuss such a collaborative effort to address water temperatures and rearing habitat for summer steelhead. There is interest, although no decision was reached or process mapped out.
The UNF is already beginning the Geomorphic Road Analysis and Inventory Package (GRAIP) process in the Steamboat drainage, but this process deals only with sediment impacts from the road system. The GRAIP study/process refers to a detailed road inventory procedure and modeling toolset for understanding the various site specific impacts of forest roads on water quality.
We will continue to meet with UNF to discuss data needs, process, and funding mechanisms.
Article by Joe Ferguson Steamboaters board member. For more information on this or other work, please contact us at, firstname.lastname@example.org.