Phase II of the Lower South Fork McKenzie River Floodplain Enhancement Project is underway. The Project will enhance habitat conditions within a 0.6-mile section of the South Fork McKenzie River and restore the connection to over 20 acres of floodplain. Phase II builds upon the work completed during Phase I in 2018 that successfully reconnected over 150 acres of floodplain.
Starting on the evening of June 25th, contractors will temporarily reroute a 0.6-mile section of the South Fork McKenzie River into a diversion channel that bypasses the Phase II project area and returns flow into the Phase I project area. Phase II project activities, including the diversion, are anticipated to continue until no later than August 15, 2019.
Project managers expect that the initial diversion may cause short-term turbidity impacts to the McKenzie River immediately downstream of the South Fork McKenzie River confluence. Minimal turbidity impacts were seen during Phase I implementation in 2018 and project managers expect similar results in 2019.
The Project will take several steps to minimize downstream turbidity impacts. The US Army Corps of Engineers will reduce flows in the South Fork McKenzie River to 275 cfs. The diversion will take place over a period of several days to allow for natural fish escapement prior to fish salvage operations within the Phase II project area after the full diversion. Turbidity curtains will be placed downstream of the Phase II area as needed.
For more information please contact project managers, Jared Weybright, McKenzie Watershed Council Executive Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org, 458-201-8150 (office), or 541-505-0501 (cell); or Kate Meyer, USFS McKenzie River Ranger District Fisheries Biologist, email@example.com, 541-822-7230 (office).