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Project Abstract


Bear Creek drains a small watershed (209 km2) in Wheeler Co. OR, and flows into Bridge Creek roughly 8 km above its confluence with the lower John Day River. 

Project Need 

Being the largest tributary of Bridge Creek, Bear Creek represents an important spawning tributary for the summer run steelhead that utilize the watershed (Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, personal communication). However, much of the main channel on Bear Creek is subject to low and often intermittent surface flow during summer, a period critical to the survival of rearing juvenile steelhead following emergence from gravel during spring. Low and non-existent surface flow also contribute to high summer stream temperatures, lack of habitat quantity and complexity, and reduced riparian vegetation abundance and extent. These conditions render the Bear Creek watershed a population sink for threatened steelhead, in which a high rate of spawning adults produce few surviving juveniles capable of completing their life cycle.

Proposed Project Work

 The restoration project on Bear Creek is designed to meet two complimentary goals which include: 1) Increase juvenile steelhead habitat quantity and quality during low and intermittent baseflow periods that has been degraded as a result of historic land use practices. 2) Serve as a model restoration project that can inform efficient and cost-effective methods for restoration of perennial flow in similar stream systems.

Project Partners


Project Completion Report


Monitoring Reports

2-Years Post Implementation