Services

Category

Watershed and Stream Assessments

Description

RDG regularly completes watershed and geomorphic assessments for restoration planning. Assessment complexity varies according to our clients' goals. From watershed master plan development to smaller reach-scale assessments, we apply our remote sensing expertise and field data collection methods to determine likely historical conditions, characterize existing conditions, and predict future river corridor conditions under varying management scenarios. To maximize the usefulness of assessment findings for our clients, we typically offer recommendations for addressing limiting factors. Recommendations often take the form or restoration alternatives that may range from passive land management changes to more aggressive habitat enhancement and channel reconstruction actions. 

RDG supports master plan development for directing large scale water quality and aquatic habitat restoration efforts in target watersheds. The master plan process requires evaluating the entire watershed and prioritizing restoration projects in an effort to maximize the environmental return on each restoration project dollar spent. Master plans typically serve as the guidance document for addressing watershed impairment and developing strategies for restoring physical, chemical, and biological watershed processes.

Since 2003, RDG has assisted or solely completed master plan assessments on river systems in Montana, Idaho, and Oregon.  These efforts have often led to additional restoration planning and culminated in restoration design implementation.  Example watershed scale planning efforts have been completed or are on-going on the Clark Fork River and Jocko River (Montana), the Kootenai River (Idaho), and the Sandy River, Salmon River, and Willamette River (Oregon).description for Watershed and Geomorphic Assessments.

Included Services

  • Master plan development
  • Geomorphic and habitat characterization
  • Restoration and habitat enhancement prioritization
  • Planning level hydraulic modeling
  • Sediment sampling and geomorphic monitoring
  • Water quality planning and monitoring
  • Remote sensing using ArcGIS tools
  • LiDAR data integration and application

Related Projects

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Log drives in the 20th century Calapooia River An overlay of historical channel locations suggests the dynamic nature of the Calapooia River downstream from Brownsville, Oregon. Overgrazing on the Sycan River has lead to widespread streambank instability and sediment delivery to the river Block failures contribute sediment to the river Sedges and willows now buffer the former vertical banks from the active river Hydraulic modeling using a LiDAR-bathymetry data set was employed to evaluate floodplain inundation frequency Proposed actions included fencing the riparian corridor The Calapooia River Calapooia River Large wood and an abundant sediment load influence river processes Calapooia River
Log drives in the 20th century
Log drives in the 20th century resulted in extensive log jams, channel instability, and habitat loss.
Calapooia River
Past river training projects incorporated mature trees that were used to influence river patterns. The Calapooia River was extensively riprapped, straightened, and bermed in an effort to reduce flooding impacts and erosion.
An overlay of historical channel locations suggests the dynamic nature of the Calapooia River downstream from Brownsville, Oregon.
An overlay of historical channel locations suggests the dynamic nature of the Calapooia River downstream from Brownsville, Oregon.
Overgrazing on the Sycan River has lead to widespread streambank instability and sediment delivery to the river
Overgrazing on the Sycan River has lead to widespread streambank instability and sediment delivery to the river.
Block failures contribute sediment to the river
Block failures contribute sediment to the river. Poor toe stability and degraded riparian vegetation communities increase streambank failure potential.
Sedges and willows now buffer the former vertical banks from the active river
An upstream reference reach that has been in a grazing exclusion suggests the substantial benefits of limiting grazing adjacent to the river. Sedges and willows now buffer the former vertical banks from the active river.
Hydraulic modeling using a LiDAR-bathymetry data set was employed to evaluate floodplain inundation frequency
Hydraulic modeling using a LiDAR-bathymetry data set was employed to evaluate floodplain inundation frequency.
Proposed actions included fencing the riparian corridor
Proposed actions included fencing the riparian corridor. Fencing alternatives were prepared based on expected floodplain inundation associated with regular flood events.
The Calapooia River
The Calapooia River is a dynamic alluvial floodplain river. Farmland borders much of the river corridor.
Calapooia River
Channel instability creates and destroys alluvial surfaces. Maintaining a broad riparian buffer zone is essential for protecting valuable farmland as well as ensure riverine habitat diversity.
Large wood and an abundant sediment load influence river processes
Large wood and an abundant sediment load influence river processes.
Calapooia River
Former gravel pits now provide floodplain habitats. Habitat enhancement projects aim to increase the frequency in which these features are connected with the mainstem river.