Hancock Springs is a unique, true spring- and ground-water fed channel. A historic dairy operation existed on the property through the 1950s where unrestricted livestock access severely degraded the spring source, soils and vegetation along the channel. The stream quickly widened, the formerly-sinuous pool glide-riffle morphology was lost, and the gravel-cobble substrate was buried beneath a thick layer of fine sediment and organic “muck” leaving little opportunity for salmonids of any life stage.
Hancock Springs is considered a major spawning area for spring Chinook and steelhead, as well as within the core area for bull trout. It also provides rearing, foraging and overwintering habitat for these three species. Restoration of the remaining degraded channel will improve spawning, rearing, foraging, and overwintering conditions for these fish.
The goal of the project is to complete the restoration of Hancock Springs in order to fully restore the vegetative, hydrologic, and biological potential of the channel. This will dramatically increase the amount of spawning, rearing, foraging, and overwintering habitat available for all life history stages of steelhead, Chinook, and bull trout in a 740 meter reach.