Like many streams in the Pacific Northwest, Nason Creek is pinched between a state highway and a railroad, reducing the creeks floodplain area and function. The goal of the Merritt Oxbow project was to improve conditions for ESA-listed Spring Chinook, steelhead, and bull trout by providing much needed slow-water habitat for young fish. The project required raising Nason Creek three feet and digging a 900’ side channel to reconnect old oxbow ponds that will serve as valuable rearing habitat for endangered fish. To maximize the benefits of the project, we also installed large wood in Nason Creek to provide resting and hiding places for juvenile and adult fish.
Complex projects like this require a team of partners. The project would not have been possible without the support of the Chelan Douglas Land Trust and the US Forest Service and funding provided by Bonneville Power Administration, Salmon Recovery Funding Board and Cascadia Conservation District.