The lower Walla Walla River, in general, presents degraded instream and riparian conditions. These degraded conditions impact adult and juvenile summer steelhead and spring chinook migrating through the lower Walla Walla, and bull trout using the lower Walla Walla during their seasonal movements.
Tagging studies show that there are large losses of juvenile salmonids (75% in 2013), in the lower Walla Walla River, which includes this project’s reach. The Bridge to Bridge Restoration Design Assessment, completed in 2010, resulted in a multi-phased preferred alternative for the Walla Walla River between the bridges at McDonald and Lowden-Gardena Roads.
Phase One was constructed in 2013. That project removed one-half mile of levee and installed large woody debris throughout the project reach. Phase Two will continue downstream, adding large wood to improve channel complexity and pool habitat on a 0.6 mile project reach.