Sisters, OR - Several popular recreation areas along the Metolius River will be closed to the public from October 19 – 22 while a helicopter place trees into the River.
A five-mile stretch of the Metolius River from Jack Creek to Lower Bridge will be closed to the public for safety during the helicopter placement of over 100 trees to restore fish habitat without disturbance to the stream bank.
The Forest Service is closing the work area to all public access including hiking, boating, and fishing on the river while the project is in operation. The helicopter used in the placement of logs will create downdrafts that can be hazardous to people in the area. Lower Canyon Creek Campground, Allen Springs Campground and Lower Bridge Campgrounds will also be closed during this time. Although there is private land in the area, the helicopter will not fly over houses when placing the trees, and there will be no restrictions on access to private lands.
Trees and logs will be placed along three reaches of the river near Canyon Creek, Allen Springs Campground and Pioneer Ford Campground approximately 3 miles north of Camp Sherman. “The project will restore large tree structure to this section of the Metolius River and will create pool habitat and cover for redband trout, bull trout and Chinook salmon,” says Mike Riehle, project lead and Fisheries Biologist for the Sisters Ranger District. “Compared to historic conditions, the Metolius River is low in the number of large logs. This habitat restoration will improve the rearing habitat for rearing juvenile salmon as they are reintroduced above Pelton Round Butte Dams,”
The project is also sponsored by the Upper Deschutes Watershed Council. The Council has partnered with the Forest Service to restore fish habitat in the Metolius basin using grants from the Forest Service, Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, Portland General Electric and the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon.