Snake River Rehabilitation Scheme Begins

The first step in what could be a major effort to improve water conditions in the Middle Snake River gets underway this week on a pair of small islands downstream from Walter’s Ferry.

Idaho Power’s Bayha Island Research Project is one part of the broader Snake River Stewardship Program, which aims to help the company fulfill state and federal water-quality requirements necessary to get a new long-term license for the Hells Canyon Complex.

The company is working with The Freshwater Trust, a nonprofit organization with offices in Oregon and Idaho, which has extensive experience in river rehabilitation work.

The Bayha Island construction work will be done by Washington-based Goodfellow Brothers, Inc.

Preparation has included surveying the existing wetlands, taking core samples from the river bottom, spraying invasive weeds, installing flow monitors and water-temperature logging equipment, etc.

Rock and gravel dredged from the river will be used as fill material, in addition to material being excavated from the property of a nearby landowner.

The in-river and wetland work is expected to be complete by October 31.

Revegetation, using thousands of native plants, will run from September through October, and again in the spring of 2017.

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