The March 30 planting project is done. Here’s a round up of photos and observations.
The Forest Service assigned five personnel. They provided instruction, equipment and leadership on the ground. They praised us saying we knew how to through a good party. They may be able to partner with new projects this season and promised to keep me in their loop. Barber Flats interestingly is a target.
With last minute unanticipated subtractions and additions TU contributed at least a dozen and a half to two dozen persons including the cooking crew. Weather was perfect. Kudos to Fred Hebert and his two buddies for a chili based lunch with our kitchen equipment. They gave Leadership credits to one Eagle Scout.
Boy Scouts (BSA) will monitor “take” during the summer. FS will share details with us.
The BSA swelled our ranks immensely with scouts and their family members. There were easily four dozen persons all actively cutting and planting from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. sans 45 minutes for lunch. Together we all placed literally hundreds of 12 to 18 inch pieces into the embankments along Pierce Creek both below and well above the bridge and even under the bridge and around wattles FS had installed earlier to bank retard erosion near the bridge. Rain is anticipated now soon to follow this week that should help.
I would like to add to Dr O’s report the planting went really well and Doug did show and there were probably several other members that showed also who didn’t send in emails but may have been on some of the other lists. Every one got fed well and there was no food left to clean up Fred was able to get a few of the scout to take seconds to polish off the chili.
The Forest Service did an outstanding job in mitigating the impacts of the migration barriers left after the initial big blowout the willows initially planted were well established below the bridge. There is a potential barrier where the creek drops off the alluvial fan into the South Fork that will probably change after high water this year. If BOR doesn’t start releasing water very soon we will probably seem some very high water on the SF later this spring.
I did stop below the tailwater put in to see what the talk was on the so called alternate put in was about. I don’t think it is a big deal yet. It is a very steep high bank and only soft boats can be launched there You have got to want to fish that section pretty bad to put a boat down that bank. At the 600cfs that the river was at there was a route thru the rapid. There was at least one must make move a weaker boatman would probably not want to run it at this level or lower, once the river comes up it should open up and be plenty of room just some big waves and maybe a hole to stay out of.
Over all it was a good outing couldn’t beat the weather
A final step in restoring Pierce Creek will happen on March 30, 2019 and we need volunteers to make it reality. Planting the streamside area around the rebuilt bridge at Pierce Creek (on the South Fork of the Boise River, near the Danskin boat ramp) will stabilize the stream bank of this important habitat.
The Pierce Creek Bridge was installed in 2011 and the footings were then rebuilt in 2018 after watershed debris flows undermined the foundation. This project was inspired and led by Trout Unlimited, working with the Mountain Home Highway District and the Boise National Forest. With a bridge replacing a culvert on Pierce Creek, the free passage of wild trout and other fish species is secured for this tributary to the South Fork Boise River.
Join the contingent of volunteers to help finish the job at Pierce Creek.
- Saturday, March 30, 2019.
- Meet at the Albertson’s parking lot at Federal Way and Gowen Road between 8:30 a.m. & 9:00 a.m. We will make carpool arrangements and leave from there at 9:00 a.m. and carpool to the South Fork Boise River.
- In the morning we will gather willow cuttings at locations along the South Fork Boise River.
- In the afternoon we will plant the cuttings in the bank along Pierce Creek.
- Lunch will be provided by Ted Trueblood Chapter of Trout Unlimited, using our eager and experienced cooking crew and equipment from our summer Trout Camp.
- Total work time is estimated to be four to six hours. Mid-afternoon return to Albertson’s in Boise.
- Bring work gloves. Bring a folding chair if you have one for sitting at lunch.
- Please RSVP to Bruce Johnstone at BJohnstone1@cableone.net by Thursday March 28.
Here is a collection of photos from four of the photo points along the South Fork Boise River. Photos from November 24, 2018.
Pool at site sfboise#17
The above photo is from the bracket on the sfboise#17 sign. This site is just downstream of the boat ramp, about a mile downstream of Anderson Ranch Dam.
Camera Stand at #sfboise17
The quiescent pool in the South Fork is formed from the debris slide from September 12, 2013 that temporarily blocked the river flow as very large boulders tumbled into the river from the landslide. In the past five years much of the material have moved downstream except for the largest boulders that still form a rapid and back up water to form this pool.
Above Reclamation Village #sfboise16
Above Danskin boat area.
Pierce Creek Bridge
Camera stand for #sfboise1
The bridge abutments on the Pierce Creek bridge have been replaced. The project is a cooperative venture of the Mountain Home Highway District and the Boise National Forest. The abutments are treated laminated wood beams and posts, and driven several feet into the ground next to the stream.
The bridge over Pierce Creek, a spawning tributary to the South Fork of the Boise River
The project was completed in fall 2018 and secures the bridge for the long term.
A mud crust over the plate on the bridge. Mud deposited from the numerous debris flow episodes 2013-2014.
The bridge was placed on its original sill in November 2011. The Elk Complex Wildfire of 2013 led to massive debris flows in Pierce Creek and ultimately would have compromised the foundation for the bridge. So the decision was made to life the bridge and replace the substructure and put it back in place, which happened in fall 2018.
Future high flows and flooding will easily pass under the bridge. Pierce Creek fish passage to its headwaters will continue.