Upper Sycan River Aquatic Habitat Restoration
The project area is occupied habitat for Miller Lake lamprey, Pit-Klamath brook lamprey, and Klamath speckled dace, and redband trout. In addition the project area has also been designated a Wild and Scenic River, of which fisheries was one of the three outstanding remarkable values of the designation. The project area is also designated critical habitat for Bull trout. The project area has experienced a loss of riparian vegetation and an altered hydrologic regime as a result of historic grazing practices, timber harvest and associated road construction. This loss of riparian vegetation and altered hydrologic regime has led to eroding streambanks which has resulted in a down cut channel, a disconnection to floodplain terraces, increased levels of fine sediment, and a lack of aquatic habitat connectivity.
The need for the project was identified in both the Upper Sycan River Watershed Analysis (USFS 2001) and Upper Sycan River Watershed Restoration Action Plan (USFS 2011). The watershed analysis identified the deficiencies in aquatic habitat, riparian function, and hydrologic regime while the restoration action plan identified the project as an essential component to restoring the Upper Sycan River for the purposes of watershed function and aquatic species. Other restoration documents that the project is driven by include: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Bull trout recovery plan (USFWS 2002), Upper Klamath Basin Water Quality Restoration Plan (USFS/BLM 2003), Sycan River Wild and Scenic River Plan (USFS 1992), Oregon Native Fish Status Report Vol.1 & 2 (ODFW 2005), Inland Native Fish Strategy (USFS 1995).