Lower Jemez River Fish Structure Restoration Design
In 1989, as part of the Lower Jemez River Corridor Project, nine v-notch log structures were installed along a seven-mile reach of the river in an effort to enhance fish habitat These structures are now in various states of failure, resulting in severe riverbed and bank erosion.
Biohabitats helped the USDA Forest Service assess the failing structures and develop restoration designs. The goal was to remove the log structures in a way that would reduce erosion and sedimentation, stabilize the riverbed and banks, and improve in-stream habitat.
The design reduced the overall bankfull width/depth ratio, which helps reduce water temperatures and increase the quantity of pool habitat. A tertiary goal to maintain deep pools at fishing areas previously installed by the Forest Service was also addressed by the restoration design. The design uses a variety of boulder structures, designed to integrate with the river’s natural features and fishing areas, creates a more natural approach to stabilizing the channel and providing fish habitat. Transplanted willows are also used to stabilize banks while providing shade and cover.