Nez Perce Tribe

Department of Fisheries Resources Management


Crooked River Watersheds

Crooked River Meanders

During the 1930s through the 1950s the mainstem of Crooked River was dredge mined using a bucket line.  This type of mining left the lower two miles of Crooked River in an exaggerated  “Meandered" shape with large tailing piles and ponds that run perpendicular to the stream channel.  The valley substrate was inverted, leaving large cobble on the surface with a complete loss of organic sediment.  Many of the tailing ponds do not have a surface water connection with the river, but are connected through subsurface flow.  The stream channel was also left void of large woody debris, large boulders, pools, and critical habitat complexity features. 

The NPT and NPNF are working collaboratively to subcontract a design firm to provide a design and cost estimate for removing mine tailing piles along approximately 2 miles of Crooked River, reconstructing the stream channel, restoring the floodplain, and providing  options for relocating and improving approximately 3.5 miles of the 223 road along the Crooked River "Meanders" stretch.  These road restoration options will be used to inform the NEPA process. 

Narrows Road Improvement Feasibility Study

Above the Crooked River "Meanders," reach the valley becomes confined and steep.  The 223 Road, which is maintained by Idaho County, follows the river and is within the floodplain for about 3 miles.  During high flows, portions of the road are completely flooded, resulting in chronic erosion and sedimentation into Crooked River.  Furthermore, Large woody debris is often aggressively removed from this section of Crooked River to prevent road failure. 

The proposed Feasibility Study will examine several options for reducing the impacts of the 223 road on Crooked River.  These options include, but are not limited to, rebuilding a new road on the hillside and decommissioning the current road (or converting it to a trail), finding an existing alternative route, or rebuilding the current road to reduce chronic sediment delivery and the potential for mass failure.  The viability of each option will be determined, and conceptual drawings, hydraulic models, and detailed cost estimates will be provided.

Tributary to EF Crooked River Culvert Replacement

A culvert under the 311 road on an unnamed tributary to the East Fork Crooked River is undersized and nearly blocked.  This culvert has the potential to fail during high flows and contribute vast amounts of sediment to the East Fork Crooked River.  A new culvert will be designed by the Forest Service engineer in 2012/2013 and the culvert will be replaced in 2013.

Fivemile Culvert Replacement and Barrier Removal

The NPT and FS identified a culvert near the mouth of Fivemile Creek as a partial fish passage barrier.  A new culvert design was complete in 2012 and the culvert will be replaced in 2014.  As a part of this project, a complete fish passage barrier at the mouth of Fivemile Creek will be removed during the culvert replacement.  This barrier was installed to keep stocked rainbow trout in Fivemile Pond.  The NPT, IDF&G and USFS will work together to provide an alternative method to keep stocked fish from straying while allowing anadromous fish access to Fivemile Creek.

Crooked River Planting

Approximately 2 streambank miles of Crooked River will be planted in the fall of 2014 using heaving equipment.  The USFS removed mine tailings along this stretch of river from 2006 to present.  Portions of the newly constructed floodplain were planted; however, additional plantings are needed to provide shading and proper riparian functions.

Crooked River Story Book

Project Staff

jeniferh@nezperce.orgJenifer HarrisProject Leader06(208) 983-1290

Project Photos

Project Overview

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