The culvert replacement project on Cottonwood Creek on Forest Road 36 will begin July 15, according to Blue Mountain Ranger District aquatics personnel.
Forest Road 36 will be closed just past the junction of Forest Road 3650 from the south and just past Forest Road 3670 from the north. An alternative route using Forest Road 3600517 and Forest Service Road 3660 will be available. The closure is planned from July 15 to Aug. 15.
Culvert replacement projects are part of an ongoing effort to improve aquatic fish passage on the forest. Replacing the culvert on Cottonwood Creek and doing restoration work on this would restore connectivity for both adult and juvenile Endangered Species Act-threatened Mid-Columbia River Steelhead and juvenile chinook salmon to cool water refugia located upstream of the culvert.
Cottonwood Creek and the confluence of Cottonwood Creek with Camp Creek was modified in the past.
The confluence will be graded, and the existing log weir will be removed to reduce steepness approaching the culvert to allow juvenile fish passage. Large wood will be added to 1 mile of this stream to assist with habitat complexity and enhance fish restoration partnering with Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife personnel. Wood will also help create connectivity between the stream and its floodplain at certain locations and provide holding or resting areas for juvenile and adult salmonids while migrating.
For more information, visit fs.usda.gov/malheur or call 541-575-3000.