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Klamath Falls Field Station

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Research Snapshot - Evaluation of the Williamson River Delta Restoration Project

Image researcher preparing to set a trap net.

A KFFS researcher preparing to set a trap net amidst emergent vegetation in the Williamson River Delta restoration project. Photograph by U.S. Geological Survey.

The KFFS collaborated with seven other partners in a long-term research and monitoring program to assess the effects of restoring the Williamson River Delta on the early life stages of Lost River and shortnose suckers. The Williamson River Delta restoration is an innovative project of The Nature Conservancy that aims to improve habitat for native fishes and other wildlife around the mouth of the Williamson River. You can learn more about the project, including how explosives were used to breach levees, here.

The research and monitoring program provided essential information for ongoing management of the large-scale restoration project as about 7,500 acres of previously agricultural lands return to wetlands and open water. The thorough evaluation of the response of fish to the restoration will also be beneficial to land managers considering similar wetland restoration projects. Our research focused on determining how and when juvenile suckers used the restored habitat, how fish assemblages changed within the restored habitat as wetlands returned, and how the health and growth of suckers was affected by restoration activities.


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Summer Burdick

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