North Fork Payette River Habitat Improvement
Cascade High School in partnership with Trout Unlimited, Valley Soil and Water Conservation District, Idaho Soil and Water Conservation Commission, and Idaho Fish and Game Volunteer Crew are working on stabilizing several hundred feet of severely eroding streambank and improving trout rearing habitat in the North Fork Payette River.
Cascade High School is a rural-remote small public high school located in the West Central mountains of Idaho. We encourage our students to tackle local issues through place based projects tied to Idaho content standards. In the past, students have created a fishing pond, constructed a local trail, launched a weather balloon and even raced a solar go kart!
Keeping Idaho Wild! North Fork Payette River Habitat Improvement Project
Cascade High School and our partners are stabilizing several hundred feet of severely eroding streambank, improving almost ½ mile of riparian area and improving trout rearing habitat in the North Fork Payette River.
In partnership with Trout Unlimited, Valley Soil and Water Conservation District, Idaho Soil and Water Conservation Commission, and the Idaho Fish and Game Volunteer Crew, our students created a highly visible, demonstration project that can be easily replicated elsewhere.
Our students worked with the Idaho Soil and Water Conservation Commission to create a bioengineered design that included making dam analogs out of willows. This year, they are:
finishing the project by constructing fencing
creating disabled fishing access
installing interpretive signs.
monitoring the project and determining how it is improving water quality through stream habitat and photo-point monitoring.
Our 3rd-12th grade students will use this area for outdoor classroom instruction. We are requesting funds for this final phase of the project.
This project gives our rural students hands-on experience in stream bioengineering right in their own community. 12-18 Cascade High School students/year take ownership of improving stream health through this habitat improvement project and involve our community in the process. They design solutions to a local environmental problem, which in turn gives them the skills and inspiration to tackle bigger problems farther afield.
Key Project Milestones
1. Streambank Stabilization Design-- completed in Spring 2017 and all permits acquired
2. Fall 2017 Project Started
3. Spring 2018 Interpretive signs designed, stabilization and planting continues at site, project monitoring begins
4. Fall 2018 Project implementation and monitoring continue; access ramp design
5. Spring 2019 Interpretive sign, project maintenance. fencing and fishing access installation; project monitoring
6. Summer project maintenance (plant watering) + project monitoring
North Fork Payette River, Cascade ID
Rough Budget for This Project
Riparian shrubs- $2000
Willows ($1 per pole value)= $7000
Posts for willow analog dam structures/fencing $2000
Labor from students and volunteers- free
Disabled fishing access $5000
Interpretive signs $3500
Monitoring supplies/equipment $2500