The Thomas Creek Restoration Project was an effort to assess conditions on the Thomas Creek sub-shed, a 40-mile tributary to Goose Lake. NRI coordinated three project phases in conjunction with the concerns of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the US Fish and Wildlife Services. These phases included: streambank stabilization, habitat enhancement, riparian area management, erosion reduction and fish passage development.
Stream modifications, made in the 1940s to reduce flooding and improve agricultural conditions, were resulting in property loss, degraded stream corridor habitat and water quality, and impaired fish passage. NRI targeted the Modoc sucker (federally endangered species) and Goose Lake redband trout (State Sensitive Vulnerable) for restoration in the watershed.
Streambanks were stabilized using bioengineering techniques and log jams were created with juniper tree/roots and vertical soil lifts. In addition, five miles of riparian fencing was installed with 5000 willow stakes planted along the corridor, as well as seeded with grass/forb seed mix.