Aquatic Habitat Enhancement Project Gets Underway

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                      Contact: Kate McGwire
November 15, 2016                                                                                    Public Information Officer

Ada County Begins Project to Improve Boise River Fish Habitat

The Ada County Environmental Advisory Board’s project to improve fish habitat in a stretch of the Boise River near Barber Park and the Eckert Bridge gets underway this week.

The $45,000 project will place engineered log structures and boulder clusters in the river that will improve fish habitat by increasing channel complexity as well as providing more cover and current breaks. The log structures will be partially buried in the riverbanks and anchored to the river bottom with log pilings. The riverbanks will be replanted with native willow species following construction using volunteer laborers. The project is expected to be complete by mid-December. During construction citizens will not have access to the river from the Barber Park Boat Ramp upstream to the Eckert Bridge and along banks and nearby trails while equipment is operating.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game generously provided permitting, engineering and project management services necessary to implement this project.

According to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, “this stretch of the Boise River is one of the finest urban trout rivers in the country. Wild trout and other fish species are abundant.” Enhancing fish habitat at this site was the first project the Ada County Environmental Advisory Board took on to enhance the Boise River.

“The County is so pleased to see the hard work and dedication of this group come to fruition with a project that will not only benefit the fish habitat, but also those who enjoy the Boise River and what it offers our citizens,” said Ada County Commissioner Dave Case.

The Ada County Environmental Advisory Board was formed in 2015 after a power outage at Barber Dam reduced river flows for a short time earlier this year. The Board is made up of staff from Ada County, the Boise River Enhancement Network, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Trout Unlimited, The Freshwater Trust and Fulcrum/Enel Green Power North America (EGP-NA).

The project was funded by Ada County and EGP-NA, who operates Barber Dam and is a co-licensee with Ada County on the FERC license to generate power at the dam.

“As a company, we truly believe that community activities provide an excellent opportunity to engage and strengthen relationships among local stakeholders,” said Larry James, EGP-NA Regional Hydro Operations Manager.

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