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Monitoring & Research

The NFJDWC participates in monitoring and research throughout the John Day Basin. Current monitoring and research focus on resource impacts post restoration and system-wide limiting factors and data-collection analysis, to identify trends and causes of limitations to anadromous fish production.

John Day River IMW
(Intensively Monitored Watershed)

The Middle Fork John Day River represents a vital cold water fishery which has historically been very productive for bull trout, Chinook salmon, and steelhead.  The Intensively Monitored Watershed (IMW) in the Middle Fork has sought to provide a platform for researchers to study many different factors affecting fish production in an anthropologically impacted system with active restoration being performed.  The IMW began in 2008.  Originally planned as a 10 year study, the IMW continues today to continue monitoring and observe longer term trends that exist in riverine systems.  The NFJDWC currently collects macroinvertebrates, hourly temperature readings, and water discharge at several key creeks throughout the upper Middle Fork.

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North Fork John Day River Monitoring.jpg
North Fork John Day River Monitoring

With the advent of the John Day Basin Partnership (JDBP) and the Focused Investment Partnership in the John Day Basin, it was found that, unlike the Middle Fork, the North Fork of the John Day River has a limited amount of data available to evaluate common limiting factors for fisheries.  While still in the early stages of implementation, the North Fork Monitoring project will expand water temperature and discharge monitoring throughout the North Fork, supporting restoration and management for the JDBP.  This project is also poised to support specific restoration projects and will provide valuable information that can be used to prioritize or eliminate certain practices that prove more or less effective.

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The NFJDWC works with local, state, federal, and academic organizations to conduct research and study hypothesis pertaining to watershed production for both fish and upland species, as well as the effects that various resource demanding operations have on watershed systems.  Range monitoring, water quality, and water quantity are areas of special interest to the Council as these are indicators of watershed health.  The Council considers all watershed issues from a ridgetop to ridgetop perspective. While there is generally much interest in the stream prism, the uplands have a significant impact on water.  Many of these effects are not fully understood and quite a lot of research is still needed to improve the knowledge and management of these important ecosystems and landscapes.

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