Time to Take Action
Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.

Levee to be breached along the Sprague River to create wetlands
by Steve Kadel, Herald and News 9/30/07
Oregon Lottery funds will help pay for levee breaching along the Sprague River to create wetlands and provide habitat for suckers and other fish.

The river will be breached in seven places along a two-mile stretch. Some of the work has already been completed, with the final steps scheduled next year.

Klamath Basin Rangeland Trust recently received $28,000 in lottery money, allocated by the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board. Rangeland Trust spokeswoman Shannon Peterson said the grant provides the final funding needed for the project, which has a total cost of $150,000.

Levee breaks will range from 70 feet to 230 feet. They are expected to restore about 25 acres of wetlands.

Water Quality

Besides increasing habitat for fish and wildlife, Peterson said the added wetlands also will improve water quality i the Sprague River by trapping sediment that otherwise would travel downstream.

   Also, the river will receive water in the late irrigation season because grounds were saturated in earlier months. Peterson said that late-season flow is a way to supplement saturation from early season snowmelt.


   Wetlands will be fenced off to prevent cattle from congregating there, Peterson said.

   L a n d o w n e r J a m e s Wayne calls it a win-win situation.

   “It will provide natural irrigation for my cattle pasture, decreasing my need to pump irrigation water, and at the same time, restores wetlands and the river,” he said.

   Unlike The Nature Conservancy’s wetlands restoration project at the Williamson River Delta, breaching of the Sprague River won’t require explosives. Excavators will dig the breaks.

   “This is the first time that levee breaching has been done on the Sprague,” Peterson said.

   Funding also came from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service helped design and plan the project.

   Fish and Wildlife has funding to monitor water quality after breaching, and to gauge the use of new wetlands by suckers for rearing their young.  

Home Contact


              Page Updated: Thursday May 07, 2009 09:14 AM  Pacific

             Copyright © klamathbasincrisis.org, 2007, All Rights Reserved