Sediment Transport in the Yankee Fork Salmon River

Science Center Objects

The Yankee Fork of the Salmon River is one of the larger watersheds in the upper Salmon River subbasin of central Idaho. Mining activities since the late 19th century, specifically placer mining and associated dredging from 1940 to 1953, have left the fluvial system in a highly altered and unnatural state. To improve aquatic and terrestrial habitat in the Yankee Fork, the Bureau of Reclamation and other stakeholders collaborated on the Dredge Tailings Restoration Project and Yankee Fork Rehabilitation Project.

Since 2012, in cooperation with the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes and the Bureau of Reclamation, we have been monitoring suspended-sediment transport and streamflow in the lower reaches of the Yankee Fork. The study objectives include:

  • Quantifying pre- and post-restoration sediment transport loads,

  • Identifying changes that may or may not have occurred, and

  • Providing restoration managers with supporting data for adaptive management purposes.