KETCHUM, Idaho (AP) — Crews have begun working on a project that will improve fish habitat in an area impacted by gold dredging on the Yankee Fork tributary of the Salmon River in central Idaho.
The Forest Service says a dredging operation along a section of the river between 1940 and 1952 successfully removed gold from the valley floor, but it significantly altered the Yankee Fork, side channels, riparian vegetation and flood plain.
The Forest Service says the changes substantially reduced the Yankee Fork’s ability to support fish and the area has not recovered ever since.
Idaho Mountain Express reported Friday that this year crews will focus on removing tailings from the area.
They’ll work on rebuilding side channels, riparian and flood plain habitats in 2019 and 2020.