News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Whychus Trailhead to close temporarily, trail to remain accessible

Beginning next Tuesday, the Whychus Trailhead on the Deschutes National Forest’s Sisters Ranger District will be closed to allow for construction of a project to improve fish passage in the area. The Whychus Trail will remain accessible.

The trailhead closure will begin on September 8 and end on October 30. The closure is for public safety and to allow heavy equipment to operate safely in the project area. A temporary parking lot and trailhead will be located 500 feet southwest of the closed trailhead. A temporary trail has been constructed to provide access to the Whychus Trail. East bound hikers will be directed to use the temporary trail to the temporary parking lot and asked not to enter the construction area.

The Plainview Fish Passage project will create an irrigation diversion fish screen, install a pipeline and remove a dam. The screening is being done to keep redband trout and steelhead from entering an irrigation ditch. The dam removal will allow fish to access habitat in upper Whychus Creek.

Plainview ditch is not currently screened and allows redband trout and steelhead to enter the ditch and not return to Whychus Creek. The dam that pushes water into the ditch is an upstream fish migration barrier. A new fish screen will be installed, a pipe will be installed to carry some of the water, and the dam will be removed. Gravel, boulders and logs will be placed in the section of Whychus Creek to stabilize the channel after dam removal. This project supports chinook salmon and steelhead trout reintroduction into the upper Deschutes Basin. The project also helps to protect native redband trout.


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