Rufus is an island site located 25 miles east of The Dalles Oregon in the Columbia Gorge. This site is one of two mitigation sites at which habitat restoration is being done as part of the Wyeth Columbia River Treaty Fishing Access Site project that we are working on with Advanced American Construction, Inc., the general contractor for this project. This U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project will provide Native American tribes with fishing access to the Columbia River and is one of 31 total similar sites that will eventually fulfill treaty agreements that the U.S. government made with Native American tribes that preserve fishing access for these groups. The restoration mitigation work is being done to compensate for disturbance to fish habitat as a result of the construction of a boat dock and break waters.
The Rufus site, approximately 10 acres in size, is a remnant of excavation work resulting from construction of the John Day Dam. Our early investigation of the site revealed that a willow like plant found extensively along the shoreline of the island is in fact an invasive species called False Indigo (Amorpha fruticosa). This plant species as it turns out has become a heavily predominant shoreline plant in many areas of the Columbia Gorge.
Cedar Landscape, the landscape contractor for the project, planted approximately 1,500 Willow, Cottonwood and Dogwood live stake plantings over approximately 1.4 acres of shoreline in order to reestablish native habitat vegetation. Information learned from the success of this project will be instrumental for future habitat restoration endeavors. Other restoration work on the site included installation of large woody debris along the shoreline, the re-grading of shoreline slopes and the excavation of part of the island to a submerged condition. The goal of this work is to enhance shoreline for fish habitat.