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. In conjunction with these rehabilitation efforts, the U.S. Geological Survey monitored suspended-sediment transport and discharge between 2012 and 2015 at three sites in the lower reaches of the Yankee Fork. Pseudo-hydrographs were developed for the Bonanza and Confluence sites using data from the streamgage site as a surrogate. Results showed a good fit between measured and calculated discharge with R2 values of 0.96 for the Bonanza site and 0.98 for the Confluence site. Both regressions have high hypothesis test statistics (t>23) and low probability values (p<0.0001), indicating a strong linear correlation. Suspended-sediment samples collected mostly during snowmelt runoff showed a positive correlation with stream discharge. Hysteresis in the sample results indicates a supply-limited suspended-sediment transport regime. Percent sand by weight of suspended-sediment samples identified a possible discharge threshold for sand suspension at about 400 cubic feet per second (ft3/s) at the Bonanza site and about 1,000 ft3/s at the Confluence and Gage sites.
For additional information, contact:
Idaho Water Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
230 Collins Road
Boise, Idaho 83702
Source and link to download report: https://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/ofr20181189