East Fork of the San Juan River, Colorado, 1986 – 1987

The first known attempt that converted 1.0 mi of a braided channel system to a single-thread, meandering, riffle-pool channel to improve aquatic habitat and reduce the high sediment supply by increasing the sediment transport competence and capacity and reducing streambank erosion. Off-channel habitat was created by excavating a pond and the material was used to build floodplains and terraces. Extensive sediment measurements and stability assessments were conducted prior to the restoration. Featured in National Geographic (special edition of water, November, 1993).

BEFORE RESTORATION: Braided channel before construction in 1985

AFTER RESTORATION: Meandering channel and floodplain following construction in 1987

BEFORE RESTORATION: East Fork River during construction in 1986

AFTER RESTORATION: East Fork River in 2015 – 29 years after restoration

East Fork River in 2015 – 29 years after restoration

East Fork River in 2015 – 29 years after restoration

Wildland Hydrology Inc.
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