To assist the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Nevada Department of Wildlife with restoration planning on the Mason Valley Wildlife Management Area (MVWMA) near Yerington, NV, Otis Bay coordinated with clients, determined desired goals, performed field studies, completed assessments of existing habitat conditions, developed models to determine appropriate restoration designs for wildlife and recreational use, and completed designs for a channel restoration pilot project. Field studies included fine-scale vegetation mapping, territory mapping for breeding birds, macroinvertebrate sampling, groundwater measurements, and hydraulic analyses. Field data was entered into a GIS database and paired with existing LiDAR, aerial photography, and USGS gage data.
Desired goals for restoration included:
- restoration of a natural channel pattern to restore channel dynamics
- reconnection of the river with its floodplain
- establishment of more natural flow regimes
- repair of problematic river reaches exhibiting incision or bank erosion
- identification and protection of biologically diverse habitat patches
- enhancement of riparian vegetation for wildlife habitat
- creation of recreation opportunities
A final report was developed that included a synthesis of field data, a review of NDOW land management and goals, management strategy recommendations, plans for channel and riparian restoration to improve ecological function, and determination of additional areas in need of restoration enhancement on MVWMA. Trail, parking, and footbridge areas were incorporated into natural habitat designs to allow public access. These efforts were funded by the Desert Terminal Lakes Program through the Lahontan National Fish Hatchery.
An environmental assessment report for the implementation of the pilot channel restoration project has been completed. Tamarisk removal and construction of river meanders, a trail system and foot bridge will be completed in the near future.