Bayha and Wright Islands are part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Snake River Islands Unit of the Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge and are in the Snake River approximately 2.5 miles downstream of Walter’s Ferry in southwestern Idaho.
The Bayha Island Research Project was designed to narrow and deepen a section of the Snake River channel by creating approximately 10 acres of wetlands (also called floodplain) adjacent to the islands, thereby increasing water velocity and reducing heating by decreasing the surface area of the river during low summer flows.
The floodplain was also planted with native trees and shrubs such as willows, rabbitbrush, currants, native grasses and sedges to prevent erosion, provide shade and improve wetland habitat.
An illustration of how this type of island project can be used to narrow the river channel is shown below.
Conceptual Grading Analysis
Idaho Power and The Freshwater Trust will use information gained from the research project to further develop a comprehensive strategy for addressing water quality issues throughout the Middle Snake River.