A critical requirement for a successful river restoration project in a dynamic gravel bed river is that it be compatible with natural hydraulic and sediment transport processes operating at the reach scale. The potential for failure is greater at locations where the influence of natural processes is inconsistent with intended project function and performance. We present an approach using practical GIS, hydrologic, hydraulic, and sediment transport analyses to identify locations where specific restoration project types have the greatest likelihood of working as intended because their function and design are matched with flooding and morphologic processes. The key premise is to identify whether a specific river analysis segment (length ~1-10 bankfull widths) within a longer reach is geomorphically active or inactive in the context of vertical and lateral stabilities, and hydrologically active for floodplain connectivity. Analyses involve empirical channel geometry relations, aerial photographic time series, LiDAR data, HEC-RAS hydraulic modeling, and a time-integrated sediment transport budget to evaluate trapping efficiency within each segment. The analysis segments are defined by HEC-RAS model cross sections. The results have been used effectively to identify feasible projects in a variety of alluvial gravel bed river reaches with lengths between 11 and 80 km and 2-year flood magnitudes between ~350 and 1330 m(3)/s. Projects constructed based on the results have all performed as planned. In addition, the results provide key criteria for formulating erosion and flood management plans.