Tag Archives | watershed

Spring 2016 Watershed Works Newsletter Now Available!

Hot off the press, the 2016 Spring Watershed Works Partner Newsletter is now available. This is a collaborative effort between area Watershed Councils and Soil and Water Conservation Districts. Find out what your councils and districts have been up to for the last few months.

Do not miss the Spring/Summer/Fall Events Calendar. Activities from April through October are listed with links for additional information!

Who are the partners in this edition?

fall- winter front coverClackamas River Basin Council

Clackamas Soil & Water Conservation District

Johnson Creek Watershed Council

Molalla River Watch

North Clackamas Urban Watersheds Council

Oswego Lake Watershed Council

Sandy River Basin Watershed Council

Tryon Creek Watershed Council

Tualatin River Watershed Council

Tualatin Soil & Water Conservation District

West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District

SPRING 2016 WC & SWCD Partner Newsletter
SPRING 2016 WC & SWCD Partner Newsletter
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Weir Removal…a dam good idea!

Weirs are barriers built in a stream to pool water for irrigation, recreation, and sometimes to generate power. They are found in many of our local streams, even though most are no longer in use, and often cause problems for juvenile fish. During times of low streamflow, these structures tend to be too tall for young fish to jump, and during high streamflow, the narrow opening in the weir causes the water to flow too quickly for young fish to navigate.

History of One Weir

Milk Creek WatershedwebMany years ago, crews at Camp Adams installed a weir on Nate Creek in the Milk Creek Watershed, to create a swimming hole for the retreat. Unfortunately, within a year the sediment buildup caused the swimming hole to become useless. This year, the current owners of Camp Adams felt it was time to return the stream to its original state, so they contacted the Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District for assistance. Jenne Reische, riparian specialist, visited site visit and explained that once a stream is backed-up, gravel and debris that normally travels through the stream system becomes trapped. This causes the sediment build-up behind the weir and starves the lower part of the stream of needed woody debris and spawning gravel. Removing a weir and allowing a stream to flow naturally not only improves fish habitat downstream, but also opens up good habitat upstream.

Fixing the Problem

After many months of planning and permitting, the fall in-stream work window arrived and crews from Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife brought in heavy equipment to remove the concrete and wood structure in Nate Creek. Prior to the weir removal, biologists routed the stream through a pipe to keep the deconstruction process from sending sediment and debris from the deconstruction downstream. As the water left the construction area, biologists quickly captured any stranded fish and released them downstream.
Removing the weir made Nate Creek a free-flowing stream. Additional improvements include two log jams and boulder clusters to provide places for insects to reside and young fish to rest. Crews planted native trees, shrubs, and small plants on the streamside to provide bank protection, shade, and habitat for the native birds and wildlife.

Success in the Stream

The Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District and Camp Adams staff happily report that there is one less weir in the Milk Creek Watershed! “The Camp Adams community is excited and honored to be a part of local community efforts to restore and preserve the health and vitality of the Milk Creek watershed,” explained Natalie and Bob Becker, camp managers. “It is central to the mission of Camp Adams to use the natural resources of the property in ways that raise awareness of the dire need for conversations about our environment.”
“This is not a do-it-yourself type of project,” adds Reische, project manager for the District. “There are permits, in-stream timelines, and many considerations for protecting the water quality in the stream. We recommend interested landowners contact the Conservation District to help them navigate this process.”
For more information on weir removal on your property, contact Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District at 503-210-6000.

Follow That Fish to Milk Creek!

Claudia Chinook photo by Polk SWCD

Claudia Chinook photo by Polk SWCD

If you see a 14-foot tall Chinook salmon travelling down the highway, follow it to Camp Adams and the Milk Creek Watershed Celebration! Claudia the Chinook will be the guest of honor at the September 27, 2014 event being held at Camp Adams in Molalla.

Claudia is large enough to hold 7-8 adults. Inside her cavernous mouth and body is a painted mural that includes the complete life-cycle of Chinook salmon, along with paintings of other fish, animals, and plants that can be found in a healthy watershed.

Once you have had the chance to visit with Claudia, enjoy the many interesting displays provided by local groups including the Molalla Historical Museum. Listen to live music performed by local musicians, The Other Guys. Throughout the day, there will be presentations on Milk Creek restoration projects and the local fish population. And don’t miss out on creating your own fish print and wearable nature conservation button. Bring the entire family and come on down — the event is FREE!

Camp Adams provides a unique setting to enjoy the great outdoors, so be sure to wear your hiking boots and join in on the nature walks being led morning and afternoon. There’s something for everyone at this community event!

Milk Creek is a beautiful stream that starts northeast of Colton and travels past Union Mills, within a couple of miles of Molalla, through Mulino, and eventually empties into the Molalla River just outside of Canby. It is home to many native fish and has been the focus for a number of organizations that have partnered to improve fish habitat and improve water quality. This community social is a celebration of the wildlife, water, and great people that live in and around Milk Creek!

The event is supported by funding from Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, Oregon Department of Transportation, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, Clackamas County Soil and Water Conservation District, and volunteer assistance from Molalla River Watch Watershed Council.

Event Details:
Milk Creek Watershed Celebration
September 27, 2014
10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Camp Adams
18499 S. Hwy 211, Molalla OR

A Rare Chance to Learn About Streams

November 18, 2012 - Light rain

One example of stream bank restoration photo by Tom Salzer

Is the area next to your river (known as the riparian area) eroding and falling off into the water each winter? Clackamas County Soil and Water Conservation District is happy to host a rare opportunity for landowners interested in learning from leading experts in the field of stream bank restoration. Come and learn why stream banks sometimes erode and what you as a landowner can do about it!

Streambank Erosion – a landowner workshop
September 20, 2014
8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
End of the Oregon Trail Museum
1726 Washington St. Oregon City OR 97045

Seating is limited, RSVP by calling Cathy at 503-210-6000 or e-mail to reserve your seat!

Speakers at this workshop are noted professionals in the field of stream bank restoration, and include:.

Janine Castro (USFWS, NMFS, PSU) – Janine, a fluvial geomorphologist*, is a regional expert in geomorphology with the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) in Portland, Oregon. She is an experienced instructor who provides local and national training on geomorphology and stream restoration. Prior to joining the USFWS, she worked for 10 years with the Natural Resources Conservation Service throughout the western United States.

Colin Thorne (Nottingham University, Portland State University) – Colin is a fluvial geomorphologist with an educational background in environmental sciences, civil engineering and physical geography. He has published 9 books and over 120 journal papers and book chapters. He has particular expertise in erosion, sediment transport and sedimentation.

*Fluvial geomorphology is a science devoted to understanding rivers, both in their natural setting as well as how they respond to human-induced changes in a watershed. – Bucknell University Environmental Center

Obstruction Removed — Fish Jumping for Joy!

This in-stream dam on Corral Creek restricted passage for native fish.

This in-stream dam on Corral Creek restricted passage for native fish.

Exciting things have been happening in Corral Creek. Last month an in-stream dam was removed from the creek and constructed log jams were installed. The project restored natural stream processes and re-established 2.5 miles of stream habitat for native fish including cutthroat trout that live year-round in Corral Creek.

After consulting with stream engineers and obtaining necessary permits, the dam was taken apart, carefully removed, and hauled to a concrete recycler. Fish passage and natural stream flow was restored. The constructed log jams will help retain sediment and gravel where it would naturally occur. The trees and boulders that make up the log jam give juvenile fish a place to rest and hide when water is high and fast. Planting native trees, shrubs and grasses helped speed the recovery of the stream banks after construction.

 Corral Creek completed project

Project completed! Habitat is restored and Corral Creek runs freely.

To celebrate this project, a Corral Creek Neighborhood Social will be held at the Magness Memorial Tree Farm on November 9, 2013 from 9:00 a.m. to noon. There will be experts on stream and fish habitat, septic system maintenance, and woodlot management, as well as fun activities for kids.

The successful completion of this project is the result of a collaborative partnership between the Thomsons, Clackamas County Soil and Water Conservation District, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and American Rivers- NOAA Community Based Restoration Program.