|Columbia Helicopter, Inc. was contracted to strategically place the logs in the stream by lifting 3-4 logs at a time.
Various partners including Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department and the Tualatin River Watershed Council have been working together to enhance waterways at L.L. ‘Stub’ Stewart State Park to create passage for native steelhead and cutthroat trout upstream as well as improve habitat for fish and aquatic animals.
Crews placed 218 large logs in a one mile reach of the main stem of West Fork Dairy Creek by helicopter on Nov. 26 and previously removed two obsolete culverts. The project relied on funding from Oregon Parks and Recreation Department and $82,695 in Oregon Lottery funds administered by the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB).
Partners on the project include ODFW, TRWC, OPRD, a private landowner and Tualatin Valley Chapter, Association of NW Steelheaders.
“We are happy to continue making improvements at the new L.L. ‘Stub Stewart’ State Park," says Dan Lucas, the park manager. “The 1,654-acre park protects the headwaters of West Fork Dairy Creek and three tributaries, Brooke, Williams and Logging Creeks, which are important parts of why this park is such a special place.”
“This two-and-a-half-year project couldn’t be possible without the collaboration from all the partners,” says April Olbrich, TRWC Coordinator. “The work we’re doing will improve water quality, address erosion issues, benefit the stream channel and help native fish.”
|Large wooden logs placed in the creek create slow-moving pools that improve conditions for native fish.
Placement of trees will mimic the natural processes that the younger riparian forest will undergo as it matures and trees fall naturally into the steam.
“The addition of large wood to West Fork Dairy Creek will enhance stream habitat by adding complexity that will improve pools and spawning habitat needed by native steelhead, cutthroat trout and lamprey,” says Isaac Sanders, ODFW Stream Restoration Biologist. “The project will also benefit other wildlife including salamanders and birds.”
Barriers to fish and wildlife movement is identified as a key issue of concern in the ODFW Oregon Conservation Strategy.
The final stage of the project will take place this winter and spring when partners plant trees along re-graded stream banks to protect the riparian zone. Provide conditions suitable for natural movement of animals across the landscape.
Visit the Tualatin River Watershed Council for more information on the project, http://www.trwc.org/council-projects/upper_dairy_creek.html
For more information on barriers to fish and wildlife movement, visit the Statewide Issues section of the Oregon Conservation Strategy, http://www.dfw.state.or.us/conservationstrategy/contents.asp
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