Tillamook, Ore — Beginning in mid-October, a helicopter will place large trees in mid-coast streams to provide spawning and rearing habitats for coho salmon, chinook salmon, cutthroat trout and steelhead.
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will work with the helicopter contractor, USFS, BLM, and local landowners to implement tree placements in the stream channels. The heavy lift helicopter will place trees, approximately 100-150 ft long, in the Beaver Creek Basin on North Fork Beaver Creek, Petersen Creek and Elkhorn Creek. Trees will also be placed in the Alsea Basin along Horse/Meadow Creek, Lobster Creek, Little Lobster Creek and Preacher Creek.
Adding trees to the streams will create diverse habitats, promote the capture and sorting of spawning gravels, and provide deep complex pools for native salmon, steelhead and trout. Other related work in these streams include removing 1.3 miles of stream side road along Elkhorn Creek, planting conifer trees along the banks of Horse/Meadow Creek to improve riparian conditions, removing a steel rack in South Fork Lobster Creek, and replacing one culvert on a tributary of Preacher Creek for fish passage.
“By using a helicopter we have the capacity to use trees of a size that will utilize the entire floodplain significantly benefiting habitat for salmon and trout.” said ODFW Stream Habitat Biologist Jason Kirchner. “This is a cooperative effort funded and supported by Plum Creek Timberlands, several individual private landowners, Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, Mid Coast Watersheds Council, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Forest Service, and the Bureau of Land Management.”