WALDPORT, Ore — Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists are spearheading a project to improve estuary habitat for cutthroat, steelhead, chinook, chum, and coho salmon, and other wildlife in Lint Slough, on the south side of Alsea Bay.
The project will improve the natural processes that create and maintain estuarine habitats, such as mud flats and marshes. Lint Slough’s natural habitats were originally altered by the construction of the Oregon Game Commission’s estuary rearing research facility in 1963.
Restoration work includes removing hydrologic barriers--that currently interfere with tidal flow--and lowering upland habitats to marsh or channel elevation.
The project will be implemented in three phases. Phase one will occur during the 2007 summer freshwater in-water work period and will include the complete removal of one of the hydrologic barriers; modification of a second; breaching the dike and excavating 3,500 feet of dike to marsh height. Phases two and three will be implemented in 2010.
Phase two will take place during the 2010 summer in-water work period or when the Oregon Department of Transportation replaces the Highway 34 bridge over Lint Slough. Components in this phase include completing excavation and breaching of the dike, widening the lower dam opening, lowering upland habitats around the lower dam site to marsh habitats and removing the culverts at the access road.
Phase three will be implemented in conjunction with the Highway 34 bridge replacement or when the city of Waldport replaces its waterline in Lint Slough. This phase includes excavating the upper dam to adjacent marsh height, removing the remaining parts of the upper hydrologic barrier and plugging the bypass channel to prevent stream capture.
“The project is being implemented in phases to ensure we minimize impacts to the city and landowners,” said John Spangler, ODFW watershed council liaison.
The mission of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is to protect and enhance Oregon's fish and wildlife and their habitats for use and enjoyment by present and future generations. The agency consists of the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission, a commission-appointed director and a statewide staff of approximately 950 permanent employees. Headquartered in Salem, ODFW has regional offices in Clackamas, Roseburg, Bend, and La Grande with ten district offices located throughout the state. For additional information, please visit www.dfw.state.or.us.