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ODFW Willamette Wildlife Mitigation Program

Minto island conservation area

About Minto Island Conservation Area:

Project Proponent: City of Salem

Year Acquired: 2013

Conservation Values Protected: This project protects side channels and alcoves that provide year-round water and seasonal inundation, and provides non-structural flood water storage, nutrient and energy cycling, and habitat for many native and exotic species. The Minto Island conservation area (MICA) also contains remnant side channels and alcoves of the Willamette River and Willamette Slough. The floodplain forests on MICA provide habitat for a variety of aquatic and terrestrial species of conservation concern. Minto Island is identified in several other regional and state plans as a priority restoration location and is in the Willamette River Floodplain Conservation Opportunity Area (COA) as described the Oregon Conservation Strategy (2006); a designated Conservation Opportunity Area in the Willamette Synthesis map, as maintained by The Nature Conservancy; and a designated Priority Conservation Area in the Willamette Sub-basin Plan. MICA is adjacent to the Minto Brown Island Park. Recently the City of Salem and the Natural Resources Conservation Service restored 278 acres of riparian, wetland, and upland habitats along several sloughs within the park. Native anadromous fish species present in the Willamette River in the vicinity of MICA include spring-run Chinook salmon, winter steelhead, cutthroat trout, and Pacific lamprey. The StreamNet database (2012) indicates that the Willamette River in the vicinity of Minto-Brown Island provides rearing and migration habitat for spring Chinook salmon, winter steelhead trout, and spawning and rearing habitat for fall Chinook salmon. The lower portion of the Willamette Slough, from the Willamette River to Pringle Creek, provides rearing and migration habitat for spring Chinook salmon and spawning and rearing habitat for fall Chinook salmon and winter steelhead. Seasonally flooded wetlands and sloughs on MICA provide important habitat for these fish species as well as other amphibians and aquatic mammals.

Species known to use MICA include western pond turtle, northern red-legged frog, neotropical migratory birds, waterfowl, herons, osprey, bald eagles, and other raptors. Species of concern which may use the site in the future include western bluebird, dusky Canada goose, little willow flycatcher, and western meadowlark.

There are approximately 153 acres of floodplain/riparian forest on MICA. Existing forests are comprised of native species including, but not limited to, black cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa), Oregon ash (Fraxinus latifolia), red alder (Alnus rubra), bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum), willow (Salix spp.), Pacific ninebark (Physocarpus capita/us), and redosier dogwood (Cornus sericea). Herbaceous layers vary according to shading and level of disturbance, with sparse native cover in heavily wooded areas and more dense invasive cover, primarily reed canarygrass (Phalaris arundincea), water smartweed (Polygonum sp.) and blackberry, in open areas.

Acres Protected: 310

Access: Open to the public

Contact us

Willamette Wildlife Mitigation Program Contact List (pdf)
ODFW Wildlife and Fish Biologist Contact List (pdf)

For more information

Contact Laura Tesler, Willamette Wildlife Mitigation Program Coordinator,



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