The replacement of the lower-most fish passage barrier in the North Fork of Johnson Creek was completed in the summer of 2017! Located under the Springwater Trail just upstream from the confluence of the North Fork with Johnson Creek proper, this culvert replacement is part of a comprehensive effort addressing the length of the North Fork in partnership with Multnomah County and the East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District. The project, which began in 2015, had a couple “passage barriers” of its own along the way. The summer of 2017 began with our project being 90% designed and with most permits pending issuance. The project was one of several initiated with the idea that the Council would provide funding and management, Inter-Fluve would be our contract engineer, and a private contractor would implement the projects. Unfortunately, we were not able to secure a written agreement with the contractor involved and had to put the project out for bid in July.
As we worked through the final stages of permitting, and securing an agreement with a new contractor, we also had to re-design our traffic control plan for bicycle/pedestrian detour safety. This was no simple task, as Telford road is both a narrow roadway and has narrow shoulders, but we got the final design approved at the eleventh hour (literally). The final design exceeded our budget, but thankfully the City of Portland’s Parks and Recreation Department was able to pay for the traffic control implementation which ultimately made the project go.
The North Fork of Johnson Creek was historically accessible to anadromous salmonids, and still has potential as good spawning and rearing habitat for salmonids and other native fish species. Like other tributaries in upper Johnson Creek, the North Fork’s key features for salmonid habitat are forested riparian areas for much of its length and cold water refugia. Special thanks to our funding partners: Metro, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, The Nature Conservancy/Portland General Electric, Portland Parks and Recreation Department and Inter-Fluve!