Salmon Surveyor Diaries (2015)

What are the Salmon Diaries?
The Salmon Diaries are a public forum created for volunteers helping survey for Coho salmon in the fall and winter. Volunteers from the surveys post comments and photos about their experiences wading through six different sections of Johnson Creek looking for salmon. This page is the archive for 2015; the 2016 Salmon Diaries are here. Enjoy the read.

39 Comments on “Salmon Surveyor Diaries (2015)

Dec 15, 2015 at 1:25 pm

On 11/29, thanksgiving weekend, my partner kealan and I explored crystal springs stretch. We were so hopeful to see any signs of salmon after returning from a trip to Canada where we had the fortune of seeing a healthy salmon run in vedder creek. However, we did not see any salmon in our creek.

Jeremy Doschka
Dec 9, 2015 at 2:18 pm

Ambleside dam

Jeremy Doschka
Dec 9, 2015 at 2:16 pm

Suveyor: Jeremy Doschka
Location: Ambleside Dam
Date/Survey Time: December 5, 2015/9-10am
Weather: Rainy

I spent the first 20 minutes at the side channel right where the channel splits off from the main channel. This area provided a good viewpoint and visibility was good. The water was a little murky but I could also see the bottom in portions of the main channel. I moved over to the dam and spent 20-30 minutes in that area. Did not see anything other than a belted kingfisher downriver from the dam.

Curt McBride
Dec 6, 2015 at 10:59 am

Surveyor: Curt McBride
Stretch: Kelly Creek to Johnson Creek and then up stream
Date/Time: 12-5-15 9:00AM
Weather: Light rain

Did not observe any sign of salmon, dead or alive. Kelly Creek was clear but Johnson Creek was murky. Easy area to survey.

David Stark
Dec 6, 2015 at 9:41 am

Surveyors: Alex Howard and David Stark
Section: Johnson Creek at City of Portland property near Luther Rd (ODFW 30858.0 #5)
Date: 12/5/2015, approximately 8:30 AM – 10:00 AM
Weather: Mid 40’s, overcast with consistent light showers
Water Condition: Moderately high with visibility approximately 15”- 18”

This short section of Johnson Creek is a recently rehabilitated area. While the stream itself has plenty of beautiful spawning and rearing sections, the bank is 95% void of any trees or developed shrubs. Other than two mallards and one domestic duck, no wildlife was observed. Due to the lack of water clarity, observation for spawning Redds was impossible. We looked for possible fish hugging the stream banks and any fish carcasses. We did not observe any of these.

Erin Hauer
Dec 5, 2015 at 11:58 pm

Rough-skinned newt at Lower Kelley Creek to Clatsop Creek confluence (ODFW 30858.3 #1)

Erin Hauer
Dec 5, 2015 at 11:56 pm

Volunteers: Erin Hauer and Susan Safford
Location: Lower Kelley Creek to Clatsop Creek confluence (ODFW 30858.3 #1)
Date: 12/5/15
Start time: 1:49 pm
Finish time: 3:30 pm
Length: .6 miles
Weather conditions: Overcast, 47 degrees
Water mark: 3.90
Johnson Creek water temp at start: 47 degrees
Johnson Creek water temp at finish: 48 degrees
Clatsop Creek outlet water temp: 50 degrees

Animal sightings: We could not see any salmon activity or any indication of redds – our vision was highly impaired by the turbid waters. We spotted a rough-skinned newt near Lakeside Gardens, deer/elk skat near the the Clatstop confluence, and saw several instances of freshwater mussel along the waterline.

Interesting observations: While there are several steep and armored sections of bank, there is also a handful of side channels and wide, deeper pooling areas that seem like appropriate spawning sites.

Lessons learned and advice for future surveyors: The steps down to the water are more like ladder rungs – on the north side of the bridge. We decided to enter from the southern bank, south side of the bridge. It is a good idea to bring clippers to forge your way through the Himalayan blackberry thickets on banks where the water is to high/fast in the channel. Be prepared for several locations where you might want to travel along the banks and reenter where the water is calmer. One piece of general advice is for survey sections to have landmarks called out on the map as a way to gauge your location on a trip.

This is an exciting stretch!

Jim Koloszar
Nov 30, 2015 at 11:40 am

Surveyor(s): David Stark and Jim Koloszar
Stretch: Lower Kelley Creek to Clatsop Creek confluence
Date/Time: 11/28/2015, 08:00 – 09:20
Weather: Sunny, ~35 degrees

The morning started out pretty cold but moving up that stretch of Kelley Creek got us warmed up quick. There was only a small, suspect area of exposed gravel in the first pool below Lakeside Gardens. It was directly below the cascade from above so it seems more likely the result of recent higher flows. The was evidence recent high water throughout the stretch. We did not see any fish or evidence of their use of the area. We did speak to two land owners. The first indicated that they had not received notice that we were going to be in the area. The second was a long time resident and gave us a little insight on the history of the presence of fish (at least in Clatsop Creek). Finally…Future surveyors should use caution on exiting along Clatsop Creek. The adjacent landowner (north side of creek) has several deer that frequent the area (one of which was hand raised) and would like us not to scare them if we can help it. Stick to Clatsop Creek until you reach the bridge and you should be fine.

Martin Estes
Nov 30, 2015 at 9:57 am

We walked Kelly Creek to Johnson Creek up to the large beaver dam. The middle of the dam was partially washed away. The water was off color which made it hard to see the bottom, so saw no fish. It was a clear cold day November 28, 2015.

Jeremy Doschka
Nov 25, 2015 at 8:57 am

Volunteers: Jeremy Doschka
Location: Palmblad/SE 52nd to lower Badger Creek confluence
Date/Time: Saturday, November 21 2015/12:45-3:00pm
Weather: Sunny.

The water level was a little high from recent rains and the water was a little murky making it hard to see the bottom along the deeper stretches. Surveying along this stretch wasn’t too bad, either walking in the creek or along the bank. Towards the end of the survey just after the small bridge that crosses the road (and south of the confluence of Badger Creek), there is a large beaver dam that backs up a quite a bit of water and access through this area can be difficult. We surveyed through this area then backtracked to the bridge. Blackberry bushes weren’t too bad, except for small pockets in certain areas. No wildlife to report. Pretty quiet during our survey. Nothing else to report that hasn’t been stated in previous posts.

Jim Koloszar
Nov 23, 2015 at 5:10 pm

Surveyor(s): Jim Koloszar and Theresa Koloszar
Stretch: Ambleside Dam
Date/Time: 11/21/2015, 11:20 – 12:25
Weather: Partly Cloudy, ~45 degrees

The weather on Saturday was mostly sunny but there were some clouds which, along with the murky conditions in the water, made searching the water a challenge. Recent rains had made the water a bit cloudy although we could still see the to the bottom in some of the shallower areas. We watched for an hour including about 15 minutes along the side channel. We did not see any fish or signs they were using the area. Still, it was a lovely stretch of the Johnson Creek.

Kyza White
Nov 19, 2015 at 5:47 pm

This picture was taken at location #1.
If you look closely you can see the white head of salmon #1 (potentially female Chinook?)
Directly to the left of salmon #1 you can barely tell, but salmon #2 is right next to it. You might be able to notice the lighter line where the fish’s back is.

Kyza White
Nov 19, 2015 at 5:42 pm

Location #1
Where the first two salmon were spotted.

Kyza White
Nov 19, 2015 at 5:40 pm

Surveyors: Kyza White & Dalton Meade
Stretch A Crystal Springs to Bybee Blvd.
Date/Time: Saturday, November 14th 12:00pm-3:00pm
Weather Condition: Overcast & 59°F
Animal Sightings: 4 Salmon (possibly two Chinook & two Coho)

6. Interesting Observations:
This was a very exciting survey day for us because we had four salmon spottings. There were two locations where we saw two salmon at each spot within crystal springs. Each time, we observed a redd first and noticed the salmon next to it afterwards.
Salmon #1 was barely moving, in fact, we thought it might have been dead at first. But then we noticed its tail moving back and forth and slightly changing location. The tail and head were very white. It looked like it was almost spawned out. We assumed it was a female due to the tail deterioration. She was pretty large with oblong spots, so we guessed she was a chinook, but we do not know for sure (pictures are attached below).
Salmon #2 we did not notice for a long time. We were watching the 1st female, when we saw the second salmon appear from under the overhanging riparian bushes. It seemed to be chasing the 1st salmon away from its spot. We do not know for sure if it was a male, but there was no deterioration on this fish, and was it very agile. He was also a larger fish with oblong spots, so we assumed chinook.
Salmon #3 was found across from Hall Pond inside Westmoreland Park. We had to jump the fence along the stream to gain access to the banks of Crystal Springs. Right when we approached the bank, we noticed a large redd and soon observed a salmon directly upstream of it. This salmon looked smaller and more streamlined than the first two we saw, so we guessed it was a Coho. When we approached the fish to get closer for pictures it quickly swam away down river. We stayed on the bank and watched the stream a little longer.
Salmon #4 was spotted while looking for Salmon #3 that just swam away. The fourth salmon came from farther upstream, and raced downstream towards the direction of salmon #3. This salmon was smaller than all the other ones, and seemed to be quicker as well. It had small spots on which led us to believe it was also a Coho. This was the only fish we were not able to get a close look at or pictures.

7. For next week’s surveyors make sure to keep your eyes open for redds. At each redd spotting we saw two salmon. The locations we found the redds/salmon are as follows:
Location #1 SE 21st street between SE Tacoma and SE Tenino. There is a bridge crossing where we saw both salmon almost directly under, and the redd is about 10 yards downstream from the bridge.

Location #2 north bank of Crystal Springs Park parallel to Hall Pond inside Westmoreland park. We spotted the redd about 20 yards upstream from the Lambert Street bridge. The creek was easy to access at this location (only had to jump a fence) but there was a clearing in vegetation at this spot, so you could easily see inside the creek from the bank.

Janice Bell
Nov 18, 2015 at 5:17 pm

Location: Stretch D, Kelley Creek to Clatsop Creek
Time/Date: 8:00-9:00am on Sunday, November 15, 2015
Weather: Overcast
Flow/WQ: Slightly turbid, flow did not appear to be much higher than winter baseflow

We did not find any indication of reds or salmon. There were a school of small fish upstream of the three grade control structures that were adjacent to the pond and aside from snails that is all of the wildlife that we saw. The water was significantly more turbid through the three grade control structures.

Stream Channel Characteristics:
The stream substrate throughout the reach was characterized by 12-inch and larger riprap and concrete debris at the lower end of the reach. As we moved up the reach it transitioned into more natural rock substrate that was filled in by fine sediment, but lacked gravels. There was some trash dumped at the upstream end of the reach along 162nd, but otherwise, we did not see much trash or indication of human presence along the creek.

The sidewalk inside of the Foster Road culvert is undercut, though it was too dark to see how far back the gap in material goes. There was an old wooden walking bridge that has fallen off of it’s footings and is in the creek, but did not obstruct our survey. There is also some steel debris in the lower end of the reach with red paint that you have to step carefully around.

Madeline Kelsch
Nov 16, 2015 at 12:15 am

Aubrey Pelz and I started our survey at about 12:30 pm Saturday November 14th at site 3. The weather was nice- overcast and dark which lessened the glare on the water but made it a little difficult to see everythin else with sunglasses on. No salmon spotted, dead or alive. There was a section where the riverbed had lighter and darker spots, but the surface seemed to be generally flat and the different spots looked too small to be reds. The water was waste deep at certain parts, but on the banks it was more shallow and manageable to navigate. We finished our survey at the beaver damn and then walked back down johnson creek part way, and were able to walk on the upper banks part of the way.

Mark Fitzsimons
Nov 15, 2015 at 7:23 am

Photo: one several smaller beaver dams above 252nd

Mark Fitzsimons
Nov 15, 2015 at 7:21 am

Photo: Large beaver dam above 252nd

Mark Fitzsimons
Nov 15, 2015 at 7:19 am

Surveyors: Mark Fitzsimons and Steve Bennett
Survey Stretch: Palmblad/SE 252nd to SE 262nd/Badger Creek Confluence.
Survey Date: November 7, 2015 starting at 10.45 am
Weather conditions: Heavy overcast, 50 degrees, light rain

Animal sightings:
Bushtits, Song Sparrows
Several mussel shells
No salmonids, redds, or other fish species

Interesting observations:
The stream was carrying a lot of water from recent rainfall. Most of the substrate is comprised of cobbles, large rocks and boulders. The creek flow was swift with adequate flow for fish to pass the full length. The water seemed quite clear given the recent rain and high flow. There were at least a half dozen beaver dams on this stretch of the creek with the first one being the largest. Several fallen trees have also dammed the creek significantly in a few places.

Helpful tips and hints:
We parked one car just north of where we entered the stream on Telford Road at 252nd. We left our second car upstream alongside 262nd, just north of Telford Road. The first beaver dam backed up water quite a distance upstream. We exited the creek below the dam and didn’t reenter until tests with a walking pole indicated it was a safe depth to do so. We also walked the bank around several smaller dams further upstream. We exited the creek where it takes a left turn at a shallow riffle where there are dozens of stone cairns in the creek and up on the bank. From there to where it goes under Telford Road it was deep, fast, and vegetation made it difficult to access.

Photo: 252nd bridge where the survey starts

Wendy Wright
Nov 14, 2015 at 1:59 am

On Saturday, November 11th, 2015 Rocco Jaconis and Wendy Wright walked the stretch of Johnson Creek at the City of Portland property near Luther Road (ODFW 30858.0 #5). We started at the Southwest end of the property at about 10 a.m. Walking in a northeast direction on the bank of the creek to the northern end of the park (near the Luther Road bridge) took us approximately one hour. Weather conditions included some light rain showers and a temperature of ~49 degrees Fahrenheit. The surrounding landscape included established big leaf maple trees, and many recently planted native species.

The water level was lower than last week due to less rain, but still quite murky. No salmon carcasses or live fish were observed. The substrate of the creek is cobble and boulder and no evidence of salmon redds were apparent to the surveyors. American Crows were present at the site, as well as evidence of Canada Geese, canines, and rats. There was a significant amount of trash due to the surrounding human occupation and recent water surge.

We were able to walk at the bank for ~90% of our stretch and recommend future surveyors forego waders, making it easier to walk. Take caution while walking though because portions of the bank are muddy and have a moderate slope.

Michael Babbit
Nov 13, 2015 at 6:59 pm

Fish Ladder at 45th, November 12
I spent about a half hour watching at the fish ladder and stream below Umatilla street.
No fish seen, but the water is running higher so it seems more likely. If a fish went up the ladder it would be easy to spot here. The pool at the bottom of the ladder would be good for spotting, too. The pool is deep and clear, and would be a good resting spot before attempting the ladder. The bridge over the creek at Umatilla has a nice riffle near it, so worth a look as well.
No fish today but lots of ducks in the stream. Also walked the confluence with Erroll Creek where a large dam is being constructed, with nutrias help. Busy critters, it may flood the road this winter.

Caz Zyvatkauskas
Nov 9, 2015 at 6:12 pm

Monitored the static site in Gresham Main City Park again on Nov. 4. No salmon or redds but noticed the recent rain storms had damaged the beaver dam. The photo shows before and after images.

Martin Estes
Nov 8, 2015 at 1:25 am

Survey spot: Kelly Creek to Beaver Dam on Johnson Creek on Saturday 11/7/15.
Time: 1:00-3:00 PM
Weather: raining Water: fairly clear
Interesting Observation: at beaver dam the beavers are actively falling alder trees
Good experience, we walked on the bank and could observe the bottom of the creek the whole way and saw no fish.

Scott Kelly
Nov 3, 2015 at 12:14 am

10-24-15 Scott Kelly and Patrick Haluska surveyed Johnson Creek at the City of Portland property from Luther Road downstream to Johnson Creek Road. Weather was about 58 degrees C and overcast. Water level was low; it hasn’t rained significantly for several days.
We didn’t find any adult salmon or redds. We saw one crayfish and a few fingerling fish of unknown species.
We saw at least three well-used human camps along the creek, and plenty of garbage in or adjacent to the creek. We came across one man-made rock weir across the creek that essentially created a block for fish passage. I knocked out a narrow gap in the weir.
This recently restored section of creek seems like good habitat for spawning, with multiple riffles and pools. However, most of the section doesn’t have any shade or overhanging banks to provide shelter.

Russ Stoll
Nov 2, 2015 at 10:39 pm

On October 31, Scott Kelly and I worked the Johnson Creek Park [confluence] to Bybee section of Crystal Springs Creek and we continued on through Westmoreland Union Manor to McLaughlin. We worked from 10 a.m. to 12:30.

The weather was overcast. Due to the earlier heavy rains, the creek was deep and running fast. We were able to spend most of our time in the creek and were even able to go underneath one street with one of the new fish passage bridges. There are a lot of cool homes in Sellwood-Moreland along the creek.

Most of that stretch is deep sediment. We were often sinking in 12″ or more. There are a few places that might be described as spawning habitat, gravel beds above a riffle, but those were small bits here and there. Much of the creek bank is armored and channelized.

The water in the new Westmoreland Park project was mostly too deep to move through and what areas we were in the water were heavily sedimented. We flushed a nutria from the banks in the park. A few days earlier Scott had spotted four otters in this stretch, I believe near the Crystal Springs Apartments.

It would be interesting to pursue this stretch from the east side of McLoughlin to Reed Canyon. The east side of the creek has more natural banks and it would be cool to follow it all the way up to the fish ladder.

Mark Fitzsimons
Nov 1, 2015 at 3:58 am

Monitoring station marker at the bridge over Kelly Creek. (note water color)

Mark Fitzsimons
Nov 1, 2015 at 3:51 am

Kelley Creek to Clatsop Creek segment – photo of typical stream flow

Mark Fitzsimons
Nov 1, 2015 at 3:38 am

Surveyors: Mark Fitzsimons and Ellen Cameron
Survey Stretch: Kelley Creek to Clatsop Creek (.76 mile)
Survey Date: October 31, 2015 starting at 9:00 am
Weather conditions: Heavy overcast, 60 degrees, heavy rain the previous night.

Animal sightings:
Numerous mallards and two Mute Swans on adjacent pond, Belted Kingfisher, Bushtits, Bewicks Wren, Song Sparrow.
No salmonids, redds, other fish species, or other aquatic life was observed.

Interesting observations:
The stream is heavily channelized along this stretch and most of the substrate is comprised of cobbles, large rocks and boulders. There are several man made concrete dams in the lower section. The creek flow was swift with adequate flow for fish to pass the full length. The water was turbid from silt washed in during the night’s heavy rain. Some pools appeared to be discolored from tanin and there were also scattered patches of foam.

Helpful tips and hints:
No stretches of the creek were too deep to walk; most pools were less than 2 feet deep. We walked the bank where the creek is backed up behind a series of concrete dams just after it crosses under the Foster Rd and did not try to walk through them. The blackberry is thick in places and a number of fallen trees cross the creek.

The first photo is the marker at the bridge over Kelly Creek. (note water color)
The second photo is the marker at the footbridge over Clatsop Creek

Tobyn Peterson
Oct 31, 2015 at 10:24 pm

Tony O’Hare and I walked B Luther Rd this morning at about 9:30 am. Cloudy with rainstorms approaching. We started at the small bridge at Luther Rd, walking west along the stream and ending near 73rd. There was significantly more water in the creek today (compared to last week) but it was filled with sediment and visibility into the creek was zero. There were a few point bars where we could see into the water just a bit, right by the bank, but even this was very limited. Mini-rapids and strong flow at several locations; we chose to walk the bank as visibility into the water was zero, regardless of position. No fish carcesses present, impossible to say about live fish in the stream. Ducks and Canada geese were spotted, and the restoration project between Johnson Creek and the Springwater Trail is looking great. Other than that, not much to report.

Scott Kelly
Oct 31, 2015 at 9:57 pm

Volunteers: Scott Kelly and Russ Stoll
Location: Crystal Springs from the confluence with Johnson Creek at Johnson Creek Park upstream to where the creek flows under McLoughlin Blvd.
Time/Date: 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Saturday, October 31, 2015.
Weather: Overcast and windy. Heavy rain the previous night, and approximately 1.3 inches of rain in the last five days.

Animal Sightings: No salmon. One nutria and one blue heron in Crystal Springs in Westmoreland Park. One live muscle. Several ducks and geese.

Creek Condition: Although it had rained hard the previous night, Crystal Springs was fairly calm and clear. We could easily see the bottom even in two+ feet of water. There were a few deeper pools, but most of the creek was visible.
As noted in a post last year, most of the best spawning habitat appeared to be in the lower section, just upstream of the confluence with Johnson Creek. As we went further upstream, and especially upstream of Tacoma Street and through the newly restored section of Crystal Springs in Westmoreland Park, the bottom had a thick layer of fine silt. In spite of the relatively heavy rain the silt wasn’t being washed out.

Lessons Learned: Wading pole(s) were very helpful to maintain balance in the deep, silty areas. Rather than struggle through to walk up the creek in Westmoreland Park, where the silt was thickest, we found it best to walk along the banks.

Oct 30, 2015 at 3:19 pm


My partner Kealan and I explored crystal springs stretch A on Saturday, October 24.

It was a beautiful day. We saw no signs of salmon but got to talk to a long time resident who has the creek running in his back yard. He told us of past times where salmon ran through the creek. He seemed doubtful of us spotting any due to the conditions of a lot of silt accumulated in the creek being unappealing to salmon. We saw many mussel shells. We also saw a brief splash up towards westmoreland park that we wondered if it may have been a fish…

Caz Zyvatkauskas
Oct 29, 2015 at 4:49 pm

Oct. 28 Gresham Main City Park. Surveyed the creek from four bridges: Springwater Trail east of Main Street, Main Street Park bridge, Park trail bridge (between Main Street and Springwater Trail), Tsuru Island bridge. No salmon.

Most of the water is too murky or deep to see properly. Where vantage is possible the creek bed looks muddy and potted with large rocks. The best location is just downstream of the beaver dam from Tsuru Island. With proper footwear on will get closer next week.

Oct. 29. Dowsett Lane, Gresham. I keep a daily watch on this section of the stream. The bottom is easy to see as the water is clear and shallow at the moment. Spotted a small frog swimming about near the bank. Looked like a Red-legged.

Andy Case
Oct 29, 2015 at 4:53 am

On Oct. 17th we walked Stretch D: Kelley to Clatsop Creek. Kelley creek was very low and walking in the creek was fairly easy (except for the few man made pools early in the reach. We didn’t see any reds or fish on the stretch; we reached the confluence of Clatsop Creek but it was totally dry.

Tobyn Peterson
Oct 24, 2015 at 8:45 pm

Mark Fitzsimons and I walked Kelley Creek to Clatsop Creek today (10.24.15). It was cloudy and about 60 degrees. We left at 10:00 am and were at Clatsop Creek (which has no flowing water currently) in less than an hour. We saw no fish (or any other animals) the whole way; there are a few spots where the water is a few feet deep, but by and large the water level is extremely low with large, exposed rocks, and we noted numerous spots that look impassable for salmon (or any other fish) at present. Mark commented that he was at the Johnson Creek and Willamette River confluence recently, and the creek was very low even there. Local landowner commented on an especially large beaver dam to the north of Kelley Creek, and reported he has spotted cougars on his property a couple of times in the last few years. A pleasant day for a walk, but it looks like more precipitation is needed before these creeks will be passable for Coho. There are definitely stretches of the creek that could be ideal for redds, but only if the water levels rise.

Michael Babbit
Oct 24, 2015 at 6:05 pm

Fish Ladder at 45th Street, October 23, 11:30-12:30

I spent a half hour at the fish ladder watching for salmon, but saw none. The water was clear and the pool below the ladder was easy to observe from the side. With low water, very little flow goes to the channel with the waterfall. I walked over to the overlook at the falls. As very little water is flowing, it doesn’t look very attractive for fish. I think they would follow the main flow to the fish ladder. I also walked down the creek to the Erroll Creek confluence.. Lots of ducks and birds, but no fish to be seen.

Nice day. I’ll visit this site weekly.

Russ Stoll
Oct 19, 2015 at 12:43 am

Kate Jentoff-Herr and I worked the Palmblad/SE 252nd to SE 262nd/Badger Creek Confluence. We worked from about 9:30 to Noon on October 17, 2015, and our stretch is about 1.5 to 2 miles in length.

The weather was overcast and it had rained earlier in the day. The creek bed in this section is very rocky with some areas of heavy silt. We came across some 8-12 beaver dams or other obstacles, including one that is about 4 feet high. The many pools formed have quiet and dark water.

There was no place on this stretch that we would consider prime spawning habitat. At one spot about halfway through, we collected a number of mussel shells and Kate took a picture of the house nearby so that spot could be located. Going around a dam we flushed a frog once.

We had a great time. Not sure what sort of tips to pass on…. Blackberries weren’t bad.

Bruce Newton
Oct 18, 2015 at 8:52 pm

On 10/17 Daniel Pettit and I surveyed the Luther Road reach. It was cool and overcast —
perfect for salmon surveying. We did not see any salmon or redds but it was really great to see the stream restoration project that was completed recently.

Steve Bennett
Oct 18, 2015 at 7:14 pm

Stretch surveyed: Ambleside Dam/Fish Passage
Date: October 17, 2015 10:30am – 1 hour
Weather conditions: Cool, cloudy, ground was wet but was not raining. It had rained during the night.
Observations: The creek level was low enough that no water was flowing over the dam. The side channel had adequate flow for fish to pass but there are plenty of obstructions – rocks, trees, etc. I did not observe any fish in the side channel from beginning to end and of course nothing at the dam. The creek appeared discolored from leaf tannin and there were large pools of cedar needles covering the surface in many areas. The directions suggested crossing the bridge and follow the side channel from the opposite bank. I found it easier to stay near the dam where you could observe both the dam and the entrance to the side channel. One of my pictures is of a deer I startled (look carefully).

Jack Sutherland
Oct 18, 2015 at 9:10 am

Volunteers: Jack Sutherland and Patrick Haluska
Location: Lower Kelley Creek to beaver dam on Johnson creek (ODFW 30858.3 #1 & 30858.7 #1)
Time/Date: 9:00-10:00 AM, October 17th, 2015
Weather Conditions: Slightly Overcast.

-Animal Sightings: No mature salmonoids observed. We saw four live crayfish, with 9-10 crayfish carcasses present. A lot of freshwater mussel shells present in the stream as well. Some small fish were observed, from 1-2″.

-Interesting Findings: Sadly, we counted 11 automobile tires in the creek within our section, as well as a lot of other miscellaneous litter and debris. There was no shortage of aluminum cans and bottles, as well as clothing and construction waste. There was a lot of muddy sediment and silt sized particulates within the substrate of the section. The size of bedrock was rather large, mainly cobblestone sized, definitely too large for salmon to displace in order to construct a redd.

-Lessons learned and advice for future surveyors: There are obvious signs of human presence throughout the entirety of this section. The stream is highly channelized, and there are manmade rock dams every fifty feet or so.
The turbidity of the water was low, which made for great visibility and ease of monitoring. Be sure to bring your polarized glasses! The stream velocity was quite slow, as we haven’t had much precipitation, so trekking poles weren’t absolutely necessary. However, as rain events begin to happen more frequently, and the velocity of the stream increases, you may need to rely on them for balance.
Pay close attention when you make it to the beaver dam, as the area deepens abruptly; tread lightly. There is a small user path at the face of the dam that you can use to observe the amazing structure from above. A lot of beaver gnawed snags paint the riparian slope of this area, so watch your step!
Take a minute to observe your surroundings; it is a pretty cool area to survey. Although we didn’t strike the salmon mother lode, we finished the survey with a sense of accomplishment, as zero data is still valuable data.

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