Exciting New Large Wood Project at the Confluence!

We are excited to announce that Meyer Memorial Trust has awarded Johnson Creek Watershed Council a grant to design and permit large wood structures at the confluence with the Willamette River for the benefit of both lower and upper Willamette salmon and steelhead. Large wood structures create more diverse habitat, benefiting the ecological food chain from microorganisms to large predators. Large wood slows stream flow and creates pools for salmon to rest in cool water and hide from predators. Birds also use the structures as a perch.

In 2011, the JCWC implemented a large wood restoration project in this area that was mostly successful, however the complexities of the local hydrology and limitations to how the log structures were constructed led to much of this wood breaking loose and floating downstream. This area is very important to salmon and steelhead populations, especially spring Chinook because lower Johnson Creek is a cold water refuge relative to the Willamette River.  Anadromous fish en route to spawning in Johnson Creek and also those destined for tributaries in the Upper Willamette basin can use these structures for thermal refuge.

These large complex log debris structures will provide resting and hiding cover and also pool habitats for migrating and juvenile salmon. Just this past fall a City of Milwaukie staff member saw salmon resting in this project area! We’re hoping that once the project is completed salmon sightings at the confluence will be even more common.

We also hope that this project will be an opportunity for community engagement. The project engineer will be giving a tour of the project to partner youth to discuss the engineering design and how the project will enhance habitat.

Meyer Memorial Trust works to dismantle barriers to equity in education, housing and the environment and to improve community conditions so that all Oregonians can reach their full potential. 

We are very excited about this project and the benefits it will have for salmon habitat and the community. We want to thank Meyer Memorial Trust for funding the project design and permitting, and our project partners: OWEB, BPA, The Blueprint Foundation, and Clackamas Basin Focused Investment Partnership. We will be advertising a Request For Proposals for the design work in the near future.  We welcome any questions or comments. Contact our Restoration Project Manager, Elizabeth Brosig, at elizabeth@jcwc.org or (503) 652-7477 x104 if you’d like to discuss the project further. 

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