Improving Riparian Habitat
During the summertime, Johnson Creek is often warmer than state water quality standards for rearing salmon and trout (64⁰F).
We work with landowners and managers in the Johnson Creek watershed to improve habitat for fish and wildlife, planting native trees and shrubs that increase shade and reduce stream temperatures. We are guided by best practices developed through staff expertise and input from JCWC’s partners in the Portland Metro area. Our goal is to reach 80% shade cover from riparian forests along Johnson Creek.
A Strategy for Riparian Restoration in the Johnson Creek Watershed
We assessed current riparian habitat conditions using a GIS aerial photo analysis of shade level by tax lot to identify properties with the highest opportunity for improvement. As a result, we prioritize restoration in areas that will yield the most benefit based on how low shade/canopy cover is, how continuous the property is with existing riparian forest, and whether the parcel is in a tributary headwater area. We also consider the whether trout and salmon are present, what the relative thermal load is, invasive plant threats to the existing canopy, and riparian forest diversity.
Streamside Management Projects
We work throughout the watershed, on properties large and small, rural and urban. Below are planting locations since 2015. Most projects begin with weed control, followed by native species plantings. We include several years of post-planting management, such as additional weed control and infill planting.
Our CreekCare program is designed for people who own or manage streamside property in the Johnson Creek Watershed. We provide crews to control invasive plants and replace them with native trees and shrubs, in order to reduce stream temperatures through shading and to improve habitat for fish and wildlife.
JCWC’s Streamside Restoration Guide
Invasive weeds, such as ivy, blackberry, reed canary grass, and garlic mustard, can can interfere with streamside restoration planting. Many of these species are termed “noxious” because they can threaten fish and wildlife habitat. Garlic mustard is particularly noxious because it is allelopathic–it disrupts the growth of other species. The State Weed Board is very interested in controlling this species, and the Johnson Creek Watershed Council is working to eradicate this species from the watershed. Our grant funding supports garlic mustard removal projects throughout the watershed. If you own or manage land in the watershed interested in garlic mustard control, please contact us!
Johnson Creek Watershed Council has been combating this weed since 2009 and continues every year to remove it from the watershed.
We need help managing garlic mustard!
We have internship and volunteer opportunities seasonally from April to June. We will provide training to identify and remove this species. Interns and volunteers will gain experience with invasive species control methods, habitat restoration, fieldwork, landowner outreach, environmental nonprofit management, and more! Come join us!
Volunteer / Internship Opportunities
Check back in early spring!