We’re Opening More Stream for Fish Passage in Boring!

Eight years ago Johnson Creek Watershed Council (JCWC) surveyed and prioritized 275 fish passage barriers in the Johnson Creek Watershed. Since then, the Council has completed eight fish passage projects, including culvert replacements and retrofits, and a dam removal. One of those projects was the removal of a full barrier on Badger Creek at the Springwater Trail crossing in 2016, opening Badger Creek to fish passage up to a degraded culvert on private property just 0.7 miles upstream. We just found out that Oregon Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) is going to provide funding to resolve this fish passage barrier and open Badger Creek for another 0.7 miles! 

A small brown lamprey swims in the creek among stream cobbles. 
As our Restoration Project Manager, Elizabeth Brosig, reached into the creek to collect a sample for eDNA testing, she saw a small lamprey hanging out among the rocks at the culvert outlet. 

Badger Creek is a cold water tributary of Johnson Creek in Boring, Oregon. Cold water tributaries are significantly important to salmon, especially with climate change impacts continuing to increase. Since resolving the barrier at the Springwater Trail crossing, the Council has conducted Environmental DNA testing in Badger Creek at that location and found the presence of steelhead/rainbow trout, coho, and Pacific lamprey. Additionally, in the summer of 2016 during construction at the site, an adult 12” Pacific lamprey and several small lamprey were captured and later released during the fish salvage operation with ODFW. 

A rusted and exposed old corrugated metal culvert sits perched above the creekbed. There is a log in the stream a few feet downstream of the culvert outlet that angles the flow towards the opposite bank. Behind the stream crossing there is a green mowed field. 
Replacing this old culvert with a footbridge will not only open the stream for fish passage, but will also improve the habitat at this crossing. 

This corrugated steel round culvert is 67% passable to adult fish and likely a complete barrier to juvenile fish due to a water surface drop at the outlet. The culvert is in very poor condition, the sides have completely rusted out throughout the culvert. JCWC is planning on replacing the culvert this fall with a small footbridge so that the stream will be fully passable for salmonids and lamprey alike. 

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