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Old 09-28-2004, 03:26 PM   #1
Riverkeeper
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Default Salmon in the City! (pics)

Lately it seems like every day there is a news article or internet post about some terrible act of destruction that we humans are inflicting on our salmon and steelhead populations in this part of the country. I want to take the time to tell you all that there ARE some good things happening as well!

In the last several months I have had the good fortune to work on a fish habitat restoration project on Johnson creek in southeast Portland. Over the years, some sampling had shown that salmon and steelhead smolts in Johnson creek were concentrating in the area near where Kelley Creek (a major tributary) enters. Kelley creek has cooler water temperatures than Johnson creek in the summer. However, this lower stretch of Kelley creek was poor habitat because at some point in the past, the creek had been ďmovedĒ into a straight, rock lined channel, off to the right edge of the pasture shown below.



As we all know, straight, rip-rapped channels are poor habitats for salmon and steelhead smolts. So the City undertook a large scale project to restore a natural channel and floodplain to the lower reach of Kelley Creek at itís confluence with Johnson creek.

A new channel was designed and excavated into the pasture, complete with many twists, turns, pools, riffles, tailouts, and glides. Different sizes of gravel and cobble were brought in to line the new channel, and several truckloads of large woody debris were installed to help reinforce the new stream banks and provide additional habitat benefit.



After completing the new channel, excavating the surrounding floodplain, and installing many erosion control measures, Kelley creek was diverted into its new channel and the old rock lined ditch was filled in. Construction was completed less than a month ago, and in the next several months, thousands of native plants will be installed along the banks, floodplain areas, and near-by uplands so that the area will be vegetated as soon as possible.



During construction, fish were trapped and netted to be moved away from the work area, including coho and steelhead smolts. Hopefully this project will create some good habitat for these guys and their numbers may gradually increase. Several other projects like this one are underway or being planned around the metro area, so hopefully in the long term we may see more salmon and steelhead returning to the area. Letís hope so.

Darian

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Old 09-28-2004, 03:46 PM   #2
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Default Re: Salmon in the City! (pics)

Darian,
Way to go, man. I can't thank you enough for your efforts on that project. Hopefully your work will inspire a few others to take actions in volunteer work with fish or game projects around the northwest.
Thanks again!

Aaron
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Old 09-28-2004, 03:49 PM   #3
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That is very cool.
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Old 09-28-2004, 04:10 PM   #4
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That is pretty cool. I am glad to hear that the city is concerned about the survival of the salmon and steelhead of Johnson Creek......
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Old 09-28-2004, 04:16 PM   #5
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Default Re: Salmon in the City! (pics)

Good job and good pics!! I saw something similar being done to a stream while watching "Oregon Field Guide" on PBS a while back. Very interesting! Very cool! Keep up the great work! Ff.
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Old 09-28-2004, 04:34 PM   #6
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Default Re: Salmon in the City! (pics)

Thank you so much for your time and efforts in doing something that truly enriches our lives and the condition of the planet.

Talking about what should be done and wanting to do something are good but, doing it is the ultimate. Way to go.

Thanks again ,Blind Chicken Fishing.
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Old 09-28-2004, 04:47 PM   #7
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Very cool!
Have you decided which strain of smallmouth to plant it with yet?
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Old 09-28-2004, 04:47 PM   #8
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Default Re: Salmon in the City! (pics)

That is awesome! The best. It does not get any better! We <font color="green">can </font>do something besides destroy our nest!

Christmas for salmon...and birds and waterfowl and amphibians and crustaceans and insects and us and our kids and grandkids!

Short term costs and long term gains in live-ability all around. Imagine that project times ten, or a hundred, or a thousand! Imagine that added diversity that these additional spawning and rearing areas will allow. These investments are like insurance for all our futures.

'Course, the same pasture would have made a great row of condos and a strip mall with a video rental, coffee kiosk and a quick mart. Guess a hard working developer and a couple of enterprizing small business owners lost an opportunity to provide employment for a few folks.

Guess its a matter of perspective.....
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Old 09-28-2004, 04:50 PM   #9
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Yeah, but Crabbait, one of those businesses could have been a grocery store that ensured all Oregonians had a year-round supply of atlantic salmon.
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Old 09-28-2004, 05:01 PM   #10
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Not all of us are as excited about this that live in the area. I hate being a party pooper here but as important as issues of fish are to me I see crumbling infrastructure from the 60's, 70's and 80's all around me that are causing huge transportation problems for Humans. Yes the streams have suffered in this area from human intervention but we too need a place to live. Environmental land grabs and special interest lawsuits are not exactly the answer here. Given I am no expert nor do I wish to be one but I think we need to pay attention to both issues here so we don't fall far behind on both.

I know that there has been a proposal to rechannel Johnson Creek to in the recent past. Not sure this is best right now. Just my clouded uneducated spouting off here.
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Old 09-28-2004, 05:06 PM   #11
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Default Re: Salmon in the City! (pics)

Actually, this part of the metro area is one that is going to see A LOT of development in the next few years. To prepare for that, a bunch of the local municipalities got together and did some planning to make sure that there was enough room for housing, commerce, transportation, parks, AND salmon habitat. Pretty good thinking, seems to me.

C&amp;E I hear your concerns, though. If you have any interest in learning more about this kind of work, shoot me a message, I'd be happy to tell you what I know.
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Old 09-28-2004, 05:18 PM   #12
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Good on you Riverkeeper

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Old 09-28-2004, 05:25 PM   #13
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Glad to see something positive happening. Unfortunately, some of our best land usually gets grabbed up for housing, shopping, etc. Nice to see something being done to help out the environment.

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Old 09-28-2004, 05:26 PM   #14
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Default Re: Salmon in the City! (pics)

yes a new taco bell would have been better

Nice Work Darian! Thanks for the hard work and the report

EK
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Old 09-28-2004, 05:41 PM   #15
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Default Re: Salmon in the City! (pics)

Very cool! I had heard about what Johnson Creek once was. I am glad to see that it is being improved. :smile:
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Old 09-28-2004, 06:00 PM   #16
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Default Re: Salmon in the City! (pics)

WOW, the work looks great, thank you so much for the work and the update. May our children and the future of our fishies reap the rewards of you're hard work!
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Old 09-28-2004, 06:08 PM   #17
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Default Re: Salmon in the City! (pics)

And there just so happens to be a post about salmon running up Clear Creek on the Clackamas, how the person was surprised to see such a thing.

What caught my attention in this post is that there is soon going to be a lot of development in this area. Imagine how cool it will be for kids in this area to take a short jaunt down to the creek to see salmon heading upstream to spawn. Kids who would very likely never go to the river to see such a thing, who had no one to take them to see it. But there it is, right there in their own neighborhood! Nothing brings home the issues about habitat restoration like that does. Before humans came in and "fixed" everything, there was quite a good chance that every creek had some fish come up to spawn.

I've got Fanno creek just around the corner from my house and it would be really cool to take my kids down to that creek and show them salmon migrating upstream to spawn.

However, with exposure like that, harassment is going to be an issue. Better start looking into ways to deal with it.

Nonetheless, great work!!
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Old 09-28-2004, 07:46 PM   #18
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Too cool !!! Good on you.
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Old 09-28-2004, 08:00 PM   #19
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Default Re: Salmon in the City! (pics)

This is absolutely excellent! I grew up in Milwaukie and stomped up and down those streams, fished the streams and was lucky to catch or see a trout--let alone a salmon. Kellog creek has a fish ladder (by the bulkhead/sewage treatment plant) and used to have a run of steelhead in it until a fuel truck crashed in it spilling enough to kill of one years smolts. development and poor habitat have killed the rest. IF Johnson and Kellog were to be completely rehabilitated, fish would pool up in the boat ramp area just like Sun Dial Beach on the Sandy. Just think...
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Old 09-28-2004, 08:28 PM   #20
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Great post! Restoring fish habitat is a very rewarding endeavor. There is nothing like creating fish condos,instream structures, deep pools, fish passages, and other fish friendly improvements through restoration and enhancement programs. It is a lot of fun to return to these locations and see the results of a little hard work and the difference it can make. What is also learned from these projects is that it is far better to protect what habitat we have left than it is to rebuild or replace it. I enjoy working on these types of projects but those boulders do get heavy. Politics, industries, and our enviroment can make or break our fishing in the future. Together we must become active as organized sport fisherman who will not be known for what we gave up or lost, but for what we did to prevent it.
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Old 09-28-2004, 08:35 PM   #21
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Hopefuly that siad it all WAY TO GO!!!!
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Old 09-28-2004, 08:42 PM   #22
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riverkeeper,

How much do you know about what they did below Barton on the Clackamas? Looks similar to what's going on here.
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Old 09-28-2004, 10:32 PM   #23
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Thanks for taking the time to post and educate us about that project.

Just like schools or libraries or parks, having salmon amongst us, enriches us all. Pretty hard to find fault with that.
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Old 09-28-2004, 11:31 PM   #24
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thank you for that report im glad to see efforts being done nice job
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Old 09-28-2004, 11:55 PM   #25
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Sweeet Pics, and great story. Good on you, Darian.

SOo COOOL!
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Old 09-29-2004, 06:26 AM   #26
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Default Re: Salmon in the City! (pics)

Quote:
Actually, this part of the metro area is one that is going to see A LOT of development in the next few years. To prepare for that, a bunch of the local municipalities got together and did some planning to make sure that there was enough room for housing, commerce, transportation, parks, AND salmon habitat. Pretty good thinking, seems to me.

C&amp;E I hear your concerns, though. If you have any interest in learning more about this kind of work, shoot me a message, I'd be happy to tell you what I know.
Nice cool response to a VERY good question. It's people like you that keep this a civil affair! We see just what Bernie's talking about all the time, enviro land-grabs without explanation, thanks for putting it into perspective in a civil manner!!

TR
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Old 09-29-2004, 07:29 AM   #27
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Default Re: Salmon in the City! (pics)

Darian,

Great efforts, thank you. If there is more of this work coming up, could you please send me some information? I live just off the creek and would love to donate some time and maybe some of my company's $$ to help out.

Thanks!

-Weston
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Old 09-29-2004, 07:45 AM   #28
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When I was a kid I used to fish johnson creek year round,I did not know what I was doing, but I caught searun cutthroat in the fall and winter,some up to 18" and when I knew what I was doing I caught a few steelhead out of there,one was 18lbs,my father used to get silvers and I think chinook out of it in the late 50s early 60s,when I tell my son about this he looks at me in disbelief,this creek is where i fell in love with fishing, it is nice to see somone giving it the love it deserves
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Old 09-29-2004, 07:46 AM   #29
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Riverkeeper, thanks for your responce in such a kind manner. I tried to say what was on my mind without ticking someone off. Was'nt sure how it would come across but you handled it with class. Thanks again and BTW, that creek does look great and I live very close to that area off 141st. Your efforts are appreciated.

Now if we could get Waterdog to restore our roads like that WOW!
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Old 09-29-2004, 07:47 AM   #30
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Default Re: Salmon in the City! (pics)

The recent project on the Clack was designed by the same firm that worked on this project. From what I understand it was quite a bit bigger in scope, but the idea was similar- to create more off channel rearing habitat for juvenile fish.

Kyle, working on stream restoration in the city is an interesting puzzle because there are always so many different ideas, priorities, and alternatives that need to be considered. I find it a fascinating process really, so I'm always excited to help clue people in to whats going on if I can.

For anyone who wants to learn more or get involved in this kind of work going on in Johnson Creek, a good resource is the Johnson Creek Watershed Council, which is a small organization dedicated to doing educational work and projects that help the creek and the communities that it runs through. They are a good clearinghouse for how to get involved in everything from work parties to spawning surveys, etc.

Darian
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Old 09-29-2004, 07:51 AM   #31
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Great post! Thanks for your work...I hope it works.

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Old 09-29-2004, 07:51 AM   #32
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The only thing this extraordinary post is missing is 5 stars so they are coming.

Great job. This makes me feel good.

Dale
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Old 09-29-2004, 01:01 PM   #33
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What would the world do without Riverkeeper?! Sounds like a really cool project Darian. It beats the heck out of learning about glycolysis and TCA cycle. -Eric
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Old 09-29-2004, 01:26 PM   #34
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Default Re: Salmon in the City! (pics)

Hey Eric - How's life in sunny North Dakota? I keep expecting you to show up and teach me how to catch those summer runs... maybe next year.
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Old 09-29-2004, 01:40 PM   #35
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Default Re: Salmon in the City! (pics)

Wow...that is way too cool.
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