This summer brought new homes for the Sandy River Basin Watershed Council and the wild salmon populations we strive to protect!
Sandy Watershed Learning Center
The new Sandy Watershed Learning Center
SRBWC established the Sandy Watershed Learning Center at Mt. Hood Community College’s campus in Gresham this summer. Thanks to support from The Oregon Community Foundation, Multnomah County, Kiewit Construction, Western Rivers Conservancy, Atiyeh Brothers Rugs, and the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board for support in establishing our new office. You can find us in the Southwest corner of Mt Hood Community College’s Gresham campus by entering parking lot B off SE 17th Avenue, and parking near the aquatic center. Look for the GE building to the right of the aquatic center, and our new office is downstairs. We will soon provide more educational programs for students at Mt Hood Community College, including internship opportunities, and the watershed community at large through workshops and watershed tours.
Camp Collins Side Channel Restoration
Root wads roll during construction on the inlet logjam at Camp Collins
Wild salmon and steelhead on the mainstem Sandy River will find a new place to hide, feed, and raise their young this winter. This off-channel habitat is essential during high winter flows, particularly for juvenile salmon. Channels off of the main river are ideal habitat for them, especially during high water events when the Sandy River is roaring by. They prefer cold, clear water that isn’t flowing too fast but has lots of oxygen.
In addition to the enhanced salmon habitat, natural flood storage capacity is increased in this 3,000-foot side channel, in-stream habitat is enhanced by engineered logjams, and riparian habitat is currently being replanted with native vegetation.
An aerial view of the Camp Collins side channel
Salmon River Weed Smackdown
In the upper watershed, we teamed up with Clackamas County Soil and Water Conservation District and other partners from the Sandy Basin Vegetation Restoration Coalition to target outreach and removal of Policeman’s Helmet along the Salmon River.
Before (L) and after (R) removal of Policeman’s Helmet by the Project YESS youth crew
The campaign was a success, with 75 private properties surveyed in addition to work on US Forest Service and US Bureau of Land Management properties. Of those surveyed properties, we found 37 populations of Policeman’s Helmet, and all were treated by the Project YESS youth crew from Mt. Hood Community College. Additionally, volunteers including a group from the NW Steelheaders helped by removing Policeman’s Helmet found at the BLM Wildwood Recreation Site.
Salmon River neighbors and NW Steelheaders volunteer at Wildwood Recreation Site