Happy Creek: Reconnected and Content at Last

HC Culvert

Culvert installation to revert Happy Creek back to its original channel

HC Logjam

The finished log jam at Happy Creek, adjacent to the Sandy River

HC Side Channel

Revegetation occurred along the Happy Creek side channel

We are happy to announce the completion of our Happy Creek Reconnection project in Oxbow Park.  With funding from the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, PGE Habitat Fund, East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District, and the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Department, the perennial creek and side channel once known as ‘Dismal’ are now reconnected to improve salmon habitat.

Happy Creek is the first phase of a reach-scale restoration effort in the Lower Sandy Basin.  This project added stream complexity by building a large log jam at the inlet to the side channel, while reconnecting Happy Creek to its original streamed, creating refugia for migrating salmon and steelhead in a high-use recreation area with multiple stakeholders. Happy Creek’s restoration also serves as a public learning laboratory, as  students from Mt. Hood Community College natural resources program explored the construction site for part of their coursework, and Corbett High School students are monitoring Happy Creek’s water quality.

The restored side channel at Happy Creek neighbors the next Lower Sandy restoration priority, the side channel flowing into YMCA’s  Camp Collins. The Council recently secured funding for restoration at Camp Collins in 2014, the second of five stages of reach-scale restoration identified through a study completed in 2011 by Metro, BLM, the Council and other Sandy River Basin Partners.

HC Arial

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