Happy Creek Reconnection
AT A GLANCE
In 2013 Happy Creek was rerouted to its original course and reconnected to the Sandy River. This project increases habitat for anadromous fish in a priority habitat zone identified by the Sandy River Basin Partners
In 2013 Happy Creek was rerouted to its original course and reconnected to the Sandy River. This project increases habitat for anadromous fish in a priority habitat zone identified by the Sandy River Basin Partners. This side channel reconnection included the creation of step pools to support fish swimming upstream, riparian plantings, the replacement of a culvert to reduce the impacts of a road crossing over Happy Creek, and the restoration of Happy Creek to its historic channel location.
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 was 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 stream, 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 another completed restoration project, the side channel flowing into YMCA’s Camp Collins. The Camp Collins projected was completed 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.
Happy Creek Reconnection Project — Ready for Restoration on Lower Sandy
The Sandy River Basin Watershed Council is launching a major Salmon restoration effort at Metro’s Oxbow Regional Park April 1. Fish will thrive with large wood jams in a side channel of the Sandy River, a new culvert and restored habitat on Happy Creek, and new native trees and vegetation planted in surrounding riparian areas.