The recent restoration of Salmon River Side Channel 18 was featured in a watershed focused ‘Everything You Need to Know’ video from Clackamas County Soil and Water Conservation District. Improvements to passage and habitat complexity brought spawning coho back to Side Channel 18 for the first time in decades.
Restoration actions restored meanders, large wood and native vegetation in 2400 feet of channel that flows seasonally, providing key spawning and refuge habitat for wild salmon.
The Council, with partners US Forest Service, The Freshwater Trust, and 12 neighboring landowners and support from Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, also replaced two undersized culverts that caused flooding in high water events and had prevented wild fish passage. Although dry during the summer and fall (when the Clackamas District visited), water flows into side channels during winter and spring when spawning and juvenile fish need slower moving waters.
Side channel 18’s restoration is one among dozens that Sandy River Basin Partners have completed. The video also shows another side channel further up the Salmon River, reconnected and restored with large wood jams in 2012.
These efforts are reconnecting key elements of the Salmon River that had been cut off or degraded by historic activities. Linking restoration actions together over large reaches of priority subwatersheds is aimed to contribute to wild salmon and steelhead recovery throughout the Sandy basin and Lower Columbia.
For more information, please see the fact sheets prepared by Sandy River Basin Partners on Salmon River side channels, and other restoration efforts.
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