Aug. 16, 2006
Coos Bay, Oregon — Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Coos
Watershed Association are managing a large wood placement in Elk
Creek to improve juvenile summer and rearing habitat and adult
spawning habitat for coho salmon, cutthroat trout and steelhead.
Beginning Aug. 5, 15 Douglas fir trees with root wads and 36 70-foot
long Douglas fir logs were added to a 1.5 mile section of Elk Creek.
Elk Creek, located in the Elliott State Forest in Coos County, is a
tributary of the Millicoma River in the Coos watershed.
This project will improve juvenile coho salmon, steelhead and
cutthroat trout summer rearing habitat by increasing pool volume and
providing cover. Juvenile winter habitat will be improved by
increasing off-channel habitat and providing main-channel velocity
refuge. Another project goal is to improve spawning habitat by
building gravel beds.
In the past, ODFW biologists were unable to treat Elk Creek with
wood placement because of limitations on the size of available
material. Elliot State Forest recently set aside 70-foot conifer
logs and donated 15 whole trees out of adjacent timber stands. This
larger material will allow for in-stream treatment of a
high-priority salmon habitat.
This project is a cooperative effort between the Coos Watershed
Association, Elliott State Forest and ODFW. The Oregon Watershed
Enhancement Board provided $70,681 for the project, the Oregon
Department of Forestry supplied $72,060 and ODFW contributed $3,000.
“This project is a continuation of the large wood placement that we
completed last year,” said ODFW Habitat Biologist Jennifer Feola.
“With the Department of Forestry contributing logs and whole trees
it eliminated the need to truck logs in from an outside source.”
This project is another successful milestone for the Oregon Plan for
Salmon and Watersheds as it approaches its 10-year anniversary in
2007. The Oregon Plan, a volunteer-driven initiative, is committed
to restoring native fish populations and developing healthy
watersheds. Since 1997, state agencies, businesses and individual
Oregonians have worked together to restore salmon runs, improve
water quality and achieve healthy watersheds. This statewide
conservation initiative also aims to provide environmental, cultural
and economic benefits to communities throughout the state.