Project Name

Salmon River Restoration Plan

Watershed and Stream Assessments
Client / Agency
The Freshwater Trust
Welches, Oregon
2008 to 2009
Project Description
The Salmon River originates on the slopes of Mount Hood and flows through the Cascade foothills to the Sandy River. Flowing in a northwesterly direction from its headwaters, the Salmon River drains forested and rural residential lands before joining the Sandy River near Brightwood, Oregon. Chinook salmon, coho salmon, and steelhead are some of the native anadromous fish species that have been documented in the Salmon River. Long-term watershed changes have affected the hydrologic regime and fish populations. Changes such as timber harvesting in the upper part of the watershed, construction of road networks, and rural residential development have affected the Salmon River. Limiting factors affecting the native fish community include simplified habitat, flow changes, high water temperatures during periods of low flow, and loss of riparian forests and associated large wood that once created dynamic habitats. Streambank stability is impacted by removal of riparian vegetation and large wood, and channel alterations.

The Freshwater Trust retained River Design Group, Inc. to complete an existing conditions assessment and provide a restoation plan for the Salmon River. The assessment served two puposes. First, as a reach assessment, it presented information on historical and existing conditions based on an existing data review, field data collection, and remote sensing. Secondly, the document served as a stream corridor restoation plan that presents aquatic habitat improvements project recommendations in the 11-mile assessment reach of the Salmon River. The restoration actions were specified for each of three sub-reaches. Restoration actions were chosen based on expected ecological benefits, as a means to improve habitat complexity for ntaive anadromous fish in the Salmon River, and to address limiting habitat factors.
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The Salmon River is a high energy river system influeneced by a coarse channel bed bedrock outcrops.
Past USFS projects have included placing large wood in side channels for juvenile rearing habitat.
Side channel and backwater areas provide diverse slow water habitats in the assessment reach.
Bedrock and large boulders provide scour resistance and are typically associated with deep pools.
Residentail development in the channel migration zone influences channel and habitat forming processes.
Large wood accumulations along channel margins and in floodplain habitats provide complex microhabitats.
Upper reach of the Salmon River Assessment Area.
Salmon River Assessment Area.

Related Videos

Steelhead, Coho and Chinook Salmon populations in the Sandy River Basin are declining. This is due, in part, to the degradation of the river habitat of tributaries like the Salmon River. In May 2010, BLM Oregon/Washington began work to restore the Salmon River habitat as part of a multi-year effort to address the decline in fish populations.