Salmon River Restoration Plan
Watershed and Stream Assessments
Client / Agency
The Freshwater Trust
2008 to 2009
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.