Santa Cruz, CA
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  Portland, OR
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Gales Creek Restoration Planning

logs constClient: Tualatin River Watershed Council (TRWC)

In March of 2003 the TRWC completed work on the Lower Gales Creek Habitat Enhancement Plan. Gales Creek is a major tributary to the Tualatin River in Washington County, Oregon. The Enhancement Plan identified potential restoration projects designed to improve habitat conditions for steelhead and other salmonids. To evaluate the feasibility of implementing potential channel, floodplain, and habitat enhancement projects, TRWC retained the services of Waterways staff to conduct a comprehensive geomorphic assessment of the planning reach and prioritize potential restoration options. The geomorphic assessment and project feasibility study was completed in 2005. Following completion of the study, Waterways has continued to work with the TRWC by preparing construction documents for site specific projects aimed at enhancing channel and floodplain function, improving in-stream and off-channel aquatic and wetland habitat, and restoring riparian areas. Waterways and TRWC has worked closely with landowners and other stakeholders to achieve the identified goals.

logThe first site specific project was implemented in 2009 and included relocating of a farm road out of the floodplain, restoring and re-vegetating the floodplain, and installing six large wood structures along the banks of Gales Creek. The project restored approximately 600 linear feet of floodplain with approximately 4 acres of riparian restoration. Two additional projects are in the design phase. One project involves reactivation of approximately 800 feet of an historic side channel to improve summer rearing habitat for steelhead and coho salmon and implementation of a bioengineering approach to protect a highly eroding bank. The other project, which is the feasibility phase, includes enhancement of approximately two miles of channel and floodplain habitat via a levee setback. The levee would be set back approximately 100 feet on both sides of Gales Creek to improve channel and floodplain interactions and restore riparian habitat.

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