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North Fork Deep Creek Habitat Enhancement Project

DSCN1785 webClient: Metro

Deep Creek is a moderately-sized tributary to the Clackamas River in Clackamas County, Oregon.  The North Fork of Deep Creek is characterized by a naturally incised channel with adjacent river terraces. In 2009, Metro, a Portland area regional land use management agency, purchased the Mabel Johnson property as open space, encompassing approximately two miles of the mainstem of North Fork. Natural resource restoration at the property included removal of several home sites, removal of non-native vegetation, and restoration of riparian and upland plant communities. In 2012, Metro asked Waterways to participate in a restoration planning process to enhance instream habitat through the property with a focus on coho and Chinook salmon, steelhead, and cutthroat trout. In response, Waterways conducted a comprehensive evaluation of habitat and geomorphic conditions within the channel and prepared an assessment that identified a set of restoration actions.  

The primary limiting factor in the project reach was identified to be a lack of in-channel structure that has led to accelerated bedload transport through the reach, resulting in exposure of bedrock along much of the channel.  Introduction of large wood and removal of a hydraulic constrictions associated with a historic bridge crossing was determined to be the highest priority action. Following selection of a preferred set of restoration actions, Waterways prepared engineering drawings to remove the historic crossing, enhance floodplain connectivity, and install log jams throughout the project reach.  Two types of log jams were installed based on site access constraints. Where access was poor, logging equipment was used to fell entire trees into the channel from the adjacent dense forest. A total of eight log jams were constructed through the project reach.

Image Gallery

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