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Treated logs (pilings) along Clear Creek that will be removed during the restoration process.

Project Description

The Clear Creek North Restoration Project aims to restore 68 acres of riparian and instream habitat for the 11 different fish species that call Clear Creek home! This includes the last significant run of late-run coho in the lower Columbia River Basin. Though Clear Creek exhibits arguably the highest quality habitat of any tributary in the Clackamas Basin, human impacts have impaired habitat availability in certain areas of the reach. Through a combination of restoration strategies, including adding large wood and improving access to high quality off-channel habitat, this project will restore a historically pristine section of Clear Creek to its natural self.

Project Investment: $356,666

Project Partners: Metro, Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB)

Project Timeline: June 2018 – December 2020

Project Actions & Benefits

  1. Alcove enhancement – Alcoves, the area alongside a river where sediment and debris have built up overtime, play an important role in stream hydrology. This project has two alcoves, one upstream and one downstream. Large wood structures, consisting of 1-2 logs, will be placed at the upstream alcove to slow and pool the water, creating ideal habitat for fish. Alternatively, a log jam, which consists of a groups of logs, will be engineered at the downstream alcove to direct seasonal overflows into the alcove and flush out fine sediments. Log jams also help to reduce bank erosion and improve bank stability.
  2. Tributary enhancement – In addition to the large wood structures and the log dams, a third type of log structure known as a log sill will be installed where smaller tributaries meet Clear Creek. Log sills, which are simply large buried logs placed perpendicular to flow, will be installed to stabilize the bed and channel, ultimately slowing water down and encouraging a more natural and historic flow. The project team estimates that 100+ wood-based structures will be installed throughout the restoration process.
  3. Levee removal – An existing levee is currently limiting connectivity to the natural floodplain.  The removal of the levee will allow floodplain inundation at the 10-year event, encouraging more natural geomorphic process during high flood events.
  4. Treated log removal – Several piles of large chemically-treated logs are scattered across the site, impairing the natural ecology of the system. These logs will be removed and disposed of off-site.