The Clackamas River Basin Council gathered with dozens of guests on November 19 via Zoom to share some much-needed good news, pulling off our first-ever virtual Watershed Celebration, hosted by Chairman of the Board Bill Monroe.
“The future is bright for the river, its habitats, and its diverse fisheries. Tonight’s theme is Replant the Riverside, an invitation to help us do what we do best: giving back to the community and tempering our feeling of helplessness,” he said.
The brightest headline is the record wild salmon run reported by Portland General Electric (PGE) fish biologists. As of November 23rd, This yearís wild coho run on the Clackamas River has exceeded 7688 fish. Over 4,127 wild chinook made it upstream past the North Fork Dam this year. This marks the largest wild chinook run on the Clackamas since counting started at the North Fork dam in 1958.
PGE credits salmon habitat restoration projects for this yearís record return. Restoration Program Manager Liz Gilliam explained how CRBC implemented the Eagle Creek Confluence Project to create juvenile salmon habitat in her presentation at the Watershed Celebration. CRBC worked with funding from PGE and the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB) – to place over 300 logs, creating logjams that stir and oxygenate the water and provide cover for young fish.
Executive Director Cheryl McGinnis highlighted accomplishments CRBC achieved with our partners, including that the Oregon Community Trees and the Oregon Dept. of Forestry honored our Shade Our Streams program with their 2020 Urban & Community Forestry Award. Oregon State Parks recognized CRBC with an award for our work at Bonnie Lure State Park, where we collaborated with the Oregon Parks Rec. Dept., U.S. Forest Service and OWEB to remove invasive weeds and replant 72 acres.
Riparian Specialist Ari Sindel shared CRBC’s commitment to hiring women- and minority-owned businesses, and Communications and Stewardship Manager Suzi Cloutier acknowledged the class of Shade Our Streams graduates.
Communications and Programs Coordinator Adam Spencer took guests on a drone’s-eye-view watershed tour called “Clackamas360” before officially launching the Replant the Riverside: 10 Trees for the Clackamas fundraiser.