Fall Rains Arrive on the Oregon Coast
Work continued this week by Ducks Unlimited (Knife River Corporation) on the Smith Tract of Bandon Marsh NWR, where we are restoring about 1100 feet of riparian habitat by putting Fahys Creek back in a "natural" channel configuration through an abandoned cranberry bog. On Monday, the cranberry water diversion pond that served as prime habitat for exotic bullfrogs was filled in. All week, USFWS and ODFW biologists have been relocating native fish (e.g., cutthroat trout, coho salmon, sculpin) from the ditched section of Fahys Creek that will be de-watered when the creek is routed into the new creek. Between trapping and electrofishing efforts supervised by ODFW, we have moved more than 400 native fish (mostly coho and coastal cutthroat trout) into restored stream channel downstream. We will continue to remove fish throughout the stream diversion process.
Meanwhile, Knife River regraded the entire 12-acre bog site, spread topsoil that had been salvaged, and is finishing excavating the new stream channel today. One interesting discovery during the channel excavation is numerous buried root crowns and logs from the forested wetland that once occupied this site. We are keeping the largest of these in the new channel as fish habitat elements, in addition to the 20 large trees we have brought in for placement in the channel. In preparation of the creek flowing in a natural meander crews with Coos Curry Electric Cooperative started to place new power poles outside of the newly restored creek and wetland.
Federal Highways Administration and their contractor Tidewater Contractors continued work on the raising of the Fahys Creek section of North Bank Lane this week, and it is nearing its final grade for this year. Doyon Project Services and their subcontractor Michels Power spent this week completing the pulling of electrical cable under the river within conduit, back filling the terminus vaults, placing terminus poles and conduit, and pulling all the temporary road plates out of the marsh and stockpiling them for loading onto trucks.
At the end of the week, as this is being written, a steady rain signals the end of the dry season as it nourishes the recovery of the marsh plants that were trampled by this summer's restoration activities.
Posted by the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex Staff at 3:56 PM in Category: Ni-les'tun Tidal Marsh Restoration Project