The Stout Creek Habitat Restoration Project

Stout Creek Fish Habitat Resotration

If you’ve  ever dri­ven through the San­ti­am Canyon, you’ve prob­a­bly seen Stout Creek.  It runs pret­ty close to State High­way 22 for a cou­ple of miles before it joins the North San­ti­am near Mehama.  On the oth­er hand, you might have missed it.

It isn’t very big, the entire water­shed is about eleven and a half square miles in area. But it’s impor­tant. Chi­nook salmon and steel­head use Stout Creek.

It seems our mod­ern land uses ran down the neigh­bor­hood — from a fish’s point of view.  Land prac­tices like:

  • tim­ber har­vest
  • irri­ga­tion
  • road build­ing
  • agri­cul­ture and
  • homes

change and sim­pli­fy fish habi­tat in the creek through such things as loss of the ripar­i­an (stream­side) forests.

You see, loos­ing the shade of ripar­i­an forests leads to high water tem­per­a­tures dur­ing the sum­mer months.  And dang, fish need to keep cool.  Loos­ing forests opens the way for the inva­sive or nox­ious weeds that squeeze out the native veg­e­ta­tion so many dif­fer­ent ani­mals depend on.  And final­ly, when there aren’t any trees  they can’t fall into the creek.  When trees can’t fall into the creek, they can’t get togeth­er to jam.  And log jams, well, they’re just great if you’re a fish.

Like I said, we can’t be cer­tain of this, because real­ly no one was count­ing fish or trees or tak­ing the creek’s tem­per­a­ture. Or if the were, they did­n’t write it down.

 


View Stout Creek Habi­tat Restora­tion in a larg­er map
 

 

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