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


, ,

Comments are closed.