Dieckman Slough Restoration: Lower North Santiam Subbasin

Dieck­man Slough is a side chan­nel of the Low­er North San­ti­am Riv­er, just  down­stream of the City of Stay­ton, in Mar­i­on Coun­ty, flow­ing through flood­plain  forests and com­mer­cial agri­cul­tur­al fields near Stay­ton-Jef­fer­son Rd.

This project  builds on sig­nif­i­cant exist­ing restora­tion in the area, includ­ing NRCS Wet­lands  Reserve Pro­gram ease­ments on a total of 331 acres, and the Hatch side-chan­nel  fish pas­sage, instream, and flood­plain restora­tion (all just down­stream), as well as  the adja­cent, recent­ly pur­chased Cha­hal­pam Wildlife area, a 338 acre  con­ser­va­tion ease­ment held by the Grand Ronde Tribe.

The site expe­ri­enced beaver activ­i­ty in both 2017 and 2018. As a result the NSWC installed caged wil­lows and sev­er­al beaver feed­ing sta­tions close to the water to help keep the beaver away from the young plantings.

The NSWC will con­tin­ue to assist the landown­er with spring and fall plant estab­lish­ment activ­i­ties until the plant­i­ngs are “free-to-grow.”

In its low­er sec­tion, Dieck­man Slough is lack­ing instream habi­tat com­plex­i­ty and areas of flood­plain forests have been con­vert­ed for com­mer­cial agri­cul­ture.  Many res­i­dent and migra­to­ry fish species (includ­ing Threat­ened Upper Willamette Riv­er spring Chi­nook, win­ter steel­head and Pacif­ic lam­prey) uti­tl­ize Dieck­man Slough for spawn­ing and rear­ing.  Good qual­i­ty off-chan­nel habi­tat is a high pri­or­i­ty restora­tion need in the North San­ti­am Riv­er, as expressed in the draft Willamette/Lower Colum­bia ESA Salmon and Steel­head Recov­ery Plan and oth­er plan­ning doc­u­ments.  OWEB grant funds and Farm Ser­vice Agency Con­ser­va­tion Reserve Enhance­ment funds were  used to restore 24 acres of  riparian/floodplain habitat.