Aquatic Species Passage and Road/Culvert Projects and Prioritization
During 2012, a fish passage barrier culvert was removed, resulting in access for all aquatic species to over a mile of habitat on a tributary of Knowles Creek. In the Fivemile-Bell sub-basin, old cat roads and failed culverts were removed and decommissioned, as part of upland and stream restoration efforts. Additionally, planning efforts and preparation continues for a railroad culvert in the Tide sub-watershed and a tide-gate removal as part of the comprehensive restoration project on Waite Ranch in the estuary.
Two culverts which impede aquatic species passage and stream function were replaced through SWC projects in 2011. The Swamp Creek Sub-Basin Restoration Project is a multi-faceted and multi-phase project. Work in the Swamp Creek Sub-Basin includes garbage clean-up, removal of small problem culverts, replacement of an undersized perched culvert with a bridge, and large woody debris (LWD) placement. The Whittaker Creek Tributary Culvert Replacement Project replaced another undersized perched culvert with a larger culvert opening up the stream for aquatic species passage and more natural stream function. The BLM has provided RAC and other funding for these projects. Other partners include SOLV, ODFW, ODF, Weyerhaeuser, and individual private landowners.
During the summer of 2009, the SWC partnered with ODFW, the USFS, the BLM, and the International Port of Coos Bay to survey and prioritize fish passage barriers along the railroad that runs through the Siuslaw Watershed and Coastal Lakes. The SWC sought and secured OWEB funding for the design of a replacement for a fish passage barrier railroad culvert on Cleveland Creek in the Tide sub-watershed. Design work occured in 2011. Replacement of the problem culvert at Cleveland creek will improve aquatic species passage and restore stream function. The culvert replacement will also benefit the railroad by replacing failing infrastructure.