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Salmon Creek: Camp Singing Wind Design 

About

The objective of this project is to provide a set of preliminary designs within 2 years of funding that adequately details restoration actions. The Camp Singing Wind property contains roughly 1 mile of Salmon Creek, four spring-fed tributaries, and a large, connected wetland.  Salmon Creek is one of the largest tributaries on the Cowlitz River downstream of the reservoirs. Most of the watershed is ranked as tier 1 and 2, with significant potential and interested landowners upstream and downstream from this property. The knowledge gained from this design will set the stage for our goal of watershed-wide restoration of Salmon Creek over the next decade. The priority species for this area include Coho (primary), Fall Chinook, Chum, Winter Steelhead, as well as Pacific Lamprey. The project area covers approximately 1 mile of Upper Salmon Creek (a tributary of the Lower Cowlitz), located in Toledo, Washington, in Lewis County). The site was formerly a Girl Scout camp known as Camp Singing Wind.

Salmon Creek is a powerful and dynamic system with extensive drainage and highly variable flows. This site also struggles with invasive reed canary grass, ivy, and blackberry. For all species, the lack of stable instream structure is a huge limiting factor. During high flows, the lack of structure reduces holding ability and forces fish to expend greater energy. In summer, this equates to limited access to cover and a greater risk of predation for fish traversing the area’s many shallow reaches. It also limits the heterogeneity of stream depth (scour pools), which provides cool sanctuaries during heat events. The lack of in-stream structure has also led to channel simplification and disconnection from historic side channels. The Salmon Creek watershed, as well as the other major tributaries on Lower Cowlitz, are considered key for the recovery of Chum populations, making the restoration of potential chum spawning channels particularly critical. The low summer flows and associated high temperatures also represent primary limiting factors for all species. A lack of broad canopy hardwood tree species along the banks of the shallow water reaches is currently limiting the potential for shade cover. This project area is also low gradient, making the side tributaries prime for beaver habitat. Beaver dams are valuable in these conditions due to their ability to extend summer base flows, create cooler deep-water habitats, and encourage increased cold-water hyporheic activity (due to dam head pressure). Project Goals: - Increase the number of stable in-stream structures within the mainstem of Salmon Creek and its tributaries. Select structure designs that increase pool frequency and encourage hyporheic flow -beneficial to all species. - Reduce the presence of invasive plants and enhance riparian areas with greater species diversity and quantity of broad canopy hardwoods (particularly along shallow water reaches) -beneficial to all species. - Collect temperature data across the project area and utilize it to create appropriate Chum spawning channels. Increase the quantity and quality of accessible off-channel rearing and over-wintering habitat for juvenile Coho Salmon. - Install structures in the wetland marsh and along the three tributaries to increase structural complexity, store water, and extend base flows. Enhance willow populations along the banks to encourage sustained beaver residency beneficial to lamprey and salmonids

Stay tuned to learn how LCFEG implements design plans in the coming years.

Target Species 

Metrics

Partners | Consultants
Contractors

Funds

Fall Chinook, chum, winter steelhead, coho, Pacific lamprey

1.6 miles of stream treated

Wolf Water Resources, Anabranch Solutions

WA State RCO SRFB #(23-1156) $206,527.00

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