Tillamook Bay Watershed Council – Coordinator’s Report, February 23, 2018


The Tillamook Bay Watershed Council project updates from 2/23/18 meeting.
Science by the Bay Speaker Series – March 13th at Bay City Arts Center (see https://www.tillamookcountypioneer.net/tide-gates-and-wetland-restoration-coquille-watershed-featured-at-tillamook-bay-watershed-council-science-by-the-bay-speaker-series-march-13th/ )
Tillamook Bay St. Patty’s Day Cleanup – March 17th (See https://www.tillamookcountypioneer.net/2018-tillamook-bay-cleanup-planned-for-st-patricks-day-march-17th/)

By Rob Russell, Tillamook Bay Watershed Council Coordinator

Skookum Dam Removal – Re-vegetation of the disturbed areas was completed by the Backyard Planting crew (BYPP) in December and January, and Tom McDermott returned to the site in February to monitor how the elk are interacting with the plantings. The next step is for our technical team (Amy Horstman, Janine Castro and Scott Wright) to visit the site in April to determine whether further stream channel construction will be needed.

South Fork Trask Road Obliteration & Habitat Enhancement – The project is complete and functioning well. A detailed before-and-after slide show is available on request for anyone who would like to see what we accomplished.

Mill Creek Fish Passage Project – We are currently seeking proposal for engineering designs to replace two undersized culverts on a tributary of Mill Creek. We’re also asking for conceptual-level designs to address a small dam approx., 400 yards upstream. We expect to have 60% designs in hand to support an April OWEB grant application. The cost-estimate is still being determined, and will depend largely on the designs we end up with. USFS has completed an in-depth hydrological survey, and the USFWS is contributing $30K to the design budget. We submitted a grant application to ODFW and ODOT on February 14th, asking for $75,000 as match for the project. It will be a couple of months before we hear back. We also conducted a survey of upstream habitat which found active spawning redds and a number of yearling salmonids. We determined that there is approximately 1 mile of good fish habitat upstream of the Christie Pond. A report of our findings is available on request.

Tomlinson Creek Fish Passage Project – The two existing Tomlinson Creek crossings adjacent to Bayocean Road will be consolidated into a single bridge assuming we can raise the needed money through grants. TBWC and USFS met with landowners on February 1st to work out an ingress-egress plan for the connection of the driveways. As of January 20, a new hole opened up in the Mast’s driveway. Thankfully the County came to their aid and placed a couple of steel plates over the crossing so that the Masts can drive up to their home. USFS provided 30% designs as of February 22, and the team is planning to use USFS dollars to have the ingress-egress ramp build as soon as possible in order to provide safe passage for the Masts while the project moves to implementation in the summer of 2019.

Green Creek, Trask River – The County crossing at Trask River Road is a high priority for the TBWC and the County. After discussion with our Restoration Committee, it’s been agreed that there should be a habitat assessment upstream to help determine the prioritization of the project. No progress has been made in the last few weeks other than a preliminary look at the upstream habitat using GIS data with NRCS.

Other Salmon SuperHwy priorities – We are beginning to develop more fish passage projects in the basin, focusing on crossings that have been identified and prioritized by the SSH team and partner organizations. This includes fish –passage barriers on Esther Creek, Fagan Creek, Vaughn Creek, Illingsworth Creek, Beaver Creek (Wilson), Sampson Creek, Chance Creek and Mills Creek (Tillamook). We are working closely with the NRCS to find opportunities to work with private agricultural landowners on these streams.

Mill Creek Habitat Enhancement –Re-planting is scheduled for spring 2018 with TEP’s Back Yard Planting Project crew, and we are in fundraising mode to bring in another $5K if possible.

Tillamook River Habitat Enhancement – We are developing a significant project on the Tillamook River involving a number of landowners and partner organizations. If we are successful, the project could provide major habitat enhancements to 1.5 miles of the river. Stay tuned!

Kilchis River Habitat Enhancement – The Council is working with TEP, the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF), and Ecotrust Forest Management on a major project to address water quality and habitat issues in the Kilchis River, and to decommission an old haul road near Tilden Bluffs, thereby creating a roadless area. This is still in the development phase, with plans to apply for grants in the fall of 2018 or spring of 2019.

Manure Storage – We are talking with two agricultural landowners on manure storage solutions which would improve water quality in the basin. One is planned as a small grant (under $10,000) and another is still being estimated.

Upcoming events: March 13 – Science by the Bay: Tide Gates with Jeff Cochran and Melanie Dunn, 6:30PM to 7:30PM, Bay City Arts Center March 17 – Tillamook Bay St. Patty’s Day Cleanup, 9:00AM to 2:00PM, Bay City Arts Center March 27 – Monthly Business Meeting, 6:30PM to 8:30PM, Tillamook County Library

For more information contact: Robert Russell, Council Coordinator, 503-322-0002 or email us at tillamookbaywatershedcouncil@gmail.com