Sandy River Engineered Log Jams & Dabney Park Large Wood Placement
From its origin as snowmelt from the western slopes of Mount Hood, the Sandy River flows 56 miles before emptying into the Columbia River. The river and its tributaries support several anadromous species, including threatened salmon and steelhead. Over the last several decades, human impacts such as a former hydroelectric dam, channelization, reduction of spawning and rearing habitat, and road construction have contributed to a significant decline in salmon and steelhead runs.
Working with the Portland Water Bureau, Metro, and the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, Biohabitats is helping to restore key habitat for threatened salmon and steelhead at two sites along the Sandy River.
At Oxbow Park, the Biohabitats team is excavating and reactivating an historic side channel. To date, we have installed one large, engineered log jam in the Sandy River, which was designed to push flow into the restored channel and provide habitat. With assistance of a heavy lift helicopter, we also placed large wood in an existing side channel to enhance habitat. A second engineered log jam will be installed at the site in 2018.
The second site is at the Dabney Recreation Area, where a landslide had buried a stream channel and caused it to flow straight to the Sandy River rather than following its longer, historic path. The Biohabitats team excavated a new channel which circumvents the landslide area and, using a heavy lift helicopter, installed large wood in the channel to support habitat.
When complete, more than 1350 pieces of locally sourced large wood, 1800 tons of boulders, and 1500 cubic yards of slash will have been used in this habitat restoration project.