Latest News From Partners and Council

Sep 28, 2013 WANTED!  We are actively seeking board members. If you have an interest, please contact us at boarddevelopment@salmoncreekwatershed.org
December 31, 2011 December 31, 2011: 2011 has been a busy year at the Salmon Creek Watershed Council.
August 9, 2011 August 9, 2011: August 9, 2011: Pleasant Valley Park environmental enhancement project starts in August.
July 17, 2011 July 17, 2011: Water Typing Assessments are available.
June 12, 2011 Take a look at our Quarterly Newsletters
June 1, 2011 The State of Washington Salmon Recovery Funding Board has approved a grant to support Salmon Creek Typing
February 27, 2011 Join us for our second year water typing project
March 31, 2010 Lewis and Clark camped near the mouth of Salmon Creek. What would they think now?
January 27, 2010 January 22, 2010: In February-April 2010, the Salmon Creek Watershed Council will launch a new volunteer-led headwater stream reconnaissance to improve our stream maps and build our watershed knowledge of Salmon Creek. Interested volunteers are being recruited for a Saturday, February 6th training session.
December 20, 2009 December 20, 2009: Watershed resident and board member Randall Pearl earns well deserved credit from his employer
July 18, 2009 The Salmon Creek Watershed Council assists Dave Brown's Wild Fish Recovery efforts!
May 14, 2009 The Salmon Creek Watershed Council has received funding for a water typing assessment!
May 13, 2009 Watershed Stewards training starts in September.
Mar 7, 2009 You too can "doo" something "pawsitive" for Clark County's streams and wetlands!
Dec 28, 2008 Migrating Eagles are roosting in the Felida area.
Nov 17, 2008 WANTED!  We are actively seeking volunteers and board members.
JUL 05, 2006 Salmon Creek currently exceeds state and federal standards for water temperature, turbidity, and coli form bacteria.
JUL 05, 2006 The Council is registered with the State of Washington as a non-profit charity. Federal 501c3 Non-Profit provisional designation is pending.

Look at what our all-volunteer board and non-board members have accomplished. And there is more!!
SCWC Activities 2011:
   Jan. - Feb. - (Clark College) Amphibian Monitoring Project
   Feb. 5 - Pleasant Valley Park sleeve removal
   Mar. - (Dave Brown) Salmon Analog Feeding
   Mar. - May - Water Typing Project
   Mar. 5 - Stream Typing Training
   Apr. 5 - Salmon Social
   Apr. 9 - (WSUV) Cougar Pride Days
   Apr. 23 - (WSUV) Earth Day Run
   Apr. 23 - (StreamTeam) Earth Day Event
   May 3 - Salmon Social
   Jun. 3 - Lower Columbia River Estuary Partnership Summit
   Jun. 7 - Salmon Social
   Aug. - (WSUV) Salmon Creek Bibliographic Project (stage 1 complete)
   Sept. 17 - SOLV Cleanup
   Oct. 1 - (WSUV) Cougs in the Community
   Oct. 15 - (Stream Team) Planting Leader Training
   Oct. 22 - (Stream Team) Make a Difference Day
   Nov. 5 - (Clark County) Pleasant Valley Park tree planting
   Nov. 6 - (Boy Scouts) Pleasant Valley Park Trail work
   Dec. 3 - (Stream Team) WSUV Mill Creek Planting
   Dec. 15, 19, 20 - Fund raiser trips on the Columbia River to view Christmas Ships

The Lower Columbia Fish Enhancement Group will begin a fish habitat enhancement and stream restoration project along Salmon Creek in the southwest corner of Pleasant Valley Community Park in mid to late August.
This project is being funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and Salmon Recovery Funding Board. The goal of the project is to create off-channel spawning and rearing habitat for salmon on an existing spring-fed tributary of Salmon Creek within the park. The contractor will excavate approximately 10,000 square feet along the tributary to create a rearing pond, add large woody debris to the pond to provide cover for juvenile fish and habitat for the insects they eat and add a series of plank weirs in the channel to assist fish passage and to create spawning areas. Construction will take approximately one week to complete.
Heavy construction equipment will be using the trails within the park to access the work zone, so park visitors are asked to use caution when walking or biking the trails during this time. Equipment will enter and exit the park using NE 50th Avenue. A map of the project area and restoration plan drawing are available on the park Web page:
http://www.cityofvancouver.us/parks-recreation/parks_trails/parks/pleasantvalley.asp
This November, the Clark County Environmental Services Department will plant hundreds of trees and shrubs along this same section of Salmon Creek and its spring-fed tributary. The goal of this project, which is being funded by a grant from the Washington State Department of Ecology, is to enhance the riparian habitat along the creek and tributary. The county will coordinate a volunteer planting day as part of this restoration effort. More information about this project and the volunteer event will be available this fall. A map of the planting plan is available on the park Web page (see above link).

   An updated Water Typing Assessment became available January 16,2011. >> MORE...

Two water typing assessment reports are available:

   Ted Labbe from WDFW presented a Water Typing Assessment report at the August 12, 2010 monthly board meeting. >> MORE...

   An updated Water Typing Assessment became available January 16,2011. >> MORE...

Take a look at our Quarterly Newsletters:

   Spring 2011 Quarterly Newsletter >> MORE...

   Winter 2011 Quarterly Newsletter >> MORE...

   Fall 2010 Quarterly Newsletter >> MORE...

   Summer 2010 Quarterly Newsletter >> MORE...

   Spring 2010 Quarterly Newsletter >> MORE...

   Fall 2009 Quarterly Newsletter >> MORE...

On June 1, 2011, The Washington State Salmon Recovery Funding Board and Board of Directors

of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation have approved a grant of $29,914.65 to the Salmon Creek Watershed Council to support the Salmon Creek Typing (WA) project submitted to the Community Salmon Fund. This grant is provided on the condition that these funds will be matched by $19,876 in non-federal contributions raised by the Salmon Creek Watershed Council.

Lewis and Clark camped near the mouth of Salmon Creek. What would they think now?

On November 4, 1805, the Corps of Discovery led by Meriwether Lewis (1774-1809) and William Clark (1770-1838) camps on the Columbia River in what is now Clark County, beside a Chinookan Indian house near the entrance of Salmon Creek. The expedition has come nearly 4,000 miles from the mouth of the Missouri River, and is nearing its goal -- the Pacific Ocean at the mouth of the Columbia River.

Read more HERE ...

Water Typing Training:

During February-April 2011, the Salmon Creek Watershed Council will continue our volunteer-led headwater stream reconnaissance to improve our stream maps and build our watershed knowledge of Salmon Creek. Interested volunteers are being recruited.

First step is attendance of the training session. Training will be held in 9:00 - 1:00 Saturday, March 5, 2011, WSU Vancouver Library room 201
If you are interested, come on out!

>> Click here for more details...

If you need more information, please contact:
Randall.pearl@salmoncreekwatershed.org

Water Typing Training:

February-April 2010, the Salmon Creek Watershed Council will launch a new volunteer-led headwater stream reconnaissance to improve our stream maps and build our watershed knowledge of Salmon Creek. Interested volunteers are being recruited for a Saturday, February 6th training session. Trained volunteers will visit and survey streams at road crossings, documenting habitat with photographs, channel measurements, and site maps. All ages are welcome and no prior experience is necessary, but children should be accompanied by a parent/guardian. Volunteers will be loaned basic field gear and should be comfortable working in the field during inclement weather (and dress accordingly), but the work will not involve walking slippery streams.

First step is attendance of the training session. Training will be held in room 202/205 at the CASEE Center in Brush Prairie, WA from 8am-2pm on Feb 6. If you are interested, come on out!

CASEE Center Class room building
11104 NE 149 Street
Brush Prairie, Washington 98606
>> Click here for directions to CASEE...

If you need more information, please contact:
Randall.pearl@salmoncreekwatershed.org

Dave Brown Baker Creek Project

The Salmon Creek Watershed Council has provided funds for a Dave Brown's Wild Fish Recovery project in the Salmon Creek Watershed. As part of the effort, on July 18th council board members Mike Kerbs, Ben Dennis, and David Page assisted in the construction of a rearing pen on Baker Creek in the Hockinson area. We are excited knowing the prospects for sucess of this project, and more like it will lead to part of fulfilling Salmon Creek Watershed Council's mission.


The Salmon Creek Watershed Council has received grant monies ($10,700) through the Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife's ALEA (Aquatic Lands Enhancement Account) volunteer stewardship grant program to support a Water Typing Reconnaissance project in the Salmon Creek Watershed.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
Partnering with Clark County Clean Water Program, Wild Fish Conservancy (WFC), and Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, the Salmon Creek Watershed Council (SCWC) will lead a preliminary water typing reconnaissance in ten select Salmon Creek sub-watersheds during spring 2010 to correct inaccurate WDNR regulatory stream maps. This effort will be coordinated with Clark County Storm water Needs Assessment Program (SNAP) inventories and pinpoint select areas for water typing follow up surveys. With supplemental funding, SCWC will later contract with WFC to lead formal water typing surveys where needed, develop to 10% of design ten prioritized habitat restoration opportunities, and build an interactive web-based map product documenting our results (click here   for examples). The SCWC and others will utilize reconnaissance survey information to build watershed awareness, implement habitat restoration, and safeguard existing habitat strongholds in the watershed. Project outcomes include: enhanced habitat protection on private lands for sensitive headwater streams harboring ESA threatened Coho salmon, improved landowner and local government awareness of sensitive Salmon Creek watershed resources, and enhanced local nonprofit capacity and community engagement on conservation challenges. This work will provide greater regulatory certainty for stream-adjacent landowners, and ensure full protection for stream-riparian environments on which salmon and multiple other fish and wildlife species depend. With more accurate water typing information, private landowners will carry less financial burden associated with the hiring of private consultants to verify water type information prior to land use development proposals.

WHAT IS WATER TYPING?
Effective salmon recovery, water quality protection, and storm water system improvements require the restoration and protection of aquatic habitats. Local government and others rely on Washington Dept. of Natural Resources (WDNR) water type maps to identify fish-bearing streams, regulate critical areas, and prioritize habitat/water quality restoration projects. Existing water type maps have well-documented errors and typically under-represent the extent of fish-bearing waters. Many streams are mapped incorrectly, mis-typed, or not mapped at all. Consequently, many streams that warrant protection under existing regulations do not receive appropriate protection from land use impacts, and the accurate distribution of at-risk fish populations like threatened Coho salmon remains unknown. This limits resource managers' efforts to pinpoint needed habitat, water quality, and storm water system improvements.

Randall Pearl   randall.pearl@salmoncreekwatershed.org   is leading the council's efforts on the project.



You too can "doo" something "pawsitive" for Clark County 's streams and wetlands!

Many people do not realize that pet waste left on the ground often gets washed into storm drains, which lead directly to our streams and wetlands. This waste is essentially raw sewage, and carries harmful bacteria which can affect the health of not only aquatic wildlife, but ourselves and our children as well.   click here.

Watershed Stewards Volunteer Training:

When: Check the website link below for dates and times
Where: Clark County Operations Center Conference Room

Learn what you can do to maintain healthy watersheds for your community, fish and wildlife and future generations.

To apply or for more information please contact:
   jenifer.naas@clark.wa.gov 360-397-6060 x 7703   or click here.

Migrating Eagles are roosting in the Felida area.

Thanks to Felida area resident, Jeff Sacker, who has taken an excellent set of photos showing a pair of eagles in the trees just above the walking trail near NW 21st Avenue. Jeff graciously agreed to allow us to post a few in our Gallery.

SCWC board member, Bianca Steif, also a biologist for US Fish and Wildlife Service, has provided the following insights into the migration habits of the eagles.

Raptors including owls, hawks, and eagles establish their nesting territory in December/ January and some especially owls begin breeding in Jan-Feb (I am sure you have been hearing the great horned owls of late).

The eagles are migrating to their nesting area, some are just roosting along their migratory path south and a few will stay in the area. The ones that stay are setting up their nesting territory. They lay their eggs Febuary to early March, hatch March-May, and fledge May-June. Eagles often have 3-5 nests that they rotate and return to year after year. The past two years the nest has been in the area of the stream barbs where the creek makes a strong turn away from the trail. The USFWS tracks and monitors nest use annually. There is a volunteer with Audubon who monitors the nest along Salmon Creek. The foraging area for eagles is fairly large (30+ miles) and roosts are very important. I have seen two pairs of eagles plus the juveniles (who don't have the well developed white head and tail) in the area (they roost in the trees behind our home too and we see them foraging on the lake and wetlands).

Everyone can help them out by reminding your neighbors to not disturb them as they set up their household. They can be easily distressed by activities this time of year, things like loud equipment and vehicles, fireworks, construction, and tree removal and trimming. Also, since they eat rodents, fish, carcasses, etc., we as homeowners have the opportunity to avoid or minimize the use of pesticides and other poisons in our yards.

Below are some links to information on bald eagles:
Eagle guidelines
Eagle recreation guidelines
Bald eagles in Washington

The Salmon Creek Salmonid Evaluation Project.

See a photo of the weir in our  Gallery.

The project is described below. It is getting off to a good start for the second season.
The Salmon Creek Resistance Board Weir was up and fishing on Friday October 16th! The first fish have been caught, tagged, and released.


The Salmon Creek Salmonid Evaluation project is an important showcase for salmonid monitoring and habitat enhancement in an urban setting. This evaluation project will demonstrate to the public the dedication and commitment to salmon restoration by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), Clark County, Clark Public Utilities and the Salmon Creek Watershed Council. The Salmon Creek project is part of Clark County's mitigation for the Klineline bridge replacement and will evaluate adult salmonid passage through the constructed roughened, pool-chute channel located under the bridge on Salmon Creek.

Fish passage through the roughened channel will be evaluated using two Resistance Board Weirs. One weir will be placed downstream of the roughened channel and the other will be placed upstream of the channel. The installation of these weirs will enable the enumeration of adult salmonids as well as demonstrate the residency and behavior of adults as they migrate through the constructed channel. Resistance Board Weir fish traps work by funneling fish into a live box. Once fish are trapped in the live box the fish can be enumerated, biologically sampled and passed back into the creek creating minimal stress on the fish. Weirs function well in rivers that experience high water events. The weir panels float and are made of flexible material, allowing for the safe passage of boats and other large floating objects over the top of the panels. When water velocity exceeds the limit of the weir panels they will temporarily submerge. The traps are installed by hand, without the use of heavy equipment, with minimal impact to the streambed and riparian area.

The traps would have ideally been constructed and installed in August, before the fall rains began. Budget shortfalls and permits have delayed the installation of the traps. Clark Public Utilities generously purchased the materials for both of the weirs and WDFW intends to be fishing the traps by the end of October. The traps will be fished during the coho and steelhead return timeframe as long as flows permit. The Salmon Creek Salmonid Evaluation project is funded for two migratory returns, but WDFW is seeking further funding to monitor and evaluate the creek for juveniles and adults in the future.

WDFW would like to thank the Salmon Creek Watershed Council for their efforts with this project and a special thanks to Jeff Wittler with Clark Public Utilities for his commitment and enthusiasm for improving ecosystems across Clark County.

Read more here ...

December 20, 2009: Watershed resident and board member Randall Pearl earns well deserved credit from his employer >> MORE...

Take a look at our Quarterly Newsletters >> MORE...

WANTED!  We are actively seeking volunteers and board members. >> MORE...

November 9th, 2007 - We need your help with water monitoring.

In order to assess stream water quality and identify potential pollution sources the Clark County Clean Water Program proposes to monitor bacteria and turbidity levels in streams feeding lower Salmon Creek. Starting this winter, small teams of dedicated volunteers will be trained to monitor water quality at six designated locations using equipment provided by the Clean Water Program. Monitoring during this year-long study will occur every couple of weeks and require a few hours of effort at a time. If you are interested in participating in this study, please contact Ron Wierenga with the Salmon Creek Watershed Council ron.wierenga@salmoncreekwatershed.org Follow this link for information on the Clark County Clean Water Program: Clark County Water Resources

July 5th, 2007 - Salmon Creek currently exceeds state and federal standards for water temperature, turbidity, and coli form bacteria.

Salmon Creek is on the Department of Ecology's list of Washington's polluted rivers. 1000 Friends of Washington has named it one of Washington's 10 most endangered places.

Salmon Creek and its tributaries support three species of salmonids: Coho salmon, winter-run steelhead, and coastal cutthroat trout. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife classifies populations of Coho and steelhead in Salmon Creek as "depressed". The cutthroat trout population is also assumed to be depressed.

Human activities in the Salmon Creek watershed have resulted in significant changes to its vegetation, land use, and hydrologic characteristics. One result of these changes is increased stream temperature. Though specific temperature requirements vary between species and from one life stage to another, salmonids as a group tend to be among the most temperature-sensitive biota in Northwest streams.

A variety of human activities, including the day-to-day activities of residents, threaten the health of Salmon Creek. A growing population compounds the problem. Some sources of pollution include failing septic systems, pet and livestock waste, pesticides and fertilizers from residential and agricultural use, and oils and other toxins from motor vehicles. Aquatic life is threatened by polluted storm water runoff from fields, roads, roofs, and parking lots, and by exposed soil that erodes into the stream.

Because Salmon Creek is fed from rain and groundwater sources, the amount of water in the creek is significantly lower in the summer than in the winter. Any direct withdrawal of water from Salmon Creek for irrigation or other uses, legal or illegal, also lowers stream flows. Septic system contamination that reaches Salmon Creek during the low-flow months can create conditions that are especially detrimental to juvenile fish; it also poses a health risk for people who have contact with the water.

In an interagency study temperature survey of the Salmon Creek Watershed completed in 2003 by Clark County Water Resources and Clark Public Utilities, 12 of 15 stations monitored during summer 2003 failed to meet current and proposed state water temperature criteria.

Temperatures regularly exceeded thresholds for detrimental thermal impacts to rearing salmonids. The state agency in charge of setting environmental regulations, Washington Department of Ecology, has set 64F as the maximum temperature to protect streams within Salmon Creek, temperatures exceeded the 64F standard for protecting salmon and sensitive aquatic life at 12 of 15 stations over a 35 day period and some sites temperatures exceeded 70F lasting 1 to 6 weeks. According to the study, stream temperature should be considered a limiting factor for salmonid rearing in the Salmon Creek watershed. Another study by Clark County Water Resources tested Salmon Creek and its tributaries have been tested for water chemistry, streambed life, bacteria and general water quality including temperature, pH and dissolved oxygen. Even though only 30% of the watershed was has been tested, the report rated only 1% a small portion of the steam has is rated as being in "good"overall health, and with 15% being in "poor" and 2% being in "very poor" condition.

For more information see Clark County's report. Clark County reported not assessing 70% of the watershed in the study and that 70% may have significant water quality and habitat issues.

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July 5th, 2007 - The Council is now registered with the State of Washington as a non-profit charity. Federal 501c3 Non-Profit designation has been approved.

The Salmon Creek Watershed Council is now registered as a 501(c)3 non-profit community based organization dedicated to preserving and protecting Clark County's most precious resource - water quality and fish habitat in Salmon Creek. now all donations to the council are tax deductible!

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