Clear Creek Large Wood Debris Installation

The Clear Creek large woody debris (LWD) installation project was implemented in September 2021 on Clear Creek, a tributary to Gales Creek. This project connected two prior projects - the Gales/Clear Creek Confluence project (completed 2018) and the Clear Creek LWD Phase I project (completed 2012) conducted upstream on the City of Forest Grove property. 

The purpose of this project was to provide habitat complexity for four species of salmonids (winter steelhead, Coho, fall chinook, and cutthroat trout) to a historically degraded stream. The entire project reach is one mile long, stretching across eight different private properties. Many portions of the creek have been scoured to bedrock, leaving minimal habitat in which salmon can spawn and macroinvertebrates can thrive. 

Placing large wood throughout the reach will provide cover and protection for salmon and steelhead from predators, aggrade gravel bedload over time (protecting the water from air and sun exposure while also creating new habitat), and create scour pools in which fish can rest. 

The project treatments consisted of: 

  • Installing 77 logs into 20 large wood structure treatments

  • 5 boulder weir installment locations

  • 3.5 cubic yards of concrete slabs (trash) removed from the site. 

We had a unique opportunity to harvest a portion of our wood from a burn site on BLM land from one of the major forest fires that took place in the summer of 2020. The rest of the large wood was purchased locally from our partners at Hampton Lumber. 

This project is significant because it ties two historic projects together for a total of 2.3 miles of treated habitat stemming from the confluence with Gales Creek. Clear Creek is an important, naturally cold water source and contributes to lowering the temperatures in Gales Creek. This cold water contribution is important to fish and wildlife as well as to the residents of Washington County, as Gales Creek is one of the major streams in which our drinking water comes from. 

This project was made possible by funding from the Tualatin River Environmental Enhancement (TREE) Grant awarded by the Tualatin Soil and Water Conservation District.