With culvert gone, Beaver Creek again welcomes wild fish

October 28, 2016

On Oct. 3, North Coast Land Conservancy removed an old, collapsed culvert from its Thompson Creek and Stanley Marsh property, opening up additional habitat for coho salmon and other fish.

The culvert was in what used to be known as Ditch Creek, which ran under a dirt road used in the development of Thompson Falls Estates but no longer in use. The creek serves as a link between Thompson Creek and Stanley Marsh. Thanks to a decade of restoration work by NCLC on the 80-acre property, Stanley Marsh is again full of beavers building dams and creating more wetland habitat. In the process, beavers have helped make the marsh much more inviting to native fish. With the culvert gone, coho salmon and other fish can now swim freely in what NCLC has renamed Beaver Creek.

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Juvenile Pacific lamprey netted in Beaver Creek

A contractor worked with NCLC staff to do the removal in collaboration with staff from the City of Seaside, which partnered with NCLC to dispose of the culvert. A biologist from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife was also on hand to monitor the creek for the presence of fish, according to project lead and NCLC Conservation and Stewardship Manager Amy Hutmacher. Normally NCLC is not allowed to do in-water restoration work after Sept. 15 due to its potential impact on migrating salmon, but ODFW granted an exception for this project.

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“Our ODFW biologist found a couple of cutthroat trout and a lamprey,” Amy said, “so even this time of year it’s important habitat.”

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