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Perkins Creek Fish Passage & Habitat Enhancement Project

Perkins Creek is a tributary of the Clatskanie River which flows through mostly commercial timberland and rural residential areas. It is a fish bearing stream known to contain several species of salmon as well as Pacific lamprey and other species of concern.

Location: The project site is on Olson Road outside of the City of Clatskanie.

Partners: Columbia County Public Works, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), Evenson Logging Company, and Private Landowners

Contractor: Waterways Consulting Inc. & Kynsi Construction Inc.

Funding: The Regional Conservation Partnership Program through NRCS

The goal of this project was to improve fish passage and aquatic habitat in Perkins Creek while reducing the risk of flooding to Olson Road. The old culvert was significantly undersized for flow levels during the winter and would often result in the stream overtopping the road, making it impassable. The County Roads Department (Public Works) has to make repairs to Olson Road almost every year. The culvert was also poorly aligned with the channel such that the stream ran directly into the roadside and then made two quick, hard 90 degree turns before entering the culvert. This situation led to undercutting of the road and made fish passage upstream very difficult.

In August 2022, construction began to remove the old culvert and install a 30’ wide precast concrete bridge from Pacific Bridge & Construction. Designs also called for a straightening and widening of the channel above the crossing, widening of the channel below the bridge, and installation of a log structure and soil lifts along the eastern side of the road. The streambed was rebuilt throughout the project site with a mix of rock and large boulders that provide grade control as well as important habitat features for fish. As part of their contribution to the project, the County provided rock to rebuild the road and will pave Olson Road through the project site before the end of September. Evenson logging donated the logs for the wood structure which were harvested and repurposed from the project site. Native plants will be installed later this year to help stabilize newly graded streambanks and expedite restoration of disturbed areas.

The Columbia SWCD is thrilled with the outcome of this project, its benefits to both wildlife and people, and the partnerships that made it possible.

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