Instream Enhancement

Instream log and boulder placements account for a majority of the work carried out throughout the Smith River Watershed. This practice is aimed at enhancing stream habitat for salmon and steelhead by returning large woody debris to the stream channel. Historically, large timber would naturally fall into the stream, providing structure which slowed down stream velocities and helped to accumulate gravels and other substrates that salmon and steelhead require spawning beds. These large pieces of wood also create rearing pools which juvenile salmon and steelhead depend on. These pools provide food, shelter from predators, and refuge from high velocity stream events, and lower stream temperatures, among many other services.

Recent Projects

Big Creek Sub-Basin Instream Restoration Helicopter Project (2019)

Through use of a Boeing Vertol helicopter, 537 logs were placed in 63 sites throughout the headwaters of Big Creek, Argue Creek, Devil's Club Creek, Coldwater Creek, Clearwater Creek, and Slide Creek. The use of a helicopter allows for the placement of instream enhancement sites consisting of logs in areas not accessible by excavator and other large equipment. Logs were attached to long lines by choker and lowered into the stream while ground crews directed their placement. Project partners include the Bureau of Land Management, Roseburg Resources Co., Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Umpqua Fishing Derby, Douglas County Timber Operators, Western Native Trout Initiative, and Columbia Helicopters.

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Halfway Creek Instream Restoration (2019)

55 instream log and boulder sites were placed over 4.5 miles of stream by excavator. Halfway Creeks stream bottom is dominated by bedrock, lacking gravels and large wood to capture them. Log and boulders  were placed in combination and designed to capture debris and substrates traveling downstream and to raise the stream height to interact with the floodplain. This project was completed through cooperation and assistance by the Bureau of Land Management and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Past Projects

Big Creek 6th Field HUC Instream Restoration (2017/2018) 

108 log and boulder structures placed across 7 miles of Big Creek, and 3 of its tributaries, Mosetown Creek and Blind Creek by excavator. Project partners: Roseburg Forest Products, Bureau of Land Management, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Bum Creek Instream Log Placement (2017)

Excavator placement of 22 log and boulder structures throughout 1 mile of upper Bum Creek. Project partners: Roseburg Forest Products, the Bureau of Land Management, Umpqua Fishing Derby, Western Native Trout Initiative, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Smith River Tributaries Instream Restoration - Phase II (Vincent Cr. and Scare Cr.) (2014)

By helicopter and excavator, 73 structures were placed over 4.5 miles of Vincent Creek and 22 structures placed over 1.5 miles of Scare Creek. Project partners: Roseburg Forest Products, the Bureau of Land Management, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Umpqua Fishing Derby.

Smith River Tributaries Instream Restoration- Phase I (North Sister Cr. & Scare Cr.) (2014)

43 restoration structures placed across 3.5 miles of Scare Creek and 29 structures placed across 1.5 miles of North Sister Creek by excavator. Project partners: Roseburg Forest Products, the Bureau of Land Management, Umpqua Fishing Derby, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Vincent Creek Instream Restoration (2012)

63 log and boulder structures placed by excavator across 3.5 miles of Vincent Creek. Project partners: Roseburg Forest Products, Bureau of Land Management, Umpqua Fishing Derby, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

South Sisters Structure Placement Phase V (2012)

67 log and boulder sites were placed throughout 4.5 miles of South Sister Creek, North Sister Creek, and Russel Creek by excavator. Project partners: Roseburg Resources, the Bureau of Land Management, Umpqua Fishing Derby, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

South Sisters Structure Placement Phase IV (2011)

40 log and boulder structures placed across 2 miles of South Sister Creek and Jeff Creek by excavator. Project partners: Roseburg Forest Products, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Bureau of Land Management, Douglas County Timber Operators. 

Jeff Creek Structure Placement II (2010)

12 log and boulder structures were placed across 0.75 miles of Jeff Creek by excavator. Project partners: Bureau of Land Management, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Umpqua Fishing Derby.