High waters at Camp Polk Meadow Preserve

Oct 09, 2013
September brought record rains for many places in Oregon and created high flows at Camp Polk.

September brought record rains for many places in Oregon and came to a blustery close in Central Oregon. The late-September storm created huge flows at Camp Polk Meadow Preserve, where Whychus Creek was running very high. At one point it measured 1200 cubic feet per second (cfs), well over the average September flows of 20 cfs. It was another opportunity for the Creek to use its new-found floodplain!

"We were really excited to see the creek behave like we hoped it would," said Amanda Egertson, the Land Trust's stewardship director. "The side channels were full of water and some water spilled out and recharged the meadow."

The restored channel allows water to flow over its banks and into side channels. This slows the water and creates less erosion than the previous channelized creek channel. Though the contours of the creek and its side channels may change during these high flows, the creek is now moving around the meadow like it should.