In 2012 the Land Trust, in partnership with the Upper Deschutes Watershed Council and Deschutes National Forest, completed a multi-year restoration of Whychus Creek and its surrounding meadow at Camp Polk Meadow Preserve. This page provides more details on the restoration goals and post-restoration progress.
Major goals of the restoration:
1. Improve habitat for redband trout, chinook and steelhead. The restored stream channel will have
- more meanders to increase overall channel length, slower water flow, and improve habitat.
- more pools will provide deep water for fish to us as refuge.
- more riffles and glides to increase habitat diversity.
- more logs to provide cover for fish and help slow flood waters.
2. Restore the wet meadow.
- improve wildlife and plant habitat by creating more wetland and streamside pland communities.
- store groundwater to help recharge the stream during low-flow periods and provide cooler water for fish during warmer months.
- increase flood-prone area so the creek can access its floodplain as it naturally would.
3. Provide for natural channel stability. The new channel will meet reference conditions for channel pattern (e.g., sinuosity, meander length), dimension (e.g., width, depth) and profile (e.g., gradient). These reference metrics are used to develop the channel design so it closely mimics what occured prior to human disturbance.
For more details on the restoration, please download the restoration plan.
Major outcomes from the restoration:
- constructed 1.2 miles of new meandering channel through the meadow
- enhanced 1,500 feet of exisiting channel (where the channel couldn't be fully meandered)
- created 4.2 miles of side channels for habitat and to help recharge groundwater
- increased wetlands by 73 acres
- raised the water table to within 2 feet of the surface
Post restoration monitoring:
The Upper Deschutes Watershed Council regularly monitors the progress of the Camp Polk Meadow restoration. The Land Trust also regularly monitors the meadow to ensure that its conservation values are protected. The Upper Deschutes Watershed Council produces annual reports on the monitoring. Here are the most recent monitoring reports:
- 2016 Camp Polk Meadow Whychus Creek Restoration Groundwater Monitoring Report
- 2015 Camp Polk Meadow Whychus Creek Restoration Overall Monitoring Report
- 2014 Camp Polk Meadow Whychus Creek Restoration Vegetation Monitoring Report
Learn more about the project:
- Watch videos of Whychus Creek from the day that the water was diverted into its new channel through the meadow.
- Watch a slideshow of aerial photos taken during the restoration.
This video gives a brief overview of the restoration project (Thanks Scott Nelson!):