‘Water Typing’ & Fish Passage Surveys: Past work by tribes and the Wild Fish Conservancy in Washington State has documented high rates of map errors in stream maps used to safeguard salmon habitat. In Oregon, similar challenges with stream maps often leave threatened fish populations at risk to development and other land uses.
Within the Portland-Vancouver region, Ted Labbe has worked with Salmon Creek Watershed Council volunteers and Wild Fish Conservancy to field-truth, upgrade stream maps and document error rates in Clark County, WA. In Oregon, Ted has worked with Molalla River Watch and Native Fish Society volunteers to field-truth headwater streams and survey fish passage barriers. The results of all of this work have been submitted to state and local agencies to improve on-the-ground habitat protections and management for at-risk fish populations and other species.
Working with Multnomah County Water Quality Program and Wild Fish Conservancy, Ted helped complete fish distribution surveys of upper Johnson Creek and Beaver Creek (Sandy River tributary) watersheds, as well as fish passage surveys of at Multnomah County-owned stream crossings. For these reports, please see https://multco.us/water-quality-program/reports-and-plans.
In Johnson Creek, Ted worked with the watershed council and volunteers to survey and prioritize fish-blocking culverts. Volunteers conducted a preliminary reconnaissance, collecting photos and basic measurements, followed by in-depth culvert surveys by Ted where needed. This data is now being used by Johnson Creek Watershed Council and others to implement fish passage restoration at the highest-ranked barriers.
UGI has a continuing interest in this work, and is interested in exploring additional partnerships with watershed councils, agencies, and others.
Willamette River: Our work on the lower Willamette River focuses on Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge and Ross Island and Holgate Channel. We continue to advocate for a wider Willlamette Greenway trail and adjacent habitat restoration.