Elk Creek Watershed Council, Umpqua Basin, Oregon

Lees Creek Instream Habitat Improvement

The Lees Creek project restored more than two miles of coho habitat on private and BLM land in the Lees Creek watershed. Instream habitat improvement structures were constructed at more than 40 sites, and included nearly all the Lees Creek watershed. Boulder weirs at six sites on bedrock channels were designed to capture gravel and build up the channel. Log structures were designed to capture and sort gravel, create deep pools, and provide cover for juvenile coho.

1/17  These two undersized, failing culverts had scoured this section of Lees Creek down to bedrock for more than 100 yards.
2/17  This is what it looked like just downstream.
3/17  This boulder weir was installed to slow water and capture sediment.
4/17  This is what it looked like from the road.
5/17  These are components of the modular concrete bridge that was installed to replace the culverts.
6/17  The excavator is placing the decking for the bridge.
7/17  This is the bridge just after construction.
8/17  Looking upstream.
9/17  The Lees Creek project included more than a mile of habitat improvement. All the logs needed to pass through this tunnel under the I-5 freeway.
10/17  Log trucks could not make it through the tunnel. The skidder moved the logs to staging areas along Lees Creek.
11/17  Logs were placed at 30 sites with the excavator.
12/17  This shows the gravel that was trapped just below the bridge after the first winter storm.
13/17  One of the log structures during the first winter.
14/17  The weir at the second site below the bridge is also completely buried in gravel.
15/17  This is the new bridge after the stream has readjusted.
16/17  This area just downstream used to be nothing but bedrock.
17/17  Log structures both capture gravel and create complex habitat for juvenile fish.