Coles Valley Fish Passage Improvement
The landowners in the upper reaches of Coles Valley Creek have been working on improving their watershed for a long time. They have worked with the Douglas Soil and Water Conservation District to complete projects that replaced culverts, fenced livestock out of the creek, planted trees in the riparian area, and installed off-channel watering systems. By the summer of 2012, there were still two large culverts on the main creek that were partially blocking salmon from the upper reaches.
In 2013, the Elk Creek Watershed Council and the Douglas SWCD began working on a project to replace these culverts. Using 12-foot, half round culverts that were donated by the Roseburg District BLM, and with funding from the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB) and the BLM Resource Advisory Committee, these culverts were replaced in the summer of 2013.
Since these needed to be big culverts, and the ones we had were only 20 feet long, the designs were critical. Don Porior of Porior Engineering, designed a solution that called for using vertical walls on the ends. Called a "Hilfiker Wall," they used a series of welded-wire panels with rock facing. Construction was completed in the summer of 2013.