Friday, August 14, 2020
Aug. 14, 2020

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Trout Creek steelhead habitat project proposed

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HEMLOCK — Comments will be accepted until Jan. 19 on a proposal by the Gifford Pinchot National Forest to improve wild steelhead habitat in lower Trout Creek, a key tributary of the Wind River in Skamania County.

The effort proposed to place 50 to 100 whole trees and logs in selected locations along 1.5 miles of Trout Creek downstream of the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail bridge. Also proposed is to remove existing concrete and steel debris left in the channel from a old water supply dam upstream of the PCT crossing.

The woody debris would increase habitat diversity for steelhead, providing more hiding cover and winter refuge.

Historically, Trout Creek is one of the most productive tributaries in the Wind River system. Fish counts indicate steelhead numbers have increased since removal of Hemlock Dam in 2009.

As more adult steelhead return, competition for spawning and rearing habitat also increases.

According to Mose Jones-Yellin, Mount Adams District ranger, there is a need for more habitat to support the existing population and an anticipated increase in steelhead.

The trees would come from a patch of conifers affected by root-rot at the Wind River Work Station.

To comment, sent written documents to Brittany Zapata, Gifford Pinchot National Forest, 10600 N.E. 51st Circle, Vancouver, 98682 or by email to bnzapata@fs.fed.us.

For more information, contact Bengt Coffin at 509-395-3425 or by email at bcoffin@fs.fed.us.

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