A year from now work on the Sturgeon Lake Restoration Project should be underway out on Sauvie Island; specifically, where Reeder Road crosses the Dairy Creek channel. The project design calls for a full spanning bridge at the Dairy Creek crossing, which fully allows the high spring flows from the Columbia River to enter and flush out upper Sturgeon Lake. Such hydrological connectivity between upper Sturgeon Lake and the Columbia River will restore important juvenile salmon migration and rearing habitat. When this work begins, traffic may be delayed at the construction site on NW Reeder Road for drivers headed to the beaches and other NE locations. Summer is a popular time of year on Sauvie Island and visitors should be aware of and plan for possible delays ahead of time. Construction activities will be updated on our website and social networks during this period.
Due to the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) funding a more significant portion of the project costs, management of the project has been transferred to BPA from the US Army Corps of Engineers. In turn, BPA is using the Columbia River Estuary Study Taskforce to oversee the final design and construction for the project. West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District will begin some of the site preparation this summer for vegetation work along Dairy Creek. Crews will begin removing thickets of non-native blackberry and false indigo bush on the creek banks. The plan is to replant with native trees and shrubs in the winter of 2018-2019. Eventually the District will restore about 7 acres of riparian habitat along the creek. Finally, on June 29th the Conservation District conducted a survey of the shoreline of Sturgeon Lake looking for potential invasive plants. While little of significance was found this was part of an effort to get baseline information before Dairy Creek is reopened providing a tidal link from the lake to the Columbia River. It is expected that once reopened, new weed seeds will be able to float into the lake. Keeping a vigilant eye out for new invaders will help to keep the lake pristine and maximize its value for fish and wildlife.