Supporting Sunshine With Healthy Habitat

Sunshine Creek, located off of the Siletz River in Oregon’s coastal mountain range, plays an important role in its ecosystem as a coho-producing tributary. Many species of aquatic wildlife like pacific lamprey, steelhead and chinook salmon, and cutthroat trout all rely on Sunshine Creek’s ecological support.

However, without large wood debris, aquatic wildlife on Sunshine Creek are at risk. Wood debris like large-diameter logs, provide fish and aquatic wildlife with protection from high speed flows as well as protection from predators like river otters and bears. The upper portion of Sunshine Creek is managed by industrial timberland and is dominated by young confier; and as a result, there’s a significant lack of large wood debris that is necessary to create complex pool habitats.

The confluence of Fourth of July and Sunshine Creeks.

That’s why we partnered with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to add large-diameter logs and wood debris to the upper portion of Sunshine Creek. Tim Greseth, our Executive Director, visited the project site in early July to meet with a representative from Weyerhaueser and members of ODFW in the Siletz Basin.

Update at Sunshine Creek project site, August 2019.

The Sunshine Creek Habitat Project was implemented over the course of five days. During that time, over 150 large-diameter logs were placed singly or in small jam complexes across 1.3 miles of stream! These pieces of large wood debris and large-diameter logs will give fish and aquatic wildlife a more complex habitat and connect Sunshine Creek to the floodplain. Additionally, up to 3,100 trees will be planted in the second phase of the Sunshine Creek Habitat Restoration Project.

A newly-placed log jam at the confluence of Fourth of July and Sunshine Creeks.

Do you want to see more habitats get restored and create