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River Restoration For Coho Recovery

River Restoration For Coho Recovery2018-08-09T19:16:33+00:00

Before: Massive logjam caused by logging practices blocks Anderson Creek above its confluence with Indian Creek.

After: Restoration efforts cleared out the logjam, allowing water to flow freely in Anderson Creek as seen here as it joins Indian Creek.

(Photo credits: Richard Gienger)

(Photo credits: Richard Gienger)

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Salmon Return to Spawn in Anderson Creek
in Usal Redwood Forest!

Coho Spawning in Anderson Creek (January, 2016)

The vibrant Coho salmon seen in the video (above) swam more than 95 miles upstream to spawn in prime spawning grounds in Anderson Creek in the Usal Redwood Forest. The pair traveled up the Eel River, veered into the South Fork and passed through Indian Creek into Anderson Creek.

As can be seen in the photos below, the huge log jam above the confluence of Indian and Anderson Creeks would have blocked their trip in earlier years. The logjam formed when logs and debris backed up behind a ‘stringer bridge’ in multiple flood flows. Extensive forest and watershed restoration made it possible for the salmon to return and spawn in an upstream location not much more than a mile east of Bear Harbor and the Pacific Ocean.

The reaches under Anderson Creek have some prime spawning and rearing habitat for threatened Coho and Steelhead. Fisheries experts get ecstatic in these reaches – “lots of off-channel, good cover, cold water, and year-round flow.” This prime habitat extends upstream through marshy and low gradient areas close to the western boundary of Usal. These very high stream reaches can often lack abundant good spawning gravels. It is common in these areas to have exposed clay due to past tractor logging and flood impacts in streams and riparian zones.

RFFI’s planned restoration projects in Anderson Creek will improve access and spawning habitat for these threatened Coho salmon. DONATE NOW to help RFFI complete road and in-stream restoration projects to improve Coho and steelhead habitat in Indian and Anderson creeks.