This project includes stream and floodplain modifications along a 0.27 mile length of Perkins Creek. Proposed modifications will enhance approximately 1.1 acres of stream channel and wetland habitat. The conceptual design contains three significant components to restore natural stream processes and increase stream complexity to enhance habitat:
1) Culvert removal and replacement with natural channel
2) Culvert replacement
3) Riparian zone replanting with native vegetation
Perkins Creek is a tidally influenced tributary of the Skipanon River with its confluence at approximately river mile 5 of the Skipanon. The Skipanon River is the first tributary of the Columbia River Estuary on the Oregon side. The Skipanon Watershed is characterized by coastal dunes, wetlands and forested uplands. Land cover is dominated by non-industrial forest (35%), palustrine wetlands (19%), and grasslands (14%). The watershed has been significantly altered throughout its history. Dams, diking, dredging and filling have been commonplace activities just as in other areas of the Lower Columbia. The floodplain has been largely disconnected from the river, which has resulted in deteriorated habitat conditions and limited nutrient and organic material exchange between the stream and floodplain.
The short-term implications of this project will be the immediate opening of 4 miles of stream to adult salmonids, enhanced migratory passage upstream for juveniles, as well as the engagement of local landowners in habitat restoration activities. The long-term implications of this project will be the added habitat and functional value of tidally-influenced wetlands and spruce swamp, which may result in increased productivity for endangered salmonids in the Skipanon watershed.