* The Wee Burn Creek Restoration Project

Many juvenile Coho salmon rear in Wee Burn Creek.
A juvenile Coho Salmon.
Every place that features wild game fish is a pretty good place to be at.  Our community has a lot of wild game fish.  It is a very nice place to live and to visit.  Many community residents are working hard to restore all of our endemic game fish populations.  This will make our community an even more interesting place to live in and to visit.
The Wee Burn (Scottish for small stream) is a tributary of Salmon River in the Sandy River watershed.  We took a tour of the Wee Burn Creek 04/09 and saw many small Coho feeding on the surface of each of four ponds.  Literally hundreds of fish were observed.  These are all wild fish.  No hatchery stocking has taken place. Naturally spawned Coho Salmon feeding on the surface of a water trap.
Baby Cohos dimpling.
Wild fish habitat can add to a beautiful setting.
Water trap habitat.
Wee Burn  Creek flows across Resort At The Mountain.  The stream was channelized in the early 1900's when the golf course was built.  This damaged the natural healthy meander of the stream as well as resting and spawning areas for fish.  Construction of three small dams to create irrigation ponds in the 1930's blocked fish passage to the best spawning and rearing
habitat on the stream.  However wild steelhead and Coho salmon  have been able to hang on in sparse populations to the present. When Ed & Janice Hopper purchased Resort at the Mountain in 1988 they committed themselves to the complete restoration and enhancement of the wild fisheries that once thrived in Wee Burn Creek.  Since then thousands of dollars and   Much clean gravel has been imported into Wee Burn Creek.
Spawning gravel.
Man made structures and restoration of natural meanders have increased fish habitat.
More spawning gravel.
thousands of man-hours have been spent cleansing agriculture chemicals from the system and restoring the creek to its natural meandering watercourse.  The plan calls for blending the golf course and the stream so that the game becomes more interesting and the fishery wins too.  Fish ladders have been built at each of the dams.  When a new pond was dug a natural artesian spring was tapped that provides cool water 
year round for fish rearing.  Now golf course water traps have become juvenile Coho rearing ponds.  Several hillside springs were piped to form an artificial spring creek which augments the summer flow of Wee Burn. Where there once was naked sterile streambed now there are waving water plants and all of the critters that depend on them.   Clean, naturally folowing streams are visually pleasing.
Resting & rearing area.

The restored wild fish habitat is also interesting landscaping for the golfers.  Everyone wins.  

Fisheries can be won back, one little stream at a time.
If you want to take a look at this one give the Resort a call: 503-622-3101


The Fly Fishing Shop, Welches, OR

1 (800) 266-3971

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