Thanks so much to our volunteers and to the Johnson Creek Watershed Council for making this happen!
The CSP hosted one of the ten restoration locations during the Johnson Creek Watershed's 20th Anniversary Watershed-Wide Event. Our location was at Westmoreland's Union Manor, where the creek emerges from the new (2017) culvert at McLaughlin Blvd. and flows down through the property to the new (2016) culvert at SE Glenwood St.
We had about 45 volunteers including a Girl Scout troop and a team from Bullseye Glass. Much reed canary grass and other invasive species was removed from the banks and the stream channel and hundreds of live stakes of Pacific ninebark, black twinberry, and snowberry were placed along the banks to control erosion, and provide food and habitat for wildlife, and to shade the creek.
The event went quite well, thanks to all the volunteers who came out, but since we were all busy we didn't get photos of the rest of the volunteers at work. Better luck (or planning) next time!
Thanks so much to our volunteers and to the Johnson Creek Watershed Council for making this happen!
Any fish biologists or fisherpersons out there that can help us with some fish identifications?
Recently Sellwood resident James sent us a video of some juvenile salmonid (salmon/trout/steelhead) feeding in the creek at Westmoreland Park. I was curious to see if I could catch a glimpse of them myself or get a photo or video of them on our submersible camera. One day while at the viewing platform at the north end of the park I saw some small fish that seemed to have parr marks (vertical oval markings that salmonid fry have) but I didn't have the camera with me.
I visited the site again this week with the camera and got some images of at least two types of fish, though neither seem to be salmonids. Most of the fish appear to be some member of the family Cyprinidae (minnows and their allies) possibly dace or shiners. In a few images there are what appears to be three-spined sticklebacks schooling with the Cyprinids.
The location is the lagoon on the west side of the creek that surrounds the viewing platform. The water level in the creek is very high right now and the lagoon currently has direct communication with the creek channel (as does the larger wetland area on the other side, by the curved boardwalk). The sediment visible was stirred up by the camera and pole.
Check out the video and see if you can ID the fish for us!
Thousands of people who came for the whole event or who stopped by as part of Sellwood-Milwaukie Sunday Parkways. Much thanks to all of the participating organizations, volunteers, and attendees for making the event a success.
CSP member Bob Federoff spotted a river otter feeding on a large fish (10"-12") at Westmoreland Park on Friday evening (3/30/17) and made this video. He couldn't get close enough to identify the fish (and one should never disturb an otter at their meal) but we think it is the same type that member Celeste Searles Mazzacano took this photo of at the north end of the park on the same day.
Between us, we think it is a member of the Catostomidae family, commonly called suckers. This one is likely a largescale sucker (Catostomus macrocheilus). They say when spawning the female lays an enormous number of eggs and there is another one born every minute.
Here is the one Celeste saw near the footbridge closest to Bybee.
And a much clearer view by the awesome fish artist Joseph Tomelleri (this one from the Idaho Fish and Game Dept.).
Our board member Karl Lee captured this video of a nutria (Myocastor coypu) with an unusual feeding behavior.
A nutria (Myocastor coypus) exhibiting an interesting feeding behavior. It gathers duckweed with its forelimbs, sweeping the tiny floating plants toward its mouth by the thousands.
Nutria were introduced to Oregon from South America in the 1930s as animals to be raised for their pelts but escaped captivity or were released when the scheme failed to be profitable. They are considered by the Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife to be an unwanted invasive species, but they seem to be here to stay, and are found throughout the watershed.
Video taken by CSP board member Karl Lee, November 2016 at Westmoreland Park, Portland, OR.
Join us in making the 3rd Annual Salmon Celebration a success!
Event: October 2, 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Volunteer sign-up link: https://www.volunteersignup.org/9RAK9
What and when:
Set-up 9:00 – 11:AM
Take down 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Salmon bake / food service (food handlers card may be required) 9:00 – 11:00 AM
Salmon bake / food service (food handlers card may be required) 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Salmon bake / food service (food handlers card may be required) 1:00 – 3:00 PM
Volunteer booth staffing / Runner / Floater 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Volunteer booth staffing / Runner / Floater 12:00 – 2:00 PM
Volunteer booth staffing / Runner / Floater 2:00 – 4:00 PM
If you have a food handlers card please indicate next to your last name, i.e. (food handlers card). Set up begins at 9AM, Last shift should end by 6PM. Participants can sign up for a minimum of one 2 hour shift.
We hope you join us!
The Crystal Springs Partnership
The third (2016) edition of our Walking Tour Map is back from the printers and available at two branch libraries (Woodstock and Sellwood-Moreland), the Sellwood Community Center, and at a brochure display at SE 21st Ave and Spokane St. Much thanks to the Watershed Services Group, Bureau of Environmental Services for making this happen.
Here's a PDF link
Edits and additions in the new edition include updates to the text and map on the map side (e.g.- adding the Bybee MAX station) and revising the plant and animal lists and adding a section about freshwater mussels on the brochure side.
We hope you pick up a copy and enjoy the map. If you know of a location that would be good to display a handful of maps for the taking let us know.
We would like to recognize and thank Erin Hauer, BS Landscape Architecture, for her landscape design and project support for the Brennan Property natural area restoration project that was installed on February 28th, 2016.
In addition, Erin along with Mary Ann Schmidt, developed a native plant list of species to vegetate both the southern parking strip as well as the riparian area around Crystal Springs at the 21st and SE Umatilla site. The plant collection represents native riparian and upland communities which will help to shade out existing invasive vegetation. The southern roadside planting strip contains native perennials with staggered bloom times, to support pollinators and for seasonal interest. Erin moved back to Colorado this past spring and plans to pursue a Masters in Landscape Architecture. Her dedication and passion for creating landscapes that help communities connect with the natural world will be truly missed.
Karl Lee, Crystal Springs Partnership July 12, 2016
While the answer to the age-old joke: “Why did the chicken cross the road?” could be any number of things, the answer as to why 2000 freshwater mussels (genus Anodonta) made their way across 4 lanes of traffic, as well as freight and MAX rails is crystal clear, and no joke at all.
On Friday July 8th, as setup was underway for construction of new road crossings over Crystal Springs Creek at Glenwood Street and Bybee Boulevard (just north of Westmoreland Park), about 25 citizen-scientist volunteers and watershed specialist prepared to retrieve, measure, tag, and relocate mussels upstream out of the project area. The relocation crew consisted of volunteers from Johnson Creek Watershed Council and Crystal Springs Partnership with guidance from the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. Further support was provided by Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services staff.
A similar effort was done in 2013, when some of the same volunteers rescued mussels from a different reach of Crystal Springs Creek - in Westmoreland Park in advance of the epic reconstruction of the Park. At that time, over 700 mussels were relocated to the Creek up by Westmoreland’s Union Manor. Back then, and again just a few days ago, many, many people were both surprised at the abundance of mussels in the Creek and appreciative of them even though they can’t eat them!
The existence of mussels in Crystal Springs Creek is testament to the relatively cool, clean water. As mussels don’t have legs and don’t fly readily, their movement is dependent on fish, salmonids in particular, who serve as Uber (or is it Lyft?) hosts, carrying the larval mussels attached to their gills as the fish move through the watershed. So, as the fire trucks rumbled off to their next call, the backhoes moved the earth around, and patient motorists made their way through the construction site, we have evidence of the distribution of both fish and mussels in Crystal Springs Creek.
One may ask: “What do these 2000 mussels think about their new home, and what do the long-time residents in the reach up by the golf course think about these new arrivals?” Topside, in the human communities of the “Morelands” , both East and West, and on both sides of the tracks, similar questions swirl regarding infill, skinny little houses, big fat houses, demolitions, and migrants from, perish the thought outside the State! Our hope is the mussels, young and old, new arrivals and old guard, will all snuggle together in the mud, and continue to filter the water, contribute to the food web, and otherwise be upstanding members of the invertebrate community. We intend to follow up with the refugee mussel population in years to come (as we’ve been doing with the 2013 transplants), as well as monitor the eventual recolonization following reconstruction of the stream in the vicinity of Glenwood and Bybee.
Following removal of the last two passage-barrier culverts on Crystal Springs Creek, we’ll have relatively clear passage from the Creek’s headwaters near Reed College and the Rhododendron Garden areas, to the confluence with Johnson Creek, on down the line to the Willamette and Columbia Rivers, and to the Pacific Ocean.
Which leads me to my last question: “So, a mussel walks into a bar and asks, did you hear the one about the chicken….?”
Volunteers are needed for a pilot beaver survey project as a part of Johnson Creek Watershed Council's growing Community Science program. No prior experience is required.
Help JCWC document the distribution of beaver activity through Johnson Creek! Metro Ecologist Kate Holleran will teach volunteers about the role of beavers in watershed restoration; volunteers will also receive training in a cutting-edge beaver survey protocol.
Volunteers will work in pairs to survey 1-mile reaches of Johnson Creek and its tributaries, recording beaver activity along the way. Each volunteer pair will conduct one survey; the surveys will take approximately 3 hours, not counting travel time, and will be held August 20, September 3, and September 10. Volunteers must be able to walk for one mile in uneven, brushy terrain in warm weather, on streambanks and/or in the water. Waders and other safety equipment will be provided.
Volunteer orientation will be held on July 28th from 6pm-8pm. Please register at the JCWC page here.
Crystal Springs Partnership members, PSU Capstone students, and Special Guest writers all contribute to this blog.