Kelley Creek Flood Mitigation & Fish Passage Restoration

Situated at the confluence of Johnson Creek and Kelley Creek, the Kelley Creek Flood Mitigation and Fish Passage Restoration Project was identified as a top priority area in Portland’s watershed for restoration by the City of Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services.  The first of several BES projects targeted by the Johnson Creek Restoration Plan, the City and the Johnson Creek Watershed Council developed a comprehensive approach to the restoration of Johnson Creek and its tributaries.

Cool water temperatures and the documented presence of Coho salmon and steelhead in lower Kelley Creek led the City of Portland to initiate Johnson Creek watershed restoration activities.  In the 1930’s, the depression-era Works Progress Administration (WPA) straightened and lined Kelley Creek and Johnson Creek with rock.  Channel straightening and lining led to the reduction or complete removal of fish habitat quality and a decrease in floodplain connectivity and channel hydraulic capacity.

HENDERSON’S restoration construction effort removed over 28,000 cubic yards of soil, creating several large backwater refugia for juvenile salmonids and 500 lineal feet of newly created Kelley Creek stream channel.  Our field crews isolated and dewatered portions of Johnson Creek and Kelley Creek to eliminate construction related turbidity during in-water work.  Over100 logs and root-wads were installed to provide fish cover, bank stability, and floodplain roughness, many integrated into vegetated encapsulated soil lifts along the newly created stream banks.  Streambed materials incorporated custom blended river stone and spawning gravel.  In concert with HENDERSON’S corporate ethic for sustainability, HENDERSON crews also made every effort to salvage and re-utilize on-site logs, woody debris, and topsoil for use in the fish habitat structures and our floodplain revegetation efforts.

HENDERSON’S Kelley Creek restoration work provides significantly enhanced spawning opportunities for Coho salmon, steelhead, and cutthroat trout.  Additionally, more than five acres of land are now actively engaged by flood flows for floodwater retention, relieving developed areas downstream of Kelley Creek from flooding.

Kelley Creek Flood Mitigation and Fish Passage Restoration

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