Chinook helicopter helps to improve fish habitat

chinookOregon- A Chinook helicopter, from Columbia Helicopters, relocated an average of 15 or more trees per hour for seven hours at 19 drop sites along the creek, as part of a salmon-friendly project. This project involves large tree trunks strategically placed in Ecola Creek, and is expected to improve fish habitat in the Ecola Creek Forest Reserve.

By depositing trees directly in the creek along its main stem, north fork and west fork, the project will restore the conditions that make salmon spawning possible.

Once carefully placed in the salmon-run areas, the large logs trap smaller pieces of wood. This creates complex debris jams that slow down the water by forcing it to flow around them.

Silt and gravel become suspended in the water and serve as salmon breeding grounds, particularly in the shaded areas beneath the stationary logs.


Replacing the woody debris in Ecola Creek is part of the Cannon Beach’s Ecola Creek Forest Reserve management plan, which a 10-member volunteer committee completed in 2012. The plan also prescribes thinning sections of the reserve.

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