TNC’s Kilchis Preserve: Reconnecting Salmon with Estuarine Habitat

The Tillamook Bay Watershed Council continues its 2016 Speaker Series next Tuesday evening, June 28th at the Tillamook Library from 6:30PM to 7:30PM.

Kilchis_channels_ditchesDick Vander Shaaf, Associate Conservation Director for The Nature Conservancy (TNC), will give an update on the Kilchis Preserve and review its restoration goals. In 2015 the project removed dikes, reconnected Stasek Slough to the Kilchis, and recreated tidal channels that effectively doubled the habitat available to salmon in the Kilchis estuary. But the Kilchis Preserve has sparked controversy among the agricultural community and neighboring landowners, both for the loss of farm land it represents, and for changes made to the area’s hydrology. Then, December of 2015 brought the second highest flood on record to the area, leading to fears that the project was responsible. This presentation is a chance for the public to hear directly from TNC, and to air questions and concerns as time allows.

Stasek near crossing
The Council’s regular monthly meeting will follow the TNC’s presentation. We encourage attendees to stick around and learn about the Council’s restoration efforts throughout the watershed.

Life in the River

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Derek Wiley is one of the “fishiest” guys in Tillamook. Not only is he an avid angler, he is also a research biologist at our local ODFW office. He supervises two field crews responsible for monitoring abundance of adult and juvenile salmonids in the NF Nehalem and EF Trask Rivers for the state’s Salmonid Life Cycle Monitoring (LCM) project. That means he has his finger on the pulse of our local fish populations, literally.

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The Tillamook Bay Watershed Council (TBWC) has been fortunate to join Derek and his crew for some eye-opening days at their fish traps. These folks work extremely hard to collect population data critical to our understanding and protection of our fisheries. They are the unsung heroes on the front lines of fisheries conservation. Thankfully, Derek dedicated himself to recording key moments from the 2015/16 field season, which he has edited into two documentary films that will inspire anyone with a passion for fish.

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Join us May 31st at the Tillamook County Library (6:30PM) for a special screening of Derek’s films. Journey’s End is an 18-minute video capturing underwater behavior and spawning of wild chum salmon, Chinook salmon, coho salmon, and Pacific lamprey in several rivers and creeks on the northern Oregon Coast. Salmonid Life Cycle Monitoring on the NF Nehalem River is a documentary about ODFW’s Life Cycle Monitoring activities on the North Fork Nehalem River with a focus on the 2015 fall salmon trapping season. Footage for both was primarily captured with a GoPro camera and editing was done with iMovie11. The two films showcase the journey of anadromous fish species during spawning season and offer a behind the scenes look at ODFW’s Salmonid Life Cycle Monitoring Program.

 

Heroic Efforts at the 2016 Tillamook Bay Cleanup

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Over 100 volunteers filled the Bay City Arts Center on Saturday, April 23rd for the Tillamook Bay Spring Cleanup and after-party. Between 2 and 3 tons of garbage were pulled out of the estuary over the course of five hours. Hundreds of filled trash bags lined highway 101 and the Cape Meares Loop until our crew of drivers rounded them up and piled them at strategic locations around the bay. It was an outpouring of effort and support beyond our wildest dreams, and solid proof of the generosity of the communities surrounding Tillamook Bay. Thank you volunteers and sponsors! And a BIG thanks to Pelican Brewing, Fat Dog Pizza, Pacific Oyster, Hook, Line & Sinker, Barview Jetty Store,  and our musical guests Benny and the Bay City Rockers for making the after-party one to remember! Let’s do it again in 2018…

The Biggest Bay Cleanup in a Decade!

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Tillamook Bay is getting cleaned up this year with the help of volunteers, private landowners, local businesses, SOLVE and local non-profit organizations. The Tillamook Bay Watershed Council, Tillamook Estuaries Partnership and Tillamook County Solid Waste Department are pleased to announce plans for the 2016 Tillamook Bay Cleanup, scheduled for Earth Day, April 23rd from 8:30AM to 2:30PM.

Volunteers will gather at the Bay City Arts Center at 8:30AM for a kick-off meeting with complimentary coffee and snacks. Eight teams will be formed, each with a local team-leader who will assist volunteers, ensure safe handling of hazardous waste, and steer teams away from private property. Garbage will be staged at a number of sites around the bay for pick-up by truck and boat. Cleanup teams will return to the Arts Center at 2:30PM, and the event will culminate in an after-party from 2:30pm to 5:00PM. Locally-made food and drink will be provided by Pacific Seafood, Pelican Brewing, Barview Jetty Store, Fat Dog Pizza and the Hook, Line & Sinker.

The last major cleanup effort on Tillamook Bay was back in 2006, so this event is long overdue. Volunteers can expect large amounts of floating debris including plastic bottles, flip-flops, shotgun shells and styrofoam. A similar effort on the Nehalem Bay in 2015 brought in 2.4 tons of trash, including 915 pounds of recyclable or re-useable material. The Tillamook Bay Cleanup is a family-friendly event, with a number of cleanup routes that will be appropriate for kids who are accompanied by an adult.

Local sponsors for the 2016 Tillamook Bay Cleanup include City Sanitary Service, the Bay City Arts Center, Pacific Seafood, Pelican Brewing, Tillamook County Creamery Association, Blue Heron French Cheese Company, Tillamook Headlight Herald, Tillamook County Pioneer Museum, Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife, Barview Jetty Store, Elevate Yoga & Fitness Studio, Five Rivers Coffee Roasting, Garibaldi Charters, Hook Line & Sinker, US Coast Guard, and Tillamook High School. The list of sponsors keeps growing, and more are always welcome.

Volunteers are encouraged to register on the SOLVE website, solveoregon.org or call SOLVE at (503) 844-9751 ext. 321, or 1-800-333-SOLV(7658).

To become a team-leader or sponsor, or for more information please contact: Robert Russell, TBWC Coordinator, 503-322-0002, or via email at tillamookbaywatershedcouncil@gmail.com

Bay Cleanup Map Updated