Restoration Webinar Series: Winter Lake Restoration Project
Learn about an innovative, collaborative project in Oregon's Coquille Valley that benefits both agriculture and salmon.
The Coquille Basin in Oregon was once a prime area for salmon, but today’s salmon runs are a mere fraction of historic highs. Tidal wetlands, which are critical to the survival of salmon, once covered most of the Coquille Valley. Today, less than 10% of these historic wetlands remain.
Starting in 2008, The Nature Conservancy worked with local community members to find common ground and collaborate on two projects at an area known locally as Winter Lake. The projects aimed to make the land more prosperous for both agriculture and salmon.
The first project involves replacing old infrastructure with seven new tide gates and related berms and bridges to improve water control on 1,700 acres of land. The new tide gates, installed in 2017, allow the local drainage district to control water levels on individual properties so the landowners can graze cattle and sheep in the summer and then flood their lands in the winter for salmon.
Within these 1,700 acres, The Nature Conservancy restored 408 acres of tidal wetlands on parcels owned by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the China Creek Gun Club. This restoration work, completed in 2018, improved year-round access to wetland habitat for juvenile salmon. This project also allows for increased recreation including hunting, fishing, and wildlife viewing.
About the Restoration Webinar Series
The Restoration Webinar Series, hosted by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is a venue for disseminating new approaches, best management practices and innovative restoration techniques to some of our nation’s greatest restoration challenges. The series covers a broad spectrum of topics including: planning and implementing restoration projects; project monitoring and evaluation at multiple time scales; accounting for a changing climate in restoration; regional restoration planning and priority setting; and permitting.