Quick action saves log for salmon habitat project

A City of Newport public works crew helped to recover a log from Nye Beach that had been part of a restoration project in the Yaquina Estuary before it was washed out to sea and then came back ashore. (Courtesy photos) A log sits on a trailer at the Nye Beach turnaround in Newport. It was recovered from the beach and will be put back in the Yaquina Estuary for habitat restoration.

NEWPORT — A big log that was lost from a salmon habitat project was rescued from the beach last week.  With very high tides coming, action by the City of Newport, with permissions granted by Oregon Parks and Recreation Department and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, assured that it can be put back in place.

Usually, large logs on the beach cannot be removed, as they are important to help protect the beach and adjacent cliffs from erosion and provide cover for wildlife. However, this particular log came from a restoration project and had more valuable utility being put back in the tidal channels of the Yaquina Estuary from which it came.

“Our threatened coho salmon need logs in streams and marshes to create good nursery habitat, and big logs like this are not so common anymore. We wanted to get this one back,” explained Evan Hayduk, coordinator of the MidCoast Watersheds Council.

The heavy rain didn’t deter the Newport Public Works Director Tim Gross and his crew from getting the log. 

“Well, we had the equipment,” Gross said. “It felt good to be able to have the city help out.” 

The city public works crew took the log to their maintenance yard, and will help the MidCoast Watersheds Council load it when they’re ready to put it back out in the Yaquina Estuary.  

Hayduk also noted the watershed council is always looking for large trees for fish projects.

“We have a lot of stormy weather coming in, and the ground is saturated, so more trees may fall,” he said. “We can get much of the tree hauled away for people without charge if they are cut correctly, and can provide a tax receipt for their donation.” 

Trees need to be fir, cedar or spruce, cut in lengths of 50 feet. If the tree still has a rootwad attached, it can still be useful if it’s at least 30 feet long. Anyone who is clearing property or has a tree fall is asked to contact the watershed council at 541-265-9195.

 

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