Newspaper Archive of
The New Era Paper
Sweet Home, Oregon
September 12, 2012     The New Era Paper
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September 12, 2012

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Page 8 VL Jl ('_CMMIINITV ]l F  Er,, - September 12, 2012 Ames Creek project to open access for steelhead, trout By Scan C. Morgan Of The New Era A South Santiam Watershed Council project will open Ames Creek to winter steelhead and cut- throat trout. Before Foster and Green Pe- ter dams were constructed in the 1960s, the South Santiam River would flood the mouth of Ames Creek. "That would allow pretty consistent fish passage into Ames Creek from the South Santiam," said SSWC Coordinator Eric Hart- stein. It still happens, but it's not nearly as consistent as it once was. "Occasional.ly, when the flows are right, I think they can get up into there," Hartstein said. In Oc- tober and November, the cutthroat are often visible jumping but fail- ing to make it over the falls at the mouth of Ames Creek. The SSWC will excavate the bedrock at the mouth of the creek, leaving boulder weirs behind to create a "natural" fish ladder for the steelhead and trout, Hartstein said. Salmon probably won't use it, but Pacific lamprey may. Once the mouth is opened up to the fish, they shouldn't have any 9roblems moving up the 17 miles f Ames Creek and its tributaries, Hartstein said. There are some road crossings in Sweet Home that are a little problematic, but they are not complete barriers. "I think they should have a :airly easy time getting past town," Iartstein said. This will complement the work Cascade Timber Consulting has done farther up the Ames Creek drainage, he said. CTC has fixed culverts and installed bridges in re- cent years to open up the creek. Historically, the stream mainly has had steelhead and cutthroat as . ................ :: . .  I ?.."I-  ' ............  -''7- P-C,Sr 0+00 1+00 E*00 3+02. NOrmS: Profile View - Des/. n Channei Ali qnm, en ELEVAtiONS LATtVE TO Horizontal Scale I ":.:4', 5X Vedici Exageraion ."''; .  -" .\\;N.   Fish Passage Enhancement Project / " ,.. ;:K  ,'.   Enhancement :i [!"--*,;inter.fuve, inc. SouthSanttamWatershoflCouneil / ' *  ,*'   "  ........ City of Sweet Home, OR J Plan and Profile -./. "- \\;  I  , .  ,, Plan Vh.w File Photo Ames Creek, above, pours into the South Santiam River after a spring storm. The schematic at left illustrates the location of the planned "lad- der" to help fish negotiate the small waterfall at the mouth of the creek. well as Pacific lamprey and resi- dent rainbow trout. Of those, the winter steelhead are listed as a threatened species, Hartstein said. The lamprey are not listed, but "we've seen some evi- dence their numbers are declining pretty rapidly." It's tough to say what impact this project will have on fish popu- lations, Hartstein said. "It would give them more access to more habitat." The habitat provides additional refuge and spawning grounds dur- ing high flows, he said. The SSWC has had fish traps on Ames Creek in the past, and it will put them out again in the spring to compare numbers. Hartstein hopes to see more abundance and richness of fish, he said. The project starts on Thursday and will last approximately three weeks, Harstein said. The Pleas- ant Valley boat ramp will be closed during that period, but the prime boating season has ended. The project begins by "de-wa- tering" Ames Creek, diverting the creek through a pipeline around the construction area, Hartstein said. "It's a lot of water. I think it's tech- nically challenging." The project will cost approxi- mately $150,000. Funding is primarily through the Oregon Watershed Enhance- ment Board. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and federal tim- ber payments through the county are helping. For more information about the project or the Watershed Coun- cil, call Hartstein at (541) 367- 5564. I Schools From page 1 one student told him that kids are always excited for two days of the year, the first day and the last day. "We had a good start this year," said Keith Winslow, starting his first year as Sweet Home High School principal. "We're up. It's a large freshman class." The school started with freshman orientation on Tuesday last week and barbecue for the freshman families that night. Football and volleyball have started practicing at the Junior High, said Vice Principal Josh Dargis. The school also is starting a soccer program. Junior high soccer had been handled by the Boys and 3irls Club. "Last week went very smoothly - so far So good," Dargis said. His school will have an open house on Thursday next week, and the first dance will be held this Thursday. The garden and arts clubs have started, he said, and the drama club is right around the comer. "It's always busy the first few weeks of school," Foster Principal Glenna DeSOuza said. "They're getting settled in. We've had a lot of new students." Foster will hold an open house from 5 p.m. to "6:30 p.m. on Thursday, with parents arriving early to meet teachers, DeSouza said. "I think the fun part is watching the kinders and first graders," DeSouza said. "Especially the Photo courtesy of Tim Swanson Supt. Don Schrader serves drinks to students at Oak Heights School during a back-to-school barbecue. kinders and their first time with and ate popsicles, everybody. The merger went teachers." Her school is the result of well. I think it's going to be much "It went very well," said merging Holley and Crawforsville smoother.(thisyear)." Holley Principal Elena Barton. schools last schoolyear. Other open houses include Her school had an end-of-the- The students adjusted well to Holley, scheduled for Tuesday; week back-to-school celebration that, and nowthey're adjusting to a Hawthorne, 6 p.m. on Sept. 27; and Friday, she said. The PTC brought four-day school week. Oak Heights, 6 p.m. on Thursday. bubbles, and the students played "I think it's going to be OK," with sidewalk chalk and sprinkler she said. "It's an adjustment for See Schools, page 9