Sunday, May 16, 2010

Neitzel Farms work party a huge success

Eleven members and friends of the Tualatin Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited met at Neitzel Farms near Seaside Saturday, May 15 to further the restoration of this stretch of the Necanicum river. In attendance were Site Manager Doug Ray, as well as one of the Neitzel family, Les, who dedicates countless hours to maintaining the restoration work on the farm. Our volunteers included Jeff VanHoy, Don Kaster, Mike Coddington, Bill Schoen, Jeff Disney, Sharon Cook, Tyrone Snelling, George Wilson, Alan Moore, Michael Ellis, and, the man who attends EVERY work party, John Burger.

We planted several hundred Cottonwoods along the off stream wetland and about eighty Ninebark plants near the mainstem of the Necanicum. We also maintained some previous plantings of conifers by mowing and mulching. The weather was most cooperative. It didn’t rain or get too hot. As you can see from the before and after photos, the entire crew came through with all limbs and body parts intact in spite of the fact that several were operating power tools! 

We all had a great time listening to Doug’s plans for the Necanicum and how the work we are doing will help shape the restoration of the watershed. There are some exciting opportunities coming up on the Necanicum and it is exciting to be involved in this restoration work. 

The Coho fry that over wintered in the off channel area are gone now and have been replaced by the this years hatchlings. It was really nice to see the structure being used by the fish.

Mowing non native vegetation

Planting Cottonwood trees

Planting Ninebark

Spreading mulch

After the work was done, Doug took us over to the North Coast Land Conservancy's Circle Creek property and showed us some primo Steelhead and Sea Run Cutthroat runs. This kind of info is just a side benefit of participation in these work parties.
Our next work party will be in mid July and will be a weekend long event planned around fishing for native Sea Run Cutthroat trout! Stay tuned to this site for more information, or, e mail and ask to be put on the e mail list for the next work party/fishing trip.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

We really need to do a fishing survey of Spirit Lake.

Thirty years ago Mount St. Helens exploded and reconfigured the landscape, and transformed Spirit Lake. Here's a link to a fascinating story from National Geographic about the remaking of the lake, and the mysterious reintroduction of rainbow trout--which are now averaging only 2 1/2 pounds, down from 4-5 pounds. The lake is still off-limits, despite a 95-1 Washington house vote in favor of opening up a limited number of annual permits for fishing. Someone ought to call SW Washington Fish & Game biologist, John Weinheimer, about doing a creel survey soon. It's all in the name of science.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Circle Creek work party undergoes metamorphosis, becomes Neitzel Farms work party

Well, the permits for the bridge are still stuck waiting for some engineering work and it looks like we won't be able to work on the bridge project May 15, but wait! Fortunately TVTU is involved in more than one restoration project in the Seaside area, so, the Circle Creek  work party has morphed into the Neitzel Farms work party. Same date and time, even the same general area and I hope that you all will be able to come. 

We will still carpool from Portland. I don't have good directions to Neitzel Farms yet, but will provide them within a week or so If you want to meet at the work site. Here are my woefully lacking directions for your amusement: From Portland Neitzel Farm is on highway 26 on the North side before the junction to Cannon Beach. Look for the trees with their root wads in the air! 

There is mulch to spread, native plants to plant, and canary grass to be removed so a pleasant time is guaranteed for all! Plus, you will be able to meet Doug Ray, the Project Manager for Neitzel Farms, who will be delighted to fill you in on the details of his plan for this project.  Doug is thinking on a very long term time line and it is incredibly interesting to hear him talk about the work we are doing.

If you want to carpool from Portland, meet at the Sunset  Fred Meyer, 22075 NW Imbrie Dr. Hillsboro, Oregon, by the can return area, at 8:30 am May 15. We would like to have an idea of how many people will attend, so, please respond by e mail to Michael Ellis ( ) if you are interested.
Bring gloves, a lunch,  and  appropriate clothing (raingear).

As for the Bridge at Circle Creek, I am hoping that it will get done this season and am starting to plan for a work party in July, permits pending.


Michael Ellis