Saturday, December 31, 2011

Spawning Salmon on Thompson Creek

Here is some video of Coho spawning at Thompson Creek provided courtesy of Conservationist and Board Member Extraordinaire Jeffrey Gottfried. Here is Jeffrey's description of the action:

As this footage begins, notice that there is a female and male pair. This male thinks that he has it made: he has followed this female upstream and is not lined up next to her ready to spawn. But wait a minute! An intruder, a larger redder, more handsome/fitter/studlier male suddenly shows up on the scene and squeezes himself between the femaie and male. He then bites the male, pushes him aside and them bites him again and drives him off-no genes in the next generation for him!
This footage illustrates how in the wild, the fittest male gets to spawn. In a hatchery, a person decides which genes make it to the next generation without regard to fitness

Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas for Coho

Yes folks, you too can join the elite group of beaver believers and North Coast Land Conservancy advocates in helping to create habitat for young Coho Salmon smolts at our projects on the Necanicum River and it’s tributaries. 
Tualatin Valley Trout Unlimited, in conjunction with Northwest Flyfishing Outfitters are, offering a drop off site for your old christmas tree. For a suggested donation of $10.00, you can drop off your tree Saturday January 7 or Saturday January 14th at Northwest Flyfishing Outfitters, 10910 N.E. Halsey, Portland, Oregon, between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm. We will be in front with a trailer. Instead of chipping the trees into mulch we will transport them to the coast for placement in the streams to provide habitat for the young smolts. The donations will be used to further our restoration projects on the Necanicum and it’s tributaries. 
For an excellent article on the conservation aspects of this project please see the OPB Ecotrope blog: .
We are also looking for volunteers to staff the pick up site in two hour shifts for both days. If you are interested please let me know what day and hours you would like to volunteer for at .
What a great opportunity to help out our habitat and also have an excuse to visit a fly shop! I hope you can all take this opportunity to get rid of your tree with us.

A Day of Work on Thompson Creek with TVTU

By Jeffry Gottfried

On Nov 19, volunteers from TVTU and the North Coast Land Trust met at Thompson Creek near Seaside for a day of stream rehabilitation . Thompson Creek, a small tributary of the Necanicum  is a waterway heavily impacted by development.  As I drove to the work site, located within a recently-developed community of homes, a noticed what appeared to be a ditch flowing through the backyards of a number of homes, little did I know that this was a coho salmon spawning stream.
Once on-site, I was impressed to learn that Neal Maine, founder of the North Coast Conservancy had negotiated with the developer who had agreed to construct fewer homes on his land than originally planned, and to donate or sell riparian lands to the Conservancy for protection of fish spawning habitat.
Upon arrival, volunteers went to work with project #1: feeding the beaver! When the North Coast Land Conservancy obtained the property, they planned an elaborate project that would raise water levels, drown-out invasive species and provide slack-water habitat for juvenile coho. Because they had spent all their money on paying for land, they put these plans on hold for a year. During this time, the beaver set-up shop in the riparian strip on the Conservancy’s new property and managed to accomplish all of the goals set forth in the restoration plan: and without a permit or a licensed civil engineer on staff!  According to Doug Ray, who led the day’s work, the current problem was the fact that the beaver were eating themselves out of house and home and this stretch of Thompson Creek was in danger of losing its stream rehab team (ie the beavers). Doug and other volunteers provided truck loads of willow cuttings (aka beaver French fries). TVTU volunteers and others tossed arm-loads of cuttings into the pond behind the dam. It appeared to be the makings of a winter-long beaver feast as well as great dam building and maintenance stuff.
Project #2 was designed with the future, beyond this winter in mind.  We planted more than 1000 additional willow cuttings in a nearby wet meadow, behind beaver-proof fences so that future populations of beaver and coho salmon that depend upon them will hang around and prosper for years to come.
To inspire us in our work, Doug took us on a short walk up Thompson Creek where we viewed gatherings of spawning salmon that reminded me of trips to Alaska.  It was truly spectacular. I ended the day tired but so proud of TVTU’s focus on the enhancement of the Necanicum watershed and my association with TVTU. I went home and made a donation to the North Coast Land Conservancy as well as to TVTU.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

November / December Newsletter Now Available

The latest (November / December) issue of the chapter newsletter is now available.  Click on the link to the right to download.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Volunteers needed for work party at Thompson Creek

On November 19th, Tualatin Valley Trout Unlimited will be participating in a work party with the North Coast Land Conservancy at Thompson Creek in Seaside, Oregon. We will be supporting the local hydrologists (the Beaver population) by planting willow starts to provide the beavers with food and building materials. The starts will already be cut, so our tasks will be to auger holes and plant the cuttings. This goes really quickly and makes a very visible impression. (see blogsite: )
You should wear work clothes and bring a lunch and raingear. Waders or hip boots will help to plant close to the water line. We will meet at the Sunset Fred Meyer, 22075 NW Imbrie Dr., Hillsboro, Oregon and carpool/caravan from there to the worksite. Meet by the can return area. We will leave by 8:15 am and will arrive at the work site around 9:45 or 10 am.  Let me know if anyone wants to meet at Seaside. Please e mail me( to let me know if you are coming as we would like to have an idea of how many people will be attending.
I hope you can all make it. It should be fun.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Return to Thompson Creek

Four volunteers came out on September 3rd to help plant beaver food at Thompson Creek. In attendance were TVTU members Eric Thompson, Jeff Disney, Travis Walters, Doug Ray and Michael Ellis. It was an incredibly hot day for the coast.

From left: Travis Walters, Eric Thompson,Austin Tomlinson, Celeste Coulter, Jeff Disney, Michael Ellis, Doug Ray

We met up with Celeste Coulter and Austin Tomlinson of the North Coast Land Conservancy and headed out to the Seaside airport to cut some willow branches. 


We quickly filled two pickups and returned to the Thompson Creek site.

Several people started running augurs and the planting began. 

Within a couple of hours we had created a nice little forest. Some of the starts were screened but a lot was left un screened so the beavers could access and use them.

If you haven’t been by this site for a year or two you will notice some extraordinary changes. Beavers have built a dam and flooded a large portion of the area. I was gratified to see that the area we have dug blackberries in the past is now fairly clear of blackberries.

All in all it was a fine day. Jeff, Eric and Travis went fishing for searuns after the work party. The bright sun didn't help and yet I heard that several fish were caught with one going over 12 inches.

Be sure to check this site for info on our upcoming joint work party tentatively scheduled for  November.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

September / October Newsletter Now Available

The latest (September/October) issue of the chapter newsletter is now available.  Click on the link to the right to download.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Volunteers needed for work party at Thompson Creek

TVTU is planning a work party September 3rd at the Thompson Creek restoration site in Seaside, Oregon. We haven't worked on this project for several years now but I hear that Beavers have moved in and are hard at work in our stead.  We may be helping place woody debris in the stream or other maintenance work. You will need to bring work gloves and a lunch and dress appropriately for the weather and the work. We will do our usual carpool from Hillsboro or you could meet at the site.  I'll update any interested volunteers on time, location, whether we will need waders etc. so if you would like to attend please reply to me at and I'll put you on the list.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

July/August 2011 Newsletter Available for Download

The latest (July/August) issue of the chapter newsletter is now available.  Click on the link to the right to download.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Help reintroduce Bull Trout into the Clackamas River drainage

There is an exciting volunteer opportunity coming this July. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, after years of permitting and groundwork, will be reintroducing Bull Trout into the Clackamas river watershed and they would like our help.

The electrofishing and minnow capture will take place on the Metolius River. The reintroduction will be on tributaries of the Clackamas river. You will need waders for both events.

Here is the schedule of dates and locations:

July 11th and 12th electrofishing and minnow trapping on the Metolius

July 14th backpacking Clackamas tributaries to release fish.

July 18th and 19th electrofishing and minnow trapping on the Metolius

July 21st backpacking Clackamas tributaries to release fish.

July 25th and 26th electrofishing and minnow trapping on the Metolius

July 28th backpacking Clackamas tributaries to release fish.

For the Metolius work, meet at the Camp Sherman Store at 8:30 am each day.

For the Clackamas River work, meet at the Idanha Grill and Country Store at 11 am each day.

Be aware that the schedule may change. I will update the blog post and also the volunteer e mail list as new information becomes available.

As you can see it is a busy schedule. If you are able to help out let me know which day(s) by replying to Michael Ellis at

This will be a great opportunity to learn more about these fish and to work with our State wildlife biologists. I hope many of you will take this opportunity.


Michael Ellis
Conservation Director
Tualatin Valley Trout Unlimited

Sunday, May 8, 2011

May/June 2011 Newsletter Available for Download

The latest (May/June) issue of the chapter newsletter is now available.  Click on the link to the right to download.

Monday, April 4, 2011


Tualatin Valley Trout Unlimited has scheduled two work parties at Thompson Creek in Seaside Oregon on April 16 and May 21 and we need volunteers. We haven't had a work party at the Thompson Creek site for 2 years and it should be exciting to see what the beavers have been up to. I hear they are taking out the blackberries!!!

The work on April 16th will be planting native vegetation and the May 21st work will be eradicating scotch broom. 

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 8:00 am both dates, to leave by 8:15. If you would like to meet at the coast, we will meet at  Klootchy Creek State Park at 9:30 am. We will caravan to the work site from there.

Bring work gloves and a lunch and wear appropriate clothing.

Please reply if you will be attending so we have an idea of how many people to expect.
Thanks for volunteering.
Michael Ellis

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Sign up for the volunteer e-mail list

Looking for something fun and rewarding to do with your spare time? Would you like to be able to help with some meaningful stream restoration work? Our chapter of Trout Unlimited is involved in several very exciting restoration projects on the Necanicum River (see earlier posts) that are already paying off in visible ways.

We are trying to develop an E-Mail list of volunteers who would like to be kept informed of upcoming volunteer opportunities. If you would like to be on this list please e mail me at
and I will put you on our e mail list.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

January/February 2011 Newsletter Available for Download

The latest (January/February) issue of the chapter newsletter is now available.  Click on the link to the right to download.