Joseph Maser

Nehalem River Watershed Assessment
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Contents
1.0    Introduction 
2.0    Historical Conditions
3.0    Channel Habitat Types
4.0    Hydrology and Water Use
5.0    Riparian Conditions
6.0    Sediment Sources
7.0    Channel Modifications
8.0    Water Quality
9.0    Fish and Fish Habitat
10.0  Watershed Conditions Summary  

 


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  • Nehalem River Watershed

  • Assessment

  • December,1999

  • Prepared by

  •  Portland State University

  • for the

  • Upper and Lower Nehalem River

  • Watershed Councils

 

Funding for the Nehalem Watershed Assessment was provided by a grant through the Governorís Watershed Enhancement Board.

Written by: Jill Johnson

       Graduate Student

 

Masters in Environmental Management Program

Advising and Editing by:  Joseph Maser, PhD. Assistant Professor Environmental Sciences and Resources

  • Assessment Team

  • Portland State University

  • Graduate and Undergraduate Students

  • David Senft

  • Chris Moller

  • Gayle Phillips

  • Rachel Wallack

  • Jake Gunnerson

  • Heather Conn

  • Shelley Moore

  • Emily Hauth

  • Andrea Hitt

  • Brannon Lamp

  • Stephanie Onisko

  • Lara Payne

  • Chad Kruzic

Contributors:

Special Thanks to:

Dr. Jon Graves, MERTS, for providing materials and for providing GIS training for the watershed councils and to Maggie Peyton, Coordinator for Upper and Lower Nehalem Watershed Councils, for providing information and support.                             

List of Figures

  • Figure 1-1.   Nehalem River Watershed Base Map

  • Figure 1-2.   Landuse and Subwatersheds in the Nehalem River Watershed

  • Figure 1-3.   The Extent of Swiss Needle Cast in 1998

  • Figure 1-4.   The Extent of Swiss Needle Cast in 1999

  • Figure 2-1.   Historic Photograph

  • Figure 2-2.   Historic Timber in the Nehalem Watershed (1914)

  • Figure 3-1.   Stream Size Classifications for the Nehalem River Watershed

  • Figure 3-2.   Channel Confinement Classifications

  • Figure 3-3.   Estimated Response of Channel Habitat Types to Potential Restoration Efforts

  • Figure 4-1.   Nehalem River, Tributaries, and Floodplains

  • Figure 4-2.   Average Annual Precipitation and Stream Gage Locations

  • Figure 4-3.   Annual Peak Flow Summary for the Nehalem River Gaging Station

  • Figure 4-4.   Water Rights in the Nehalem River Watershed

  • Figure 4-5.   State Flow Restoration Priorities for Recovery of Anadromous Salmonids

  • Figure 5-1.   Riparian Conditions

  • Figure 5-2.   Large Woody Debris Recruitment Potential

  • Figure 5-3.   Shade Provided to Streams by Riparian Buffer

  • Figure 6-1.   Nehalem Road Crossings and Culverts on State and County Roadways

  • Figure 6-2.   Slope Steepness within the Nehalem River Watershed

  • Figure 6-3.   Roads near Streams in the Nehalem River Watershed

  • Figure 7-1.   Historic and Recent Channel Modification Locations in the Nehalem River Watershed

  • Figure 8-1.   DEQ 303(d) Listed River Segments and Watershed Council 1998 Temperature Gages.

  • Figure 9-1.   Winter Steelhead Distribution and Critical Habitat

  • Figure 9-2.   Coho Salmon Distribution and Critical Habitat

  • Figure 9-3.   Chum Salmon Distribution and Critical Habitat

  • Figure 9-4.   Spring/Chinook Salmon Distribution and Critical Habitat

  • Figure 9-5.   Fall Chinook Salmon Distribution and Critical Habitat

  • Figure 9-6.   Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Habitat Survey Locations and Oregon Department of  Transportation Culvert Information

  • Figure 10-1. Watershed Condition Summary

List of Tables

  • Table 3-1.    Percentages of Channel Habitat Type Sensitivity Ratings by Subwatershed

  • Table 4-1.    Monthly Means of Precipitation and Snowmelt at Nehalem, Oregon for 1969-1998

  • Table 4-2.    Montly Means of Precipitation and Snowmelt at Vernonia, Oregon for 1967-1998
  • Table 4-3.    Approximate Proportion of Land Use Types by Subwatershed

  • Table 4-4.    Forest Road Area Summary

  • Table 4-5.    Rural Road Area Summary

  • Table 6-1.    Road Crossing Densities by Subwatershed

  • Table 6-2.    Area of Landslide Hazard Categories by Subwatershed

  • Table 6-3.    Lengths and Densities of Roads within 200 feet of a Stream

  • Table 7-1.    Channel Modification Permit Types

  • Table 8-1.    Beneficial Uses of Water in the Nehalem River Watershed

  • Table 8-2.    Summary of ODEQ Information for the Nehalem River

  • Table 8-3.    Nehalem Water Quality

  • Table 9-1.    Status and Recent Population Trends of Nehalem Basin Anadromous Salmonids

  • Table 9-2.    Life History Patterns of Anadromous Salmonids in the Nehalem River Drainage

  • Table 10-1.  Watershed Conditions Summary Matrix

List of Acronyms

  • Channel Habitat Type CHT   

  • Cubic Feet per Second    CFS

  • Division of State Lands      DSL

  • Endangered Species Act  ESA

  • Geographical Informatio Systems   

  • GIS

  • Governorís Watershed Enhancement Board GWEB

  • National Marine Fisheries Service      NMFS

  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration     NOAA

  • National Resources Conservation Service    NRCS

  • Nehalem Valley Historical Society    NVHS

  • Oregon Administrative RulesOAR

  • Oregon Department of Environmental QualityODEQ

  • Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife ODFW

  • Oregon Department of Forestry ODF

  • Oregon Department of Transportation 

  • Oregon Water Resources Department   OWRD

  • River Mile RM

  • State Service Center for Geographical Information Systems SSCGIS

  • Tillamook Pioneer Association TPA

  • Total Maximum Daily Loads TMDL

  • United States Geological Survey USGS

  • Water Availability Basin WAB

  • Western Regional Climate Center WRCC

Table of Contents

 List of Figures and Tables 

Acronyms

1.0    Introduction 1

  •          Purpose

  •          GWEB Draft Oregon Watershed Assessment Manual

  •          Background

  •          Land Use

  •          Vegetation

  •          Watershed Issues

2.0    Historical Conditions 8

  •          Timeline

  •          Historical Narrative

3.0    Channel Habitat Types   22

4.0    Hydrology and Water Use   28

  •          Precipitation

  •          Stream flow

  •          Land Use Impacts

  •          Water Rights

  •          Water Availibility

  •          Stream flow Restoration Priorities

5.0    Riparian Conditions 50

  •          Riparian Conditions

  •          Large Woody Debris Recruitment

  •          Shade

6.0    Sediment Sources 63

  •          Rural Road Instability

  •          Slope Instability

  •          Rural Road Runoff

7.0    Channel Modifications 74

  •          Historic Channel Modifications

  •          Current Channel Modifications

8.0    Water Quality 79

  •          Beneficial Uses

  •          Water Quality Limitations

9.0    Fish and Fish Habitat 85

  •          Salmonid Populations

  •          Current Fish Habitat Conditions

  •          Known Migration Barriers

10.0  Watershed Conditions Summary 109

  •          Section Summaries

  •          Data Gaps

  •          Recommendations

Appendix Sections 123


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