Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Letter: Mackey Creek and Juel Creek restoration

Tom Hardy
City of Redmond

Thanks for coming to the Mackey Creek project meeting last week. It’s always great to have interested members of the environmental community present at meetings.

The Willows Creek project you and John Reinke visited is doing well. There have been a few changes in recent years in the ravine where the streams flows; large trees have fallen over with some of the windstorms we’ve had. The trees have added wood to the stream channel helping to capture sediment (gravel, sand, etc.), dig pools and create a more complex channel. A lot of the native plants that the WCC crew planted have taken off as well, which has helped to improve the riparian buffer.

Juel Creek Restoration Project
During your walk last week, it sounds like you came upon portions of the Juel Creek project that was done over a few years; 2013-15. I’ve attached a map that shows the sequence and general locations of the project elements. The Juel Creek project removed four fish barriers, installed logs and planted the riparian. Although Juel Creek is starting to dry up, it provides great rearing habitat for juvenile salmon and trout (and other species), and is connected to Bear Creek.

Like Willows Creek, we were able to do most of the work with WCC crews and did not have to use many artificial anchors to anchor the logs. We did install a few anchors near the mouth of Bear Creek because of the possibility of the logs floating away during high water events.

I do not know the history of homesteaders in Juel Park. I believe the trees you saw on the bank of Bear Creek were alders. The concrete blocks and other debris was put there by the farmer, years ago, to armor the bank and prevent Bear Creek from migrating east at that location. The City has a project identified in the long term to remove the armoring (concrete blocks) and to install logs and allow the stream to act more naturally.

Thanks for your interest and talk with you later,

Tom Hardy
Stream & Habitat Planner | City of Redmond

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