Clemens Park Trail is going to be temporarily closed starting August 9. The Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife has teamed up with Benton County Nature Area, Parks & Events, Oregon Wildlife Heritage Foundation, and Weyerhaeuser to restore native Coho Salmon habitats along Seeley Creek. Clemens Park is one of 26 different locations along the creek that they will restore.
Seeley Creek, a natural spawning area for the Coastal Coho Salmon, is a tributary of the North Fork of the Alsea River. The area wasn’t replanted with native conifers after past timber harvests, leading to hardwood trees dominating woods. The lack of conifers meant no large downed logs, which help create deep pools in the creek. Gravel settles at the bottom of these deep pools, making the perfect spot for salmon to lay their eggs.
This lack of logs was noted back in 2006 by the ODFW, and with money awarded by the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, they can finally partner with local contractors to fix this issue. The plan is to move downed Douglas Firs into key locations in Seeley Creek, helping to create those deep pools salmon need.
Clemens Park Trail will remain closed around the worksite until the project is completed. Questions can be directed to Benton County Natural Resources Coordinator Adam Stebbins at 541-766-6085.