Snag Boat Bend Habitat Restoration
Snag Boat Bend, a unit of the Finley National Wildlife Refuge, sits just south of the community of Peoria, OR. According to the USFWS, “what sets Snag Boat Bend apart from the larger Finley Unit is its proximity to the Willamette River, and the resulting backwater slough habitat of Lake Creek.”
This backwater slough creates critical habitat for native fish like salmon and trout by providing slower-moving water and cover from predators not found in the mainstem Willamette. Surrounded by black cottonwood trees and other native species, the riparian floodplain forest of Snag Boat Bend provides essential breeding, post-breeding, over-wintering, and migratory stopovers for neotropical songbirds.
Since 2014, the Long Tom Watershed Council has been working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on restoration projects. For this project, the Council will plant approximately 8,000 native plants along four acres of the Willamette River’s riparian area, helping to support seasonal habitat connectivity for migratory birds and benefit native fish populations.
The Snag Boat Bend Habitat Restoration project advances investments through the Willamette Focused Investment Partnership (FIP) which aims to improve high value riparian floodplain forest habitat and reconnect critical side channel habitat to the mainstem Willamette for native fish.
By planting native trees and shrubs and removing constructed features like berms to reconnect side channels, these projects can help increase the quantity and quality of habitat available to native fish and wildlife. In addition to the environmental benefits, Snag Boat Bend is part of a public wildlife refuge that is particularly popular with hikers and birdwatchers and has a fully accessible boardwalk trail and observation platform; improvements to this site enhance recreational access and wildlife viewing opportunities for all.
* Project utilizes best management practices to filter and/or reduce pollution inputs into rivers, streams, lakes, wetlands or near-shore marine areas