Bowers Rock State Park Floodplain Restoration
Bowers Rock Greenway is located on the upper reach of the mainstem Willamette River near its confluence with the Calapooia River, west of Albany, Oregon. It encompasses 550 acres of floodplain forest, ponds, agricultural land, 2 miles of sloughs, and 2.25 miles of Willamette River shoreline.
The natural hydrology near Bowers Rock has been compromised by over a century of human activity and the subsequent barriers and embankments inhibit flow to the area’s floodplains and constrain the river’s habitat forming processes. The resulting disconnected side channels, sloughs and alcoves impede access to viable habitat for migrating juvenile fish who seek out quieter areas for forage and refuge.
In partnership with Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD), the Calapooia Watershed Council (CWC) has developed restoration plans that center around increasing Willamette mainstem complexity by restoring flow to side channels, alcoves, floodplains and wetlands. Two undersized culverts will be replaced and another removed, and a low water ford will be enhanced to increase fish access to slough floodplain habitat. Invasive plants will be replaced with native trees and shrubs, and habitats will be further enhanced with large wood and plantings in the inlet and outlet of the floodplain channel.
These restoration activities will enhance salmonid habitat and improve juvenile salmonid movement within the floodplain, as well as improving connectivity between the Willamette River, a 40 acre pond, and Coon Creek to provide high flow juvenile salmonid refugia and exchange of flow, nutrients, and organisms.
* Project restores natural hydrologic conditions to facilitate improved capture and infiltration of surface water and groundwater recharge