West Fork Cow Creek Watershed Restoration Collaborative Planning (Phase I)

Salmonid Restoration Planning and Assessments

Restoration Planning And Coordination Salmonid Habitat Assessment / Inventory
Project IDWF Cow Creek Phase I Planning
Recovery DomainsOregon Coast
Start Date06/03/2016
End Date10/25/2018
Last Edited01/25/2024
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•50 sites were surveyed through out the watershed collecting information on stream habitat (width, depth, large wood presence, photo points). 34 sites were selected for fish sampling by electrofishing, snorkeling and/or e-DNA, to determine species presence and distribution within the watershed.

•A watershed action plan was developed to identify and prioritize areas that would benefit from restoration. The prioritization took into account costs of proposed actions, access, and fish species present within a selected area.

Project Benefit    

The project proposed in this application will simultaneously improve habitat complexity and water quality and address fish passage, while providing a long-term strategic prioritization plan for future restoration activities. Instream structure (logs and boulders) placement will help to collect gravel suitable for spawning habitat, increase the amount of pool habitat essential to juvenile fish in both the summer and winter, and increase the amount of refuge habitat available during peak winter flows. The overall approach of the Project in addressing the OC coho salmon limiting factors is to combine short-term treatments such as instream structure placement, with the restoration of watershed processes such as floodplain connectivity and fish passage. This approach will be used to comprehensively restore OC coho salmon critical habitat and secure viability of this population within the large ESU.


Metric Completed Originally
Planning and Assessment
  Stream Miles Assessed 55.90 28.00

Funding Details

Report Total:$112,506

Project Map


West Fork Cow Creek    

  • Worksite Identifier: West Fork Cow Creek
  • Start Date: 07/01/2015
  • End Date: 12/31/2019
Area Description
West Fork Cow Creek watershed

Location Information

  • Basin: Southern Oregon Coastal (171003)
  • Subbasin:
  • Watershed: 1710030208
  • Subwatershed:
  • State: Oregon
  • Recovery Domain: Oregon Coast
  • Latitude: 42.824858695
  • Longitude: -123.716125488


  • Oregon Coast Coho Salmon ESU




  • B.0 Salmonid Restoration Planning and AssessmentsY (Y/N)
    •      . . B.0.a Planning And Assessment Funding 112,506.00
    •      . . B.0.b.1 Area Encompassed 55,914.0
    •      . . B.0.b.2 Stream Miles Affected 55.90
    •      . . B.1 Restoration Planning And CoordinationY (Y/N)
      •      . . . . B.1.a Planning and Coordination funding 29,906.00
      •      . . . . B.1.b.3 Coordination of watershed conservation and restoration effortsY (Y/N)
        •      . . . . . . B.1.b.3.a
          Name of plan
          The West Fork Cow Creek Watershed Analysis (Medford BLM, 2005, West Fork Cow Creek Water Quality Restoration Plan (2004, West Fork Cow Creek Watershed Assessment and Action Plan (UBWC, 2003) and the Oregon Coastal Coho Assessment (ODFW, 2005; available at ODFW)
        •      . . . . . . B.1.b.3.b
          Description and scope of the plan implemented
          The documents listed above are consistent with the Draft OC Coho Recovery Plan. The project is consistent with all the documents listed above, as it will identify factors that limit the quality of riparian and instream habitat essential for salmonids and other aquatic organisms in the West Fork Cow Creek Watershed. These factors include: • Habitat Complexity. Lack of stream habitat complexity limits amount of spawning gravels and summer and winter rearing habitat available for salmonids and other fish. The Oregon Coastal Coho Assessment The plans listed above identify lack of winter rearing habitat as the most limiting factor for coho salmon. • Water Quality. High water temperatures reduce the amount of summer rearing habitat available to salmonids.
      •      . . . . B.1.b.12 Developing restoration/action planY (Y/N)
        •      . . . . . . B.1.b.12.a
          Name of plan developed
          "West Fork Cow Creek Watershed Action Plan" December 30, 2016. Author - Partnership for the Umpqua Rivers
        •      . . . . . . B.1.b.12.b
          Description and scope of the plan developed
          This document was developed to create an action plan for the West Fork Cow Creek Watershed. To do this habitat surveys were conducted to assess the condition and amount of habitat for anandromous salmonids with in the watershed. Fish surveys were also completed to identify which species are present. The methods used in the fish surveys include snorkeling, backpack electrofishing, and eDNA collection. Once the surveys were completed a workshop was attended by project partners to determine how to rank and prioritize projects. Partners divided the watershed into 49 different reaches based on accessibility, geomorphology, fish distribution and location within the watershed. A scoring system was developed based on Native fish species diversity, anadromous fish life history, amount of instream habitat improved, amount of riparian habitat improved and reach access. Once each reaches score was calculated the projects were ranked and placed into 3 different groups (Tier 1,2 and 3). Tier 1 projects had the highest likelihood of benefitting fish in the watershed and Tier 3 projects had difficult accessibility and higher project costs due to the type of work required (helicopter log placement). Passage improvement projects were considered separately from habitat improvement projects and used criteria developed by the Umpqua Basin Fish Access Team (UBFAT) to determine their ranking. Once the action plan was completed project partners could then begin to choose which project to complete based on which tier they fell and secure funding to complete them.
      •      . . B.2 Salmonid Habitat Assessment / InventoryY (Y/N)
        •      . . . . B.2.a Habitat Assessment Funding 82,600.00
        •      . . . . B.2.c Instream SurveyY (Y/N)
          •      . . . . . . B.2.c.1 Type of instream survey (LOV)
          •      . . . . . . B.2.c.2 Stream miles assessed 55.90
          •      . . . . . . B.2.c.3 Stream miles assessed that contained salmonids 55.00
          •      . . . . . . B.2.c.4 Stream miles assessed that needed restoration 55.90
          •      . . . . . . B.2.c.5 Stream miles assessed for regulatory actions .00
          •      . . . . . . B.2.c.6 Fish passage impediments identified 26
        •      . . . . B.2.d Habitat surveysY (Y/N)
          •      . . . . . . B.2.d.1 Type of habitat survey/assessment (LOV)
          •      . . . . . . B.2.d.2 Amount of habitat assessed 135.5
          •      . . . . . . B.2.d.3 Amount of habitat assessed that needed restoration 135.5