The Salmon Surveyor Diaries (2014)

What are the Salmon Diaries?
The Salmon Diaries are a public forum created for volunteers helping survey for Coho salmon in the fall and winter. Volunteers from the surveys post comments and photos about their experiences wading through six different sections of Johnson Creek looking for salmon. This page is the archive for 2014; the 2015 Salmon Diaries are here. Enjoy the read.


55 Comments on “The Salmon Surveyor Diaries (2014)

Dan Schaeffer
Nov 25, 2015 at 9:08 am

November 21st, 2015
Andrew Long and Dan Schaeffer
Our assigned stretch was Lower Kelly Creek to Clatsop Creek confluence (ODFW 30858.3 #1). The day was clear and windy. We entered into our area at the lower end and proceeded upstream. Once we entered the wind was not an issue and it was comfortable. The water was fairly clear and we were able to see the bottom easily.

We traveled up through the box culvert below Foster Road and out. Prior to entering the culvert we observed the two swans that probably belong to the commercial facility that hires out for different functions… very nice area.
Exiting the box culvert I notice an abundance of ivy and holly that cover the banks down to the stream…this thins out and disappears the farther up we proceeded.

This seems to be a very nice area for fish habitat but we had no sightings.

The walk was not strenuous and was over to fast. I drive by this area a lot and did not know this existed. A good day.

Thanks for the opportunity.

Joe Brady
Dec 16, 2014 at 12:09 am

Reach: Liberty Rd to Palmblad
Time: 10:00 AM
Weather: Dry & Mild

Jason Barber had a relatively short survey this Saturday morning. My partner Jason had been out on this same reach the previous weekend and mentioned that conditions had vastly improved as the rain has tapered off. In one section he mentioned that the water level had gone down almost a foot, which is pretty impressive. We had decent visibility for our 1.02 mile trek, although some pools were still a bit cloudy. No salmon to speak of, however we did notice some beaver chews early in the survey which was very neat to see.

T. Prehn/S. Flower
Dec 16, 2014 at 12:02 am

SE 252nd/Palmblad uptstream to 262nd
Late afternoon, sunny and nice!

Shannon and I (tyler) walked the portion of the stream with the cairns. No interpretive lady but the rocks were an amazing addition to the wonderful section of creek. The water was fairly clear, but couldn’t quite see the bottom. A nice earthy green tone. We performed most of the survey along the banks, which may have hindered our ability to truly have our eyes on the stream, but we were intently looking nonetheless. Native vegetation lined the banks until metro property line where restoration project was in progress. Saw many holes that have yet to be planted, came across a constructed back channel with logs and root wads. I expected the creek to be higher with the past days rain but it seemed normal. No fish sightings. Only downside is some english ivy at the end near what I assumed to be “Robert’s property” in description. Also encountered a few dams that could be impeding fish. A couple sharp cut banks along the restoration area but it looks like it’s in progress. Overall, wonderful time to be out. Grateful for the great weather and proximity to springwater corridor made for a beautiful sunset walk back to the vehicle.

Andy Case
Dec 8, 2014 at 5:43 pm

Video from a couple weeks ago in Crystal Springs, during survey with Joe Brady.
Coho in Crystal Springs

This weekend I surveyed from Main City Park to Liberty Road with Richard Anderson. The creek was very turbid and visibility was very poor. We walked upstream from the park with nothing seen. At one point higher in the reach we saw some ducks and a blue heron take off from the stream. At some points the creek was pretty fast and walking across it was difficult. At a particularly deep section we both had to resort to a quick swim (UNWILLINGLY). We got a little bit wet, but we still ended up finishing the reach. Towards the end of the reach, near Liberty road we saw some deer tracks and what looked to be a fresh deer scrape on a tree near the creek bank.

Kenneth Schaffer
Dec 3, 2014 at 4:09 am

Nov 29, 2014
Approx 9:00-1100 AM
Michelle Lawlor and Brad Schaffer
Pleasant Valley Drive to Towle Rd
Slightly overcast and cold

We started heading upstream on the north side of the creek because it was too high, fast, and turbid for safe wading Within a few hundred meters Michelle thought she smelled a fish. I couldn’t smell anything thanks to a cold, but when we investigated, we couldn’t actually see a fish. Unfortunately, that was the closest thing to a fish we saw/smelled on the trip. We did notice a few abandoned campsites and 2 that were definitely occupied. We walked WAY away from the occupied ones so as not to disturb the occupants. We didn’t have time to double back and check out the creek from the south side. There might have been better vantage points from there. Due to dense vegetation, we did have to stray from the riparian area a few times.

We had a fun time all in all and look forward to doing it again this coming year.

Joe Brady
Nov 29, 2014 at 11:37 pm

Andy Case and I trolled up Crystal Springs from the Johnson Creek confluence today for a very urban survey through the Westmoreland neighborhood streets and around the golf course to Reed College in Portland. We were unsure what we would be in for this drizzly Saturday morning, but word round the campfire is that there’s been coho in these waters, and we were determined to find them. With few steps taken, we came across a beautiful fresh female right off Umatilla and SE 21st, red as a beet and with a jack waiting patiently next to her. We spent a few minutes enjoying the show as she dug her redd unfazed by our presence. Andy got some good GoPro shots that will be coming soon, stayed tuned. Invigorated by our find, we continued upstream over a series of small bridges through apartment complexes and naturescaped gardens. We arrived at Westmoreland Park and walked along the recently restored Crystal Springs channel, which has become a sanctuary for waterfowl but I question the quality of habitat for salmon with the very little canopy cover. There was zero gravel and just a nasty muck from the park to Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden. We noticed a couple spots that coho might be able to work with, but most of the habitat was definitely near the confluence. Overall an interesting and enjoyable survey, got to know Crystal Springs a lot better and had an amazing find of two live fish!!

Danielle Miles
Nov 26, 2014 at 12:07 am

Here are some interesting photos taken by salmon surveyor Alan Lumpkin last weekend of a channel-spanning log jam in Johnson Creek along Telford Rd. We hear salmon have been found beyond it, so it is passable.

Amiana McEwen
Nov 25, 2014 at 10:20 pm

Saturday November 22, 2104 9:45am
Amiana McEwen
Joe Brady
Palmblad to Lower Badger
Weather: Cloudy/Rainy
Water visibility: Extremely poor. <1 inch visibility.

Joe and I started the survey at Palmblad. We stayed along the banks as much as possible due to poor creek conditions. However, at points we had to wade in the water, the creek was too deep, swift, and turbid to feel safe continuing the survey. We surveyed about 600 yards before calling off the survey. We wish we had more exciting news to report.

Lora Martin
Nov 22, 2014 at 11:19 pm

Saturday November 22
Lora Martin
Linden Mullins
overcast with some rain
11:15 – 12:40

Linden and I chose to meet up on 162nd and left a car there for the return trip. We parked just past the bridge on 159th and walked the bank til we reached the confluence of Kelly and Johnson Creek, and then got into the water.

For the most part, we were able to stay in the creek, and the areas we didn’t(which weren’t that many)had fairly easy access to the bank and then walking above for a bit. The water was pretty fast moving and visibility wasn’t the best due to the recent rain. There is an area where it looked like parts of several trees must have come down in the recent windstorm and was not safe to go through so we bypassed that.

Sadly, we saw no fish, and really didn’t see any areas that looked promising either. Clatsop Creek looked very clean and slower moving, and seemed more likely except it was so narrow.

Cindy Moomaw-Nerf
Nov 20, 2014 at 5:45 am

Saturday, November 15, 2014
Kelley Creek
Nicole Veenker
Cindy Moomaw-Nerf

Lovely day, cold but clear and sunny. We parked up on 162nd, just south of Henderson, near where we came out. Worked out well. Walked down to 159th, to the bridge, then went downstream on the bank to where Kelley Creek enters Johnson Creek. Got in the water to start the survey at about 12:20 p.m. There was low flow and low turbidity, for the most part the water was shallow. There were several good-sized trees across the creek as a result from the strong winds during the prior week. The first was a tangle of two trees across the creek not far downstream from Foster Road, we were able to work our way through it in the creek. We did get out and walk around the deeper pools along the path between the creek and the pond. We walked through the culvert under Foster Rd. There was another large windfall across the creek fairly close to Clatsop Creek. Nicole worked her way through it, but I went around. We didn’t see any salmon or salmon carcasses; nor did we see any redds. We saw some very small fish down near the mouth of the creek, but no other wildlife. We came out about 2:00. Overall it was a fairly easy walk, except for the windfalls. It took some time because there are quite a few overhanging banks, trees, etc, to probe for hidden fish/carcasses.

We did not use the red poles provided because we found them to be rather flimsy if extended to a useful length. So we used a shovel handle and a tree branch that were longer and sturdier.

Dan Schaeffer
Nov 17, 2014 at 5:47 pm

Dan Schaeffer and Andrew Long
Gresham City Park to Liberty Road
Time In 12noon, out around 2:30PM

This river walk was leisurely and comfortable. Up through many pristine areas that if “I were a Coho” would of been the perfect place to create a “red”…
The weather was clear and cold. A group of ducks (Mallards) proceeded us up stream for most of the way which really was the only wild life we observed.

Andrew and I saw one sign of a fish (surface wake) but we could not find any other sign of the fish after the initial sighting.

So not sure what it was…


Claudia Christensen
Nov 17, 2014 at 5:41 pm

Another picture from 11/15/14 -of the carcass

Claudia Christensen
Nov 17, 2014 at 5:39 pm

Surveyors: Claudia Christensen Garcia & Jenai Fitzpatrick
November 15th, 2014. 10:30am-1pm
Palmblad to 262/Lower Badger Add-On
Weather conditions: Very cold and brisk out, but a completely clear and sunny day

We had some difficulty understanding the “Palmblad to 262-Lower Badger Add-on” map, and relied mainly on the document that provided both the map and description. We chose to meet at the intersection of SE 262nd ave and SE Telford Road around 10am. We left one car there, and drove one mile down SE Telford (which follows the Springwater Corridor Trail) to the intersection with SE Palmblad/SE 252nd.

Visibility was excellent. It was very sunny out, and we wore our UV glasses the entire stretch of the creek. We were also surveying after our cold spell and “snowpocalypse” so there were really beautiful sights of frozen branches and sections of the creek that had a light ice layer. There were the expected barriers (log jams) and occasional deep spots in the creek, but otherwise we ran into very little obstacles. We collected a few trash items along the way- a sneaker, aluminum can, etc.

Because of the excellent visibility, we felt confident we would see a fish were there to be one in the creek. We used our walking sticks often to poke under the banks and marveled at how many excellent hiding spots there were.

Now for the big news: WE FOUND A SALMON CARCASS! She was floating at the bottom in a bend of the creek. We used our walking sticks to gently nudge her body to the surface and then grab it to the side for some photos. The raw tail was a giveaway for the sex, and we also noticed a few eggs spill out onto the creek’s edge. (This brought up some questions for us- do salmon lay all of their eggs in one redd? Is it normal for them to die with eggs still inside of them? Will they lay them in a redd if there is no male in sight?) Despite the body being in excellent condition, we had a really tough time deciding if it was a Coho or Chinook. Pretty sure now that it is a Coho because of her small size and what we believed to be white gums. We kept an eye out for a redd sighting, but as far as we could tell there was nothing obvious. There were a few spots that looked like promising locations slightly upstream of the carcass, but did not note any difference in coloration of the rocks. We walked around what we thought might be a beaver dam, near the end of the stretch. Definitely saw lots of evidence of beavers in logs and sticks in the creek. Below is a map with three dots: the northern most red dot is roughly where we found the carcass. The second dot is roughly where we happened across a large area of cairns (stacked rocks). The third dot is where we got out of the creek at a bridge, which we now realize was slightly early. However, the very last stretch (less than 1/4mile) was full of blackberry and looked like it was going to be difficult to get out at (also the section of Badger creek at the end point was frozen). We had also already been in the water for 2.5 hours.

Danielle Miles
Nov 10, 2014 at 11:50 pm

Heads Up for Surveyors:

If you find a salmon in your stretch that is missing its tail- and the tail looks to have been removed in a clean cut rather than worn down from digging redds- it has already been documented.

After documenting and taking scale samples of a fish, the procedure used by ODFW is to remove the tail and return the fish to the creek for its high nutrient value.

Last week was a bit of a gorey one at the Council headquarters as we took scale samples and made cuts to determine the gender for a couple fish found in Crystal Springs. Some of these fish were returned to sites toward the upper watershed.

In short, if you find a salmon with a clean-cut off tail, leave it where it is.


Danielle Miles
JCWC Riparian Technician

Garth Massey
Nov 10, 2014 at 2:17 am

Alan Lumpkin and I did the E. Palmblad/SE 252 to SE 262 section on Saturday, November 8. A beautiful stretch of Johnson Creek, all went well, but we saw no coho (alive or dead). The restoration work along that stretch of the creek is very impressive, with invasives cleared and planted trees doing well. Most of the bank is walkable, but the cravel bottom was very navigable, with the exception of some deep spots, esp. close to the 262nd takeout. Here is a photo of one of the obstructions. It looks like a deliberate dam that should probably be cleared.
We met Sylvia, the wonderful woman who makes cairn in and above Johnson Creek. Her latest work is beautiful, but she assured us it is not art. The ‘alter pieces’ above the creek, near 262nd, are made with oak leaves and stones, a most impressive site.

Katie Sombat
Nov 5, 2014 at 7:33 pm

Who: Katie Sombat & Jarrett Lenox
When: November 2nd, 2014, 12pm-2pm
Where: Crystal Springs (Se Marion & 21st Ave. to Se 28th and Se Botsford Dr.)
Conditions: The weather was cloudy and in the low 50′s. It started to drizzle towards the end of the survey.
*The two pictures from yesterdays post reflect this survey.

About the Stretch: We started at Johnson Creek Park at Se Marion and 21st. We spent time examining the Crystal Springs confluence with Johnson Creek, which was moving fast, then started to walk up the creek from here. Due to culverts and residential neighborhoods, you cannot walk the creek from the starting point until Se Umatilla. However, you will have opportunities to examine the creek from bridges and banks.

At Se Umatilla until Eastmoreland Park, you may walk the majority of the creek. The only caveat is that many apartment complexes are built around it, therefore, you may have people asking what you are doing. My partner and I chose to walk the banks during the duration of our survey.

At Se Miller and 21st, next to the parking lot of Crystal Springs Apartments, We found a large salmon carcass! This stretch is very sandy and it’s likely the fish spawned in a different location. It would be helpful to have someone walk upstream from here to the park, observing the creek bed and surrounding banks.

From Se Bybee to Se 28th, we did not have access to the creek. When we approached the back of the restaurant on the golf course, the fence was locked, preventing us to walk parallel the train tracks. We went back to retrieve the car and drove near the end point. Here, just south of the produce mart, you can examine the creek from the road. However, the creek was very narrow and access to walk it seemed difficult. We drove up Botsford Dr., on Reed campus, because I noticed a foot path on Google maps. Unfortunately, it was high up in the canyon, ending our survey.

Animal Sightings: We found a large salmon carcass at Se Miller and 21st, in the Crystal Springs Apartment Complex! During our walk in Eastmoreland Park we saw a GBH (Great Blue Heron) perched on a rock, near the wetland portion.

Danielle Miles
Nov 5, 2014 at 12:22 am


We are busy patching leaky waders so that you have warm & dry surveys. You can help us take care of our waders by taking a couple precautions:

-Traverse blackberries and other thorny vegetation carefully. Blackberries can puncture waders or even grab and rip a large tear in them.

-Be very careful climbing over downed woody debris as this too can catch and tear waders.

They are designed to keep water out, but sadly not brambles and sharp sticks. Help us keep our equipment in good shape for many volunteers to come.

Thank you!


Katie Sombat
Nov 4, 2014 at 9:57 pm

Close up.

Katie Sombat
Nov 4, 2014 at 9:56 pm

Cyrstal Springs Apartment salmon sighting.

Danielle Miles
Nov 3, 2014 at 11:33 pm

Surveyors: Danielle Miles and Kayleen O’Dair

Date:11/01 11:00am- 1:45pm

Location: Kelley Creek (from SE 159th to Clatsop Creek)

Conditions: Cloudy and chilly, some light rain. Creek was silty but visibility was decent in all but deepest spots.

Animal sightings: One 12+ inch Cutthroat Trout just beyond the confluence of Kelley and Clatsop Creek. We got a good close-up look at it, but it swam into a murky deeper spot by the time we had our camera out and we didn’t get a picture of it. We didn’t see any signs of redds, and the substrate was too large of rocks and/or too silty in most areas for them. I wonder if the trout was feeding in this creek but not spawning?

Also, a deer jumped into the creek right in front of us and just watched us for a while before it snuck away. We did see several swan(s?) as we walked behind Lakeside Gardens.

How we felt: It was a cold morning, but we had a nice time. We were disappointed to see several large bags of garbage being dumped into the creek about half way through our section.

Helpful tips: There are a few areas on the creek that are too deep to walk. We took the previous surveyors’ advice and walked on the bank past the area of Kelley Creek that is ponded, just before crossing under the Foster Rd tunnel and around the backside of Lakeside Gardens. We also got out and walked at an area further up where a large cottonwood had recently blown down and the stream was not passable.

Bob Bernstein
Nov 3, 2014 at 2:12 am

Bob Bernstein and Garth Massey. 11/2/14. Main City Park to Liberty. About 2.5 hrs. Visibility about 2-3 ft. less in some backwater type areas. Surprised to note better spawning gravel/cobble in this stretch than in the Liberty to Palmblad stretch I did last wk…the higher flow may have made the gravel/cobble more instream..dunno..higher flow also did not make for worse visiblity. No fish, no errors. But a nice day. Deer tracks around. No discharges. Spoke to two friendly homeowners. Possibly one of them the same as a team spoke with last week..mentioned seeing salmon summer before last…perhaps he meant fall..I don’t remember when we got heavy rain that yr. But hard to imagine a summer steelie making the trek in warm low flows? Big Sea run Cutts?
Only area we had to bail from the stream was right past Regner bridge..blackberries..
Found a path around a homeless camp and got back to surveying. Creek sure looked fishy..never saw any. Creek was at about 1.9 ft. here:

Erica M. & Alex S.
Oct 31, 2014 at 2:26 am

The area surveyed was 190th to Towle Rd. on 10/25/14.
No coho seen but, we had quite an adventure!

Things to consider when surveying this stretch:

1.) When you get in at 190th, the water level is at little more than waist deep and gets up to the chest pretty quickly-within a 100 feet. We climbed out at that point through brambles and onto SCT (Springwater corridor trail)-where we startled a cyclist climbing out of the brush.

2.)”The part where we filled our waders and lost a pair of glasses”: The deepest section is closer to Butler Creek Trail and then again becomes deep again around a couple of the bends (if looking at map, closer to Birdsdale ct.) The water is at least 7 feet or so. I’m 5’10 and could not touch the bottom.

3.)We found ourselves getting in and out as we noticed more deep sections.

4.) If we had to do this section again, Between the Springwater trail and Butler Creek Trail, there might be better access to stream if one brings a machete to cut a path through thick blackberry. There are sections of stream where you can walk and some that are deep. One has to get in and out, (unless they have waders that have “belly boats”.)

5.) There are also properties that also are bordered with chain link on the Southside of stream. We had to climb over the chain link fence- with waders full of water. It would be best to stay on the Northside and walk along the stream. Again, a Machete would be most helpful in some sections, as blackberry is pretty thick.

Best of Luck!

Leigh-Ann Dufresne
Oct 30, 2014 at 9:49 pm

Spawner Survey Introduction – Survey Training

Amiana McEwen
Oct 30, 2014 at 12:00 am

Amiana McEwen & Patricia Bronson
Saturday, October 25th, 2014 12:15pm – 1:30pm
Towle Ave Bridge to Main City Park

We walked down to the Towle Ave Bridge, but couldn’t get in the water at that point. The water was too deep and murky (~1 foot visibility) and there were way too many blackberry bushes to try and combat. From the Towle Ave Bridge we walked upstream along the Springwater Corridor Trail and peeked over the river bank when we could to get a view of any possible salmon. There were about five entrances to the creek along the Springwater Corridor Trail through the bush. We tried to access the river at those points; however, they were all occupied/blocked by some homeless dwellers (some had some territorial sounding dogs), so we opted out of trying to access the creek at those points.

Eventually we were able to enter the stream at the SW 7th Street Bridge. We were able to walk upstream the rest of the way to the Main City Park. Sadly we didn’t encounter any salmon throughout our survey. We didn’t get to see much wildlife on Saturday as it was. It was a fun survey none-the-less!

Stats from the survey…
Water visibility: <1 foot
Live salmon: 0
Carcasses: 0
Redds: 0

Till next time!

. : . : . : . :
'< '< '< '<

Bob Bernstein
Oct 29, 2014 at 8:27 pm

..just a bit of history..back in the ’80’s..there was a guy on Crystal Springs who had a hatchbox on the creek and he would rear eggs from hatchery return steelhead and release them into the creek..not sure exactly when it was discontinued..but it was, probably in the ’90’s with the emphasis on native fish, saw steelies in the water by playground one yr….if there are any progeny of these releases they probably wouldn’t show till early december..wild steelies are later, late winter usually..

Cat Mead
Oct 29, 2014 at 8:11 pm
Cat Mead
Oct 29, 2014 at 8:10 pm

Beaver track:

Cat Mead
Oct 29, 2014 at 8:09 pm

Saturday, October 25, 8:30 – 11:00 AM
Cat Mead and Marty Urman

Weather was overcast, following several rainy days, but fortunately, we didn’t get rained on until we were done with the survey.

We were in Gresham, assigned to the Main City Park bridge to Liberty Rd reach. We ended our survey at the Regner Road bridge due to time constraints.

Water was pretty murky, so visibility in the deeper sections was poor. At Main City Park, we entered from the “island” with the Japanese Garden (there was a convenient way down next to a sign reading “no access to water”); the water looked shallower there than it did at the main bridge. We had to exit not too far down because the bottom was very muddy and slippery, and getting deeper than we were comfortable with. We walked along the Springwater Corridor and then SE Park Drive a ways, to find another place to enter the creek that was less treacherous.

Our next entry was through a privately-owned yard – we talked to the owner briefly, who said he had not seen any coho himself, though usually this time of year he does, and there is a deep pool at one corner of his property where they like to hang out. We didn’t see any there, either, but from that point on, the creek was fairly easy to walk up.

We saw several signs of beaver, including sections of tree limbs, stripped off bark, along one bank. Then we found the fallen tree some of them had probably been removed from. A bit farther upstream, we found a curious muddy patch on an otherwise grassy bank with some interesting footprints in it – these turned out to be prints from a beaver’s hind feet!

We also saw fox sparrows and 3 brown creepers, heard several other birds, and saw mayflies in several locations (a positive sign for water quality). We saw 1 small fish, about 3 inches long, shortly before we exited the creek.

The little fish was at the juncture of Johnson creek and a very small tributary (the only one between Regner Road and SE Dowsett Ln), where a dense accumulation of some white liquid was mixing with the water. It appeared to originate from somewhere in the small tributary. We walked onto the ground along the tributary, but found no evidence for what it was (no empty containers) – it was white like milk, but didn’t seem to be mixing with the creek like milk would – it was mixing fairly slowly with the water. Perhaps more like paint would? It had no detectable odor. Slightly upstream along the tributary, the water cleared out, though it was still tinted with white. When we walked back along the Springwater, there was nothing visible suggesting a source for the white liquid.

We also saw two places where Japanese knotweed is growing.

Other than the disturbing white substance in the creek, it was a really lovely, if tiring, walk.

Leigh-Ann Dufresne
Oct 29, 2014 at 5:32 pm

Coho Salmon Spawning – Pair of Coho spawning in Crystal Springs:

Leigh-Ann Dufresne
Oct 29, 2014 at 5:25 pm

2014 Spawning Surveyor Introduction:

Bob Bernstein
Oct 25, 2014 at 10:52 pm

..above picture is of the aforementioned runoff/discharge. This is of the downed hemlock?, just upstream from it. Forgot to mention Alan pulled an old car hood out of the stream.

Bob Bernstein
Oct 25, 2014 at 10:48 pm

Bob Bernstein/Alan Lumpkin..October 25..walked Liberty to Palmblad. Started a bit before noon. Cloudy, few sun breaks. Took a little over 2 hrs. JC was @ 1.7 ft. at this site:

nice workout, no problems wading, good company, No fish or redds. Heard some chickadees and kinglets. Saw song sparrows, mallards, chorus frog and Great blue heron. Made contact with some stinging nettle. Some signs of homeless camps.
Did note some whitish discharge from the left side of creek in the vicinity of power lines and just downstream of a large hemlock?, that lays across the stream..probably about 2/3 of the way thru our stretch/reach. Did not investigate further. Spawning gravel pretty marginal throughout.
Went up Hogan Cr. about 100ft., not much flow.
Alan pointed out a cut in an old western cedar nurse log..where loggers had made a cut to place a board to stand on, to saw.
Look on the right hand side about 1/2 thru hike to see a grove of good sized japanese maples..pretty.

Brad Schaffer
Oct 25, 2014 at 9:22 pm

Sara Henderson and I went to Kelley Creek today and the water was incredibly murky. We started at the bridge and were going to walk upstream along the creek to the start point and then back down to the bridge actually in the stream. Conditions were so murky that we couldn’t see more than a few inches deep and there were concerns about safety with the fast moving water, so we only managed to walk along the creek instead of in it. We didn’t see any signs of fish in it, but all we could actually see was the sides of the creek a few feet from the edges due to the turbidity. Still a fun day because we got to play on the rope swing on a tree by the creek.

Mario Mora
Oct 23, 2014 at 2:58 am

Due to the recent rains, and a quick look at our end point near Main and Powell, Jenai and I decided to walk the length of the stream. We found the conditions along our reach of the stream to be similar to that of our end point, that is chest high water that was so turbid one could not see clearly through the water for more than a few inches. Thus unfortunately there was no chance to survey. The few points where the water was not chest high (and the reason for the depth of the stream during this reach) was quite a few jams (composed of logs and various debris – both natural and man made). At these jams there were quite a few riffles, and rock that was too big for redds. Fingers crossed, conditions will improve on future surveys…

Kolby Michalski
Oct 23, 2014 at 1:50 am

This was the down bridge I mentioned

Kolby Michalski
Oct 23, 2014 at 1:48 am

Saturday Oct. 18
Kolby Michalski
Cody Payne

Weather: Overcast
Time: approximately 9:00-10:45Am
Location: Se 159th Dr, Where Kelley Creek meets Johnson Creek from there ~.5 mile up Kelley Creek

Over all the experience was fun! Sadly in our bit of the creek we didn’t see any type of fish. None at all, but a upside we did find tons of frogs and snakes and a few crayfish and a swan. The walk on the creek was over all easy. We did find three questionable spots on the walk. The first one was by the lake, in the creek there was three man made pools that seemed unsafe to tread into so we walked on the side. The second spot is while going under Foster Rd Bridge it was pretty dark to see the running walker. I would advise maybe going on a clearer or not so early in the morning. Right before the third spot we came across a down bridge that hangs above the water. The third spot was our end but it had trash bags in the water and all down the hillside, Be-careful when exiting this area if you take the path right where the trash is being thrown there was a few used syringes laying on the ground.

But over all we both really enjoyed the opportunity to check out this bit of the creek!

Oct 21, 2014 at 9:03 pm

Salmon Monitoring Orientation with ODFW at JCWC Headquarters

Danielle Miles
Oct 21, 2014 at 6:13 pm

Salmon surveyors,
thank you for leaving such great entries on here! It has been a source of excitement at the office to read about your experiences.

As the first round of equipment is returned to be checkout out by others, I wanted to remind everyone to be sure to track the equipment on the Equipment Return Sheet, including any numbers written on waders, vests, etc. This greatly helps us keep track of equipment.

Thank you for giving your time and doing good work for the creek!


Robin Jenkinson
Oct 21, 2014 at 4:01 pm

Here’s another photo of a wild coho on a redd in Crystal Springs taken yesterday afternoon, followed by a full-arch, double rainbow! As I watched the creek, a nutria scared another pair of large fish into hiding. Beautiful autumn afternoon… – Robin

Alaina Maier
Oct 21, 2014 at 12:45 am

Alaina Maier & Amaina McEwen
10/18/2014 Survey from approximately 12:45-2:50pm
It was a pleasant day for our survey, sunny with balmy temperatures.
We started at Main City Park bridge but the water was incredibly murky and we couldn’t safely determine the depth of the water so we proceeded to walk along the bank for a ways trying to find an area where we could see the bottom. It took a bit of walking, heading out of the park along the springwater corridor, then down on Park ave. before we could find an area to enter the creek, we had to cross some private property to access the stream at that point. The water remained fairly murky but the depths only got above waist height a couple of times, and luckily neither one of us had any spills!
Sadly no signs of salmon, but we did see a deer (and managed to get fairly close) as well as a couple ducks, a crawdad and some signs of beaver. Encountered no one else along the our reach until the end when a dad and his kids wanted to know if the liberty st. bridge would ever be open, didn’t have an answer for that. Our trek back along the springwater corridor was pleasant, the snakes were out sunning themselves and we saw quite a few! as well as a frog who jumped away before we could get a picture.
Only advice for the next group is that you may not be able to enter the stream at the Main City Park bridge, but if you walk a ways you may be able to find a place to sneak in. Good luck, have fun!

Karl Lee
Oct 20, 2014 at 11:49 pm

Indeed a day to celebrate these fish! Thanks for sharing the photos and story.
We’ll be also honoring them this coming Saturday 11-4 at Westmoreland Park.
This will be an awesome event, with a celebration of the many hands that put the Park and surrounding habitat of Crystal Springs Creek back together.
See you there.
Karl Lee – Crystal Springs Partnership

Dan Schaeffer
Oct 20, 2014 at 11:37 pm

A great day!

Dan Schaeffer
Oct 20, 2014 at 11:34 pm

Deep waters ahead…..

Dan Schaeffer
Oct 20, 2014 at 11:32 pm

Beaver Dam

Dan Schaeffer
Oct 20, 2014 at 11:28 pm

Some photos of our day…10/18/2014 –

Robin Jenkinson
Oct 20, 2014 at 10:04 pm

That is SO EXCITING to have found spawning coho in Crystal Springs, the first tributary to Johnson Creek on the salmon migration route. Beautiful photos, too.

According to ODFW Spawning Surveyors in nearby creeks, the hatchery-sourced coho are running up the Clackamas, especially returning to Eagle Creek and other tributaries.

In fact, around 400 coho are passing up Willamette Falls each day right now, so the later run is just getting started. It’s expected to be the best run in years. You can track the number of coho passing at Willamette Falls by clicking on 2014 monthly counts here:

T. Prehn/S. Flower
Oct 20, 2014 at 8:54 pm

2 Coho in Crystal Springs crk near Westmoreland park. 10/18/14

T. Prehn/S. Flower
Oct 20, 2014 at 8:45 pm

Redd downstream of Coho pair on Crystal Springs crk near Westmoreland Park. 10/18/14 3:00pm

T. Prehn/S. Flower
Oct 20, 2014 at 8:41 pm

2 Coho developing redd and potentially spawning. Crystal Springs crk near Westmoreland Park. 10/18/14 3:00pm

T. Prehn/S. Flower
Oct 20, 2014 at 8:38 pm

2 Coho (believe Wild) in Crystal springs near Westmoreland Park. 10/18/14 3:00pm

T. Prehn/S. Flower
Oct 20, 2014 at 8:35 pm

Crystal Springs Creek, from Johnson Creek Park to Reed Canyon Lake (ODFW 30857 #1 and #2.
We did a reconnaissance trip up Crystal Springs creek from the confluence of Johnson Creek and Crystal springs starting at Johnson Creek City Park.

At 22nd & Lambert we spotted a pair of WILD COHO!! in a deep pool. We first heard some splashing through the bushes and spotted them near the tree labeled “c” in the newly restored Westmoreland Park just upstream in a deep pool(22nd and Lambert). We back tracked and found a Redd around the same area we heard splashing. We followed and tracked pair upstream for 100+ yards. We then saw another red in progress upstream of the ped. bridge. It looked like a larger female with a smaller male trailing behind. They were both slow moving and didn’t seem aggressive or flighty.

Our section was not an instream survey so it was spectacular to spot these two from the banks. We were only alerted by their presence from the splashing so keep an ear or two out. Nice day, spoke with a few passerby’s. Lost part of the creek through the Eastmoreland Golf Course but found where it crosses up into Reed Campus.

Frank Hughes
Oct 20, 2014 at 4:53 pm

On Saturday 10/18 Lori Martin and I entered Johnson Creek at Liberty Ave. in Gresham at 11:45am. My walking stick was defective so luckily we encountered a beaver dam very soon after starting up the creek where I “borrowed” stick from the dam. We encounter a second beaver dam soon after seeing the first dam. Also we saw many slides on the creek bed where the beaver or other animals entered the water. After about 45 minutes of walking we spied a large hole of about 20 inches in diameter in the creek bed on the right side. We explored the tributary on the right side of the creek near Hogan for about 100 feet, but as the creek level was low we deemed it too shallow for salmon to have made it up into the tributary at that time. After about one and a half hours we saw what appeared to be a large tributary to the left. I explored that feeder and found that it made a right hand turn and was actually part of Johnson Creek which had split from the main creek bed. I followed this approximately 100 yards until it rejoined the main creek. At about the two hour and fifteen minute mark we encounter the stone temples placed in the creek by Vivian? As luck would have it she was there still building these healing monuments to the creek. We discussed the creek’s health with her for a while and she expressed concern that Metro was dumping and clearing the creek further upstream. The last half hour on the walk was fatiguing and the stones in the creek became larger leading to a tripping hazard. Towards the end we encountered a manmade dam that caused us to have to exit the creek to the right to bypass it. Soon after this we passed under a wooden bridge that we thought might have been our exit point at Palmbalt, however we discovered that we needed to continue further upstream. Eventually we came to a bend in the creek and a house that backed up to the creek on the right side. Soon after that was our end point. We finished at 2:30pm for a 2 hour and 45 minute walk. Unfortunately we saw no signs of salmon this time.

Christina Uh
Oct 20, 2014 at 6:12 am

Christina & Rebecca Uh
Surveyed SE 252nd/Palmblad to SE 262nd
Oct. 18, 2014 at approx. 1130AM
Weather: Sunny to partly cloudy, upper 60’s/lower 70’s
*Rain in the area the previous day!

We started off our survey at the bridge just ahead of the Springcreek trail parking area. Stream was shallow for the first 20 minutes or so of wading, less than a foot deep making for good visibility. We encountered 2 restoration areas -log jams and rootwads, but were able to get around easily. A little further ahead there is a very small waterfall over a few big boulders. After this fall, the stream was a foot to a foot and a half deep, but EXTREMELY murky. We continued to walk along the banks another 30 minutes or so with little luck. We were unable to see any redds (or the bottom of the stream period). We were not able to see what type of substrate the streambed was composed of, and no carcasses. At this point, we decide to turn around and head back to the bridge were we began. The only wildlife we saw was a couple of salamanders, and lots of spiders. Garbage was very minimal. In total we walked about an hour in one direction. Unfortunately we did not get to explore the lower badger creek.

But we do not want next surveyors to be disappointed! It was a gorgeous reach, and if you take the round-about way back into Portland, there is some gorgeous scenery to be seen! Besides being a little disappointed at how high the conductivity was, and not being able to see much, we really enjoyed our time out there and are looking forward to our next reach.

Dan Schaeffer
Oct 19, 2014 at 6:15 pm

The two people on our team were Dan Schaeffer/Andrew Long. We started our little adventure at 12:oo 10/19/14. The weather was overcast but warm and it rained a little during our walk but eventually turned into a nice sunny day.
Our starting area was at the down stream bridge at Pleasant View. There is some construction occurring at the bridge but it did not hinder our getting in. We slipped down on the right side of the bridge on the upstream side and cut some briars in order for us to get down.
We proceeding up stream and immediately encountered the first beaver dam of many. We crossed and started up stream. After proceeding approximately 50 t0 100 yards the water became to deep. We got out of the stream on the right side, walked back to the bridge and walked up the Spring Water trail.
Where the old road intersects the trail we walked back towards the creek and found a way in. The 1st 500 yards or more is very deep and we had some difficulty moving up stream…water in the waders!
If the water rises any more in many sections of the lower area I believe it will become impassible. A canoe or kayak would be a better means or a wet suit. Happy we put camera and phone in ziplock.
We encountered possibly 8 maybe 9 beaver dams which surprisingly changes the depth very quickly for 1 or two foot high dam at the lower end of a reach.
Beaver slides were numerous and we also came upon a beaver carcass…not pretty.
No fish sighting but we did see deer and blue heron. Water was murky and in many areas we could not see the bottom…again very deep.
Take walking sticks…they saved me from going down a lot and also measuring depth in front of you to take the best course. I did fall once but Andrew saved me…Really a good time but again no fish.

Lora Martin
Oct 19, 2014 at 1:39 am

Saturday Oct. 18
Lora Martin
Frank Hughes
Outer Gresham – Liberty Rd driveway bridge to Palmblad and 252nd. 1.02 mile
Overcast at start, light misty rain, ended with beautiful sunshine. Cool temps
11:45am – 2:30pm

We couldn’t have asked for better weather. For most of the stretch, it was not bright sunshine which helped visibility, though where it was deeper and still, the water was not clear, most likely due to the rain we had the night before? Only a few places that we opted to go up on the bank to bypass, but for the most part the deepest was to the waist.

We did not spot or find any fish or carcasses – disappointing. Did see one crawdad, several frogs, and a few mallard ducks. We had an interesting conversation with “Sylvia”, a strong believer in the spirit of the creek, which she says is telling those who will listen to “just leave it alone!”, please no more machines messing with the waterway! She helps create the “stone people” we found within the creek and on the bank.

As for tips, I would say the sticks are a must, and both Frank and I grabbed an additional one we found so we had two to help with balance. We did not escape without each of us having one spill, mine being deep enough I did get water inside the waders – drat!

Have a few pics, but can’t figure out how to get them on here. I will post them later if I get it figured out.

Happy searching!