The Upper Nason Creek northwest of Leavenworth is being restored after the intrusion of highways, railroads, and powerlines led to a decline in water quality. 

The U.S. Forest Service and Chelan County Natural Resources started a project last year to improve conditions and have made noticeable progress. 

Forest Service Fish Biologist McLain Johnson says they've had success with the logjams they've constructed along the side of the creek. 

"Logjams can spread that water out, slow it down and make it last a lot longer, and also provide that spot where fish can find that refuge that they need to grow and survive," said Johnson. 

According to Johnson, logjams can protect fish from elements such as heat. Logjams also serve to spread the water out in waterways into the ground, which creates groundwater that will keep the creek full and at a low temperature during the dry and hot summer months. 

In addition, Johnson says they've made improvements to the banks of the creek. 

"We've gone in and planted a bunch of shrubs and different types of forbs and grasses that will grow and, kind of, stabilize some of the stream banks and provide that shade and cover," Johnson said. "So, you also get an effect from the surrounding landscape that can help promote that clean and cold water."  

Further, Johnson said they buttoned up some small roads that cut into the creek and put signs up telling drivers not to travel through the creek.   

To date, a half mile and 20 acres of restoration has occurred on Nason Creek.  

The Forest Service says the project has provided a significant boost to the habitat for Chinook Salmon, steelhead, and Bull trout that are listed under the Endangered Species Act.  

About a dozen logjams have been built with four more planned for this year. The plan also calls for more vegetation to be planted along the banks of the creek. 


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