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The Siuslaw Watershed Council, along with the McKenzie River Trust have been active
participants in restoration efforts in the Siuslaw River basin. A large portion of the creeks and
tidal flats have been altered by human activity and they intend to turn as much as they can
back to their original form. This basin once boasted the second largest run of Coho Salmon on
the Oregon coast, and with a little effort, may just be able to rebound more than previously
thought possible.

Along the lower reaches of the Siuslaw, the famed “dairy hole” has been the spot where
many salmon anglers’ dreams have come true. That location has now become a large
construction site, busy with heavy machinery. The 217-acre site is now home to an ambitious
project to recreate and modify the former dairy, known as Waite Ranch, to become a rich and
diverse ecosystem for local aquatic life. The plan is to develop 6 miles of tidal marsh where
cows once grazed. These wetlands will provide a rearing habitat for our baby chinook, coho,
steelhead, and sea-run cutthroat trout. These channels will wind through the Waite Ranch area
and provide cover in the form of native grasses and logs. This should help bolster the
population of salmon and help restore the balance that human activity disrupted.

In the upper reaches of the basin, along the North Fork of the Siuslaw and mainstem
Siuslaw, logs have been placed back in the streams to help break up the channels and provide
an ideal habitat for spawning salmon. What was once a straight channel, will begin to wind again,
allowing fish to hide and for gravel to accumulate, which is just what these fish need! The
salmon life cycle takes years to complete, but one day, in the not-too-distant future, salmon will
return to find their home improved, and their offspring will enjoy a healthier and more robust
ecosystem thanks to the efforts of these organizations, and those that support them. If you are
interested in helping out, click the links below for more information. Anglers who truly want to
give back to the river that gives so much will find their dollars put to good work here!

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