Elochoman River

Forest on the Upper Elochoman River
  • Number of Projects: 4
  • Acreage: 660
  • Fact: Since 1967, this area’s population of Columbian white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus leucurus) has been listed as endangered. Its population is estimated at less than 1,000.
  • Experience: Known for its runs of steelhead, the Elochoman River passes through a largely rural and forested landscape before flowing through the sloughs and wetlands that connect the river to the Columbia River Estuary.
  • What We’re Doing: Restoring forests and reconnecting wetlands to the tides. Turning a former poplar plantation into habitat to benefit Columbian white-tailed deer, as well as waterfowl and wetland-loving species.
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The Big Picture

Located in the tidal floodplain of the Columbia River Estuary, the 15-mile-long Elochoman River is known for its runs of steelhead. Once upon a time, this area was defined by Sitka spruce swamps, complex forests, and tidal wetlands—a dynamic, water-rich place filled with wildlife. We began working here in 2004 when we purchased 185 acres along Indian Jack Slough and Nelson Creek. Since then, we’ve been restoring wetlands and forested areas, bringing back the Elochoman River’s native habitat and its wildlife. On Indian Jack Slough, we’re restoring a former poplar plantation for Columbian white-tailed deer, waterfowl, and many other species.

Why It Matters

The Elochoman River provides habitat for many imperiled species in the Northwest, including threatened steelhead, marbled murrelet, and the endangered Columbian white-tailed deer. The presence of these species means that the Elochoman area has strong restoration potential. Consider our work on Indian Jack Slough: Egg mass surveys show amphibians—critical indicators of ecosystem health—have returned in great numbers. We’re working to execute new large-scale restorations projects, among them, adding a culvert that will allow juvenile salmon to reach historic rearing habitat.

Featured Story

Our Winter 2018 Fieldbook is now out!

This issue centers our relationships with people, place, and purpose.

Our last Fieldbook of 2018 is now out! This issue, we take a few pages to explore the Land Trust’s relationship with place, people, and purpose and see how all of this impacts our goal of protecting our vital Northwest landscape. Communications Director Jay Kosa takes us on an underwater exploration of a Land Trust built…

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Updates from the Field
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Drifting Through the Elochoman River
An underwater exploration of newly improved salmon habitat on the Elochoman River

By Jay Kosa On a damp late-October morning, I found myself standing thigh deep in the Elochoman River north of Cathlamet, Washington. Rain dripped from moss-covered branches as I yanked on my dry suit’s tight neoprene hood, adjusted my mask and snorkel, and delved beneath the surface. The current was stronger than I expected, but…

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River Wrap
Newly completed floodplain restoration along Washington’s Upper Elochoman River will benefit threatened fish species and other wildlife.

The summer’s end here at Columbia Land Trust signals the wrap of a few big restoration projects, including our Upper Elochoman River In-Stream Enhancement Project. The restoration work improved important freshwater fish and salmon habitat and restored upland forests beneficial to struggling marbled murrelet and northern spotted owl. Nearly five years after the project began,…

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2016 in Review
Ten ways you made a difference for the nature of the northwest in 2016.

It wasn’t always easy (meaningful conservation rarely is), but with your support, we were able to protect and restore important places throughout the Columbia River region while building strong relationships along the way. From the remote forests of Klickitat Canyon to backyard habitats in urban neighborhoods, take a look back at some of our greatest accomplishments…

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