Wood plays an essential role in our waterway ecosystems. Environmental Services recently finished installing 35 engineered log jams ("ELJs") in the Lower Columbia Slough. These structures provide shelter and habitat for migrating salmon that are resting and feeding in the slough en route to the ocean. Over the last century virtually all wood was removed from the Columbia Slough so these structures are reestablishing critical fish habitat.
These log jams are installed at elevations that coincide with the salmon migration periods. They will be dry or partially dry when flows are too low and temperatures are too high for salmon. When the log jams are high and dry they will not provide shelter for predatory fish.
Kayakers pass a log jam while paddling along the Slough
A heron perches on an engineered log jam in the Columbia Slough