PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge in Southeast Portland is designed to be a place where wildlife can develop, but according to officials, it’s not doing a good enough job — especially for salmon.
In July, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers along with the Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services will launch a massive renovation project — temporarily closing a stretch of the Springwater Corridor. The goal of it is to enhance the view, remove invasive species, plant new shrubbery and improve the water flow.
“It is not allowing water to flow in a natural and healthy way and it does not let salmon access the refuge,” Diana Dulken with the bureau of environmental services said.
The current steady flow of water is from the culvert that’s 5 feet in diameter. When the new one is finished, it will be 3 times as wide and twice as tall — making it a lot easier for salmon to come and go as they please.
Officials said they can only work on the project between July and October because of regulations protecting the very salmon they’re hoping to restore. The project means a stretch of the Springwater Corridor Trail will close during one of its busiest times.
The city is trying to let bicyclists know ahead of time that they’ll need to find another route.
“There are newly improved areas, there are many options,” Dulken said.
The 2 options they’ve laid out are either across the Sellwood Bridge up the South Waterfront or East to Southeast 19th and up to Tilikum Crossing.
The project is scheduled to take 4 months, possibly less, but they have to finish by the end of October.