The Lower Columbia Regional Fish Enhancement Group (LCFEG) started working in the Toutle River watershed in 2006. Last fall LCFEG installed a successful project at the confluence of the North Fork and South Fork Toutle Rivers.
During construction LCFEG experienced a 10- and 100-year flood. With equipment onsite we were able to adjust on the fly and we successfully diverted the river away from a 30’ tall cut bank that has been dumping acres of remnant Mount Saint Helens ash and sand into the river for nearly four decades.
By installing multiple wood vanes and a 275’ long wood wall, we slowed the river down along the bank causing up to 6’ of deposition of new material and returning 20 acres of land back to Harry Gardner Park. This park is central to the Toutle community which is highly supportive of the restoration work we’re doing in their valley.
We hosted our first annual Harry Gardner Park Earth Day event in April, 2016 where we had over 30 community members—including over 15 local students—show up to install over 700 plants. To keep the students engaged we have built a 30’x60’ shade house on the Toutle Lake school grounds where students will grow native plants for restoration in the Toutle watershed.