Kids dig Ochoco Creek

Photo: Brian Jennings/Bend Source

Students from the Crook County School District near Prineville, Oregon, helped restore a quarter-mile section of Ochoco Creek this week as they planted hundreds of willows, alders cottonwoods and other shade giving plants.

Ochoco Creek Restoration Project

The creek was historically an important spawning ground for steelhead and salmon. And the hope is, it will be again as part of the re-introduction effort that is ongoing in the upper Deschutes.

The field day was sponsored by Sponsored by the Crook County Soil & Water District, Portland General Electric, Trout Unlimited, and Crook County schools. Darek Staab, project manager for Trout Unlimited, helped explain the importance of shade to fish species.

"If the creek had not been grazed at all," he explained, "you might see a lot more alder, willow, and cottonwood trees next to the stream's edge. Each of those trees grows leaves and feeds insects, which in turn feed fish, he explains to the students. They provide shade, and sometimes tiny fish like to hide under the branches of a plant growing next to a stream."

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