Category Archives: Wetlands Projects

Klineline Bridge Replacement

ELS Provided:

  • Strategic Planning
  • Coordination with Contractors & Regulatory Agencies
  • Complete Fish Removal
  • Salvage Reports to WDFW &  Clark County

Fish RemovalAfter

ELS played a key role in removing fish prior to dewatering an 800-foot section of Salmon Creek in Clark County, Washington for bridge removal, bridge construction, and construction of several pool and riffle complexes to improve fish passage.  An 800-foot section of the creek was diverted around the work area through an underground pipe that was constructed prior to fish removal.  ELS removed 879 fish including coho salmon, steelhead, cutthroat trout, and several other species using electro-shocking and sein netting techniques.  Captured fish were transported and released below the downstream diversion dam.


Farm Pond Restoration

ELS Provided:

  • Wetland Delineation
  • Mitigation Plan
  • Mitigation Design & Implementation
  • Stream Restoration Design & Coordination
  • Permitting
  • Plantings for Riparian Area
  • Monitoring & Maintenance
Farm Pond Restoration beforeFarm Pond Restoration after

The goal of this project was to enhance and rehabilitate the habitat value of a man-made farm pond by restoring the natural stream channel and riparian area.   The habitat function and suitability provided by the farm pond, a dammed stream channel, were low, containing one stratum of non-native reed canarygrass, and preventing fish passage by a non-passable culvert.   Riparian habitat was restored by draining the farm pond, enhancing the stream channel, and adding a fish-passable culvert.  Rehabilitation will continue over time as the mitigation area develops into mature, forested riparian habitat.


Second Opinion Review for Port of Gray’s Harbor

Port of Grays Harbor (POGH) contracted ELS to conduct a “second opinion” review of another consultant’s wetland determination.  The previous consultant had determined that an apparent abandoned dewatering ditch located within an approved fill area was a jurisdictional wetland.  This determination resulted in significant anxiety and concern for the Port and its client, who needed to start construction quickly on a critical expansion of their project site.  The Corps of Engineers’ initial review confirmed the determination of jurisdictional wetlands and forecasted a lengthy permitting process.

Grays HarborELS evaluated the site and reviewed its history and found that the determination was inaccurate.  The ditch in question was located on top of permitted fill, and POGH had maintained the ditch and the fill for several decades.  Using site data, historical aerial photo review, and contract files from POGH, ELS documented that the ditch was a  maintained structure, and is indeed a dewatering ditch for a permitted spoils deposition area.

After reviewing this information, the Corps of Engineers reversed its opinion and formally verified that the ditch was not jurisdictional, thereby allowing the project to proceed, with significant cost and time savings for the POGH and its client.


Chinook County Park Improvement Plan (Pacifc County, Washington)


ELS worked with the County staff, Park Development Committee, and County surveyors, to conduct an on-site inventory of natural resources, assisted with County fact-finding meetings, and created existing maps of the park showing as-built and environmental conditions. ELS biologists reviewed park-design options, and ELS’ graphic designers generated drawings in various sizes and colors for each park-design option. Our project managers assisted County staff in selecting a final design, and ELS prepared a summary report and final maps for the preferred park option, which was used for a park- development grant application.



Merrit’s Hideaway

Client: Aho Constructon I, Inc.

ELS biologists have monitored the Merritt’s Hideaway Mitigation Site for two years of a 10-year monitoring period. The maintenance and monitoring of the Merritt’s Hideaway Mitigation Site involved a 5.94-acre mitigation area in Vancouver, adjacent to Curtin Creek. The mitigation area was enhanced with 5,775 native trees and shrubs, which covered the existing wetland and riparian buffer areas.

The mitigation site has met or exceeded all of its 2-year performance standards for vegetation characteristics. We established six permanent 15-foot radii (0.007 ha) plots, identified by metal posts. Each unique monitoring plot number is etched on aluminum tags and affixed to the metal post for permanent identification. At each monitoring plot, we quantitatively estimated the total percent cover of all plant species using methods standardized by Daubenmire (Daubenmire, R. 1959.

A canopy coverage method of vegetational analysis. Northwest Science 33:43- 66). We also established permanent photo-points at each monitoring plot to document vegetation changes over time. During our monitoring site visits, we also documented wildlife use of the site and status of installed habitat structures. To date, an as-built drawing and Year 1 and 2 monitoring reports have been completed, and submitted to Clark County.