Wasco County Soil and Water Conservation District
The Dalles Area Watershed Projects
A watershed is the area of land that drains into a particular body of water such as a stream, river, lake, or bay.
The watershed includes not only the waterway itself, but also the entire land area that drains to it.
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The objective of the Mill Creek e. coli Study is to determine when and where E. coli levels in Mill Creek exceed state standards for recreational waters. This is an ongoing project with samples taken throughout the summer season.
The Mystery Pipe: In 2014, after two years and many man hours by the City of The Dalles, and around $40,000; the saga of the mystery pipe came to a close. The mystery pipe was a major contributor of sewage leaking directly into Mill Creek. The old pipe was installed over 30 years ago to funnel an underground spring into Mill Creek. After digging up a paved street, the City discovered a cracked and leaking sewer pipe. Upon repair, the old drain pipe returned to providing clean spring water into Mill Creek.
Pesticide Stewardship Partnership (PSP)
Government Flats Fire
Mill Creek Creekview Trail
Mill Creek E. coli Study
The PSP Project is a non-regulatory program in partnership with DEQ that includes monitoring, identifying what streams do and do not have pesticide problems, collaborating with local partners to implement voluntary pesticide management practices.
In Wasco County, samples are collected from lower Fifteenmile Creek, lower Threemile Creek, and Mill Creek at both 2nd and Wright Streets. In previous years, control samples were collected from South Fork Mill Creek upstream of any known pesticide use, but the site was discontinued due to funding cuts. This is an ongoing project, with samples being taken throughout the year.
In 2013 a devastating fire occurred in The Dalles Munciple Watershed and surrounding forestland. The restoration effort involved multiple partners, including The City of the Dalles, USFS, ODF, and Wasco Co. SWCD, the project has moved forward with reseeding and replanting efforts. Trees were planted in 2015.
Property along Mill Creek was donated to the City by a private landowner. The Watershed Council has donated many hours to clean up trash, planting native plants, noxious weed removal. The vision is for a meandering path along Mill Creek for the public to enjoy right in the heart of The Dalles.
The Mill Creek Side-Channel Reconnection Project aims to reconnect an overflow channel that was closed off from severe flooding back in the late 90s. The channel serves as ideal spawning habitat for sensitive fish species, as well as proves an outlet during high water flows. The project is now complete. Willow planting along the banks took place in March 2016.
Mill Creek Side-Channel Project
PSP Sampling Results