The Orvis/TU 1000 Miles Campaign: Mabel Creek of the Youngs River, Oregon


Written by: Kathleen Moore

The Orvis/Trout Unlimited 1,000 Miles Campaign’s goal is to reconnect 1,000 miles of fishable streams by repairing or replacing poorly constructed culverts throughout the U.S.


Cutthroat country: Oregon’s Youngs River near Astoria, where groups are joining forces to restore habitat for native coastal trout.


Mabel Creek of the Youngs River, Oregon

TU and Orvis are joining with local partners to permanently remove 4 barrier culverts and replace two others with fish-friendly structures on Mabel Creek, a tributary to the Youngs River on the North Oregon Coast.


The Youngs River on the North Oregon Coast


The upper Youngs River – above a 90-foot waterfall – hosts a healthy population of native coastal cutthroat trout. In addition to the culverts, nearly a mile of the road associated with them is being decommissioned, removed and restored. The road is being relocated away from the stream voluntarily by the landowner. Roads and failing culverts built too close to streams can block movement for fish, create unnatural erosion and provide direct-entry points for fish-choking fine sediment. Removing these six barriers to fish and natural flow, restoring the floodplain with native vegetation and replacing more than 200 pieces of wood not only allows fish to move freely within the stream, restores habitat features fish need to survive, and dramatically reduces harmful sediment inputs, it improves the function of the watershed both upstream and down.

Coastal cutthroat trout, their coloration contrasting between deep-dark greens and bright reds and orange, is the only cutthroat trout that can goes to sea and returns. Populations above waterfalls and other natural barriers, like Mabel Creek’s, are some of the coastal region’s wildest, often existing in relative anonymity along sunless forest floors while throngs of anglers chase salmon and steelhead downstream. For the angler willing to set aside salmon and steelhead dreams for a day and explore, the aggressive and fearless coastal cutthroat can provide nearly endless dry fly action.

Mabel Creek Map

Orvis is partnering with its customers in a matching funds grant to reconnect streams like Mabel Creek by repairing faulty culverts throughout the U.S. This year Orvis is donating matching funds so that every $100 you donate will become $200. It will offer the best dollar-for-dollar return in restoring fish habitat.

Please send your check payable to Trout Unlimited (Memo: “1,000 Miles Campaign”), c/o The Orvis Company, 178 Conservation Way, Sunderland, VT 05250 or donate online.

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