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Issues and Action Opportunities


The ACTION PLAN contains eleven categories of issues and action opportunities for the Williams Creek Watershed. Each category includes a description of a watershed issue, tasks for improving the condition, and types of involvement needed to address the concern. In addition, summaries of site-specific watershed conditions have been included with some of the categories to determine where to implement projects described in the Watershed Health Strategy. These condition summaries contain only those sites that have significant data to support our evaluation. Many other locations in the watershed also need attention, and these sites will be integrated as more information becomes available.

Action opportunity categories include protection/conservation, low stream flows, riparian health, fish screens, fish passage, roads, sediment sources, channel modifications, non-point source nutrient pollution, wetland loss, and other assessment needs. The following briefly summarizes each of these action opportunities:

Protect and conserve critical habitats in the watershed that support healthy fish populations and/or provide high water quality.

Low Stream Flow
Increase summer stream flows by promoting conservation practices that reduce surface water withdrawal and strategies that improve the storage capacity of the watershed.

Riparian Health  
Restore riparian habitats along priority streams to improve fish survival and water quality.

Fish Screens
Install and/or upgrade fish screen devices on priority irrigation diversions in the watershed.

Fish Passage 
Improve fish passage of priority diversion dams and culverts in the watershed that have known fish barrier problems.

Promote management strategies that lower the impact of roads on the hydrologic function of the watershed.

Sediment Sources
Promote land management practices that restore areas with sediment source problems and protect those sensitive to erosion.

Channel Modifications
Assess streams with channel modifications and develop strategies for improving their hydrologic function.

Non-point Source Nutrient Pollution
Reduce nutrient pollution in streams by increasing local citizen participation in outreach and monitoring programs.

Wetland Loss
Identify priority wetlands and develop strategies to improve their function in the watershed.

Assess drainages in the watershed that have little data available for water quality, stream habitats, and riparian conditions to determine if protection or restoration activities are needed.





Protect and conserve critical habitats in the watershed that support healthy fish populations and/or provide high water quality.


When developing a watershed action plan, a strategy for protecting watershed resources should be developed first in order to set aside those lands that maintain ecosystem conditions that sustain native fish and water quality. Protecting these resources is not only important for a healthy functioning watershed, but it is also less costly than restoring conditions once they become degraded.

Protecting watershed resources on both private and public lands is necessary when developing an overall strategy for watershed health. The Council aims to promote stewardship of these lands in order to ensure long-term, sustainable use.

Three sites in the Williams Creek Watershed, located on federal and county lands, have been identified for future protection. Two of these are located in the headwater regions of Munger Creek and the Pipe Fork. Both headwaters contain Late-Successional Reserves located on BLM and USFS lands. These areas provide year-round, high quality water for both the community of Williams and native fish populations downstream. As well, their habitats contain uninfected stands of Port-Orford cedar, a unique tree species threatened by Phytophthera lateralis. Although vehicular traffic is restricted from these two regions to limit the spread of this root-rot disease, a measure of protection is also needed to ensure the health of downstream habitats for coho salmon.

The third site is located on the mainstem of Williams Creek. This ~3,000-foot forested riparian area contains a complex network of braided side-channels ideal for both the spawning and rearing of coho salmon. The 40-acre parcel is owned by Josephine County. Adjacent lands are privately owned agricultural and rural residential properties. The county and neighboring landowners have shown a strong interest in collaborating with the Council to protect this unique salmon habitat.

Protecting watershed resources can also lead to a natural process of restoration. One example of this is to encourage streamside landowners to protect existing beaver colonies. When properly managed, beaver play an important, cost-effective role in improving the hydrologic function of the watershed. Benefits of beaver activity include:  reducing water velocities during flooding events; improving water storage which stabilizes stream flows during summer months; raising the water table to enhance riparian vegetation growth; enhancing fish habitats by increasing pool depths and aquatic invertebrate populations; and retaining sediment and organic matter.

  • Collaborate with public agencies and land trusts to designate critical headwater and downstream habitats for protection.
  • Work with landowners to establish conservation easements on private lands with high quality habitat.
  • Encourage local citizens to become involved in conservation programs for their private lands (e.g. in-stream water rights, USDA stewardship incentive programs).
  • Collaborate with streamside landowners to protect beaver, beaver ponds, and beaver dams in order to increase stream habitat complexity.


Involvement Needed

Josephine County, Bureau of Land Management, US Forest Service, Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, Southern Oregon Land Conservancy, Resource Conservation and Development Council, and private landowners.

click here to download the full version of the action plan

WCWC Board meetings :
are held on the 4th Wednesday of every month at 7pm.

WCWC Project meetings :
are held as needed on the 2nd Wednesday of every month at 3pm.

Meetings are held at the WCWC office: 215 East Fork Road (upstairs in the old firehouse.)


PO Box 94
Williams, OR 97544

541 846 9175

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