Lees Creek Streamwalk Report

July 26, 1999

  • Members: Steve Bengtson, Sandy Bengtson

Our Streamwalk began upstream on the east fork of Lees Creek at Draper Road We didn't include this in our sites due to not being able to access the stream, but we observed from the road that downstream the creek ran a straight course through a landscaped yard. Upstream the creek ran a meandering course through fenced-off grazing land.

We proceeded downstream on the east fork from Draper Road with sites A-C above the confluence with the Lees Creek mainstream and sites D-G below the confluence.

A: Site A was one mile downstream under a bridge on Garling Road. In spite of a perilous climb to the streambed - 20 feet below the bridge - we found a clear running stream in the midst of natural vegetation with a cobbled substrate.

B: We again find the stream at site B running through yards: channelized and landscaped. After running through a culvert the stream was silt.

C: At site C the creek parallels Marsden Road on the right and on the left a fenced-off horse pasture. Here we find the first garbage (lumber and fence materials).

D: Site D is a healthy creek running through a forest area; a good canopy, lots of natural vegetation. Large woody debris has built up against an old fence crossing the creek.

E: Site E was in a steep valley with forested slopes, which included numerous conifers and deciduous trees.

The area between and including sites D and E is a beautiful stream corridor of waterfalls, pools, and riffles covered by an extensive overhead canopy. There is abundant garbage especially in the 300' preceding Highway 101 evidence of the commercial activity above the stream corridor there is some erosion, but lots of streamside vegetation. There is much large woody debris, some of which had developed into logjams that were difficult to climb over.

F and G: The section of creek including both sites F and G is in a steep valley with good canopy and occasional conifers, erosion minimal with abundant streamside vegetation. A beautiful creek again with much large woody debris. There was some garbage, mostly of the rolling variety.

As an overall picture of Lees Creek, the Streamwalk presented an enlightening view of some healthy aspects that were lacking in the confines of our reaches. The most apparent was the presence of conifer, large woody debris, and the high percentage of stable streambanks covered by native vegetation. Our reports for our previous monitoring based on our reaches expressed concern for the lack of conifer, large woody debris, and prevalence of devegetated-eroded streambanks, but our walk revealed a different situation. Areas of concern in the upper regions, Draper Road to half a mile above 101 passage yards a possible source of fertilizers and pesticides.