October Riverscape 

From The Riverkeeper

Part of the 728 illegally harvested mussels we discovered

Hello River Folks - 
A couple of days ago I had the good fortune to help lead a mussel survey on the Middle Fork Willamette River. It was a collaborative effort with the Middle Fork Watershed Council, Xerces Society, US Army Corps biologists, and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife's Biologists. 
The goal of the effort was to identify mussel bed locations prior to a restoration effort to take place in 2020. When mussels are identified, projects need to accommodate for them, or move them. Luckily, we found thousands of mussels in the relatively short stretch of river, and mussels from a variety of ages - indicating a potentially normal level of reproduction. 
The work WR is spearheading on the Willamette is important, not only to freshwater mussels such as Western Pearlshell and Oregon Floaters, but to overall river health. Mussels are a strong foundation through which we can take action for clean water and healthy habitat - from eliminating toxic contaminants to working to reduce the impact of dams. We also continue to expand our collaboration on this issue, helping to spread "mussel mania" to more organizations and people. 
The mussels pictured here were boiled, eaten then dumped back into the river.

Of course, like much of the rest of the river, people can be a direct problem. This was exemplified by the discovery of 728 Western Pearlshell mussel shells (yes, we removed them from the river and counted them all) - tucked under the riverbank. The shells were very clean, and had likely been boiled, with the meat of the mussel removed. Someone has been deliberately consuming these mussels and returning their shells to the river - which is completely illegal. 
In a time of so much effort to protect and restore the river, it can be disheartening when people do not respect our watershed and its threatened inhabitants. This notion applies to a wide array of activities that impact the river. That is why we are here, working to hold the line for the river.
If you are interested in learning more about our mussel work and how you can participate, join us at Patagonia Portland on October 18th (see the listing below in this e-news). 
For the river. 


Travis Williams
Riverkeeper & Executive Director

Volunteers Needed- THIS Saturday, 10/6


Pumpcone spice :)
volunteer take-home treats available at select post clean up parties 

'Tis the season for our 10th Annual Great Willamette Clean Up, a river-wide community day of action. Volunteers participate by canoe, kayak, SUP board, raft, motor boat, drift boat, bike, and foot to free our river of trash and debris while improving habitat and community spirit along the way. 

Cleanup sites are posted throughout the basin, and are searchable via our on-line registration. Several regions host post-cleanup celebrations that include lunch, local frothy beverages, raffles, gifts and "trash-talk."  You won't want to miss this! Click on the registration button below.

Trash or treasure? What will you discover? The Heidelberg pull top beer can (c. 1940) was pulled from the river bank in Milwaukie, while the silver half dollar coin from 1863 was picked up from the beach at Kelley Point Park. Be sure to share your photos with us by emailing kate@willametteriverkeeper.org or post on Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #greatwillamettecleanup 
Aquatic Weed Paddle & Pull- Tuesday, 10/9

WHAT:  Paddle & Pull on the Willamette
WHEN:  Tuesday, October 9th from 9:00am - 3:30pm
WHERE:  From  Peoria Park  in Peoria to  Michael's Landing  in Corvallis 
DETAILS:  The Willamette River supports diverse native plant and wildlife populations and provides clean water to Oregonians. Land managers, scientists, and concerned citizens are working together throughout the Willamette Basin to address the growing issue of aquatic invasives. 
Join staff from Willamette Riverkeeper, Benton SWCD, Oregon State Parks, members from the Willamette Mainstem Cooperative, and members of the Willamette Aquatic Invasive Network for a 10 mile paddle-and-pull outing, launching from Peoria Park in Peoria, and taking out at Michael's Landing Boat Ramp in Corvallis.  Participants will learn to identify aquatic weeds and effectively hand pull priority aquatic weeds. Paddle your own boat, or reserve a space in a Willamette Riverkeeper canoe. Water Weed Field Guide and trash bags provided .
Mussel Mania Presentation- Thursday, 10/18

Imagine the tales you could tell if you lived on the bottom of the Willamette for over 100 years like the Western Pearlshell Mussel!

Mussel Mania on the Willamette
WHEN:  Thursday, 10/18, refreshments @7:00pm, talk begins @7:30pm
WHERE:  Patagonia Portland  

DETAILS: Join Riverkeeper & Executive Director, Travis Williams, along with our friends at Patagonia Portland, to learn how these bivales play a key role in the health of our river ecosystem, why they are under threat, and what Willamette Riverkeeper's extensive river surveys and research have revealed to date.
Enjoy refreshments from Hopworks, Union Wine, Health-Ade Kombucha and Patagonia Provisions own mussels!

Wild & Scenic Film Festival- Thursday, 11/29 

Join us once again as we host the 2018 Wild & Scenic Film Festival
Enjoy an evening of environmental and adventure films that illustrate the Earth's beauty, the challenges facing our planet and the work communities are doing to protect the environment. Through these films, Wild & Scenic both informs people about the state of the world and inspires them to take action.
WHEN:  Thursday, 11/29- doors open @6pm, films begin @7pm
WHERE:  Hollywood Theater in Portland

Pre-Sale tickets will go at sale at REI Portland in November.  Your ticket will include one raffle entry ... with a chance to WIN a tandem CANOE!  

Save the date (11/29), and look for more details in November!

Willamette Riverkeeper | 503-223-6418 | Email 


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