Salt Creek (Middle Fork Willamette River tributary)

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Salt Creek
Salt Creek Falls Area (Lane County, Oregon scenic images) (lanDA0037a).jpg
Salt Creek in the canyon below Salt Creek Falls
Name origin: Salt springs along the creek that attract deer[1]
Country United States
State Oregon
County Lane
Source Lower Betty Lake
 - location southeast of Waldo Lake
 - elevation 5,481 ft (1,671 m) [2]
 - coordinates 43°40′09″N 122°01′17″W / 43.66917°N 122.02139°W / 43.66917; -122.02139 [3]
Mouth Middle Fork Willamette River
 - location just below Hills Creek Dam
 - elevation 1,225 ft (373 m) [2]
 - coordinates 43°43′31″N 122°26′16″W / 43.72528°N 122.43778°W / 43.72528; -122.43778Coordinates: 43°43′31″N 122°26′16″W / 43.72528°N 122.43778°W / 43.72528; -122.43778 [3]
Length 30 mi (48 km) [4]

Salt Creek is a tributary, 30 miles (48 km) long, of the Middle Fork Willamette River in Lane County in the U.S. state of Oregon.[1][3][4] It is named for salt springs along its banks that are used as licks by deer.[1][5] The stream originates as an outflow of Lower Betty Lake in the forested Cascade Range just southeast of Waldo Lake. From its source, Salt Creek flows generally south, through Gold Lake, to Route 58, which it then follows mainly northwest for about 26 miles (42 km) to its mouth at the Middle Fork Willamette River just below Hills Creek Dam.[6][7][8] At Salt Creek Falls—roughly 4 miles (6.4 km) west of Willamette Pass and a little more than 22 miles (35 km) upstream from the mouth[7][9]—the stream plunges 286 feet (87 m),[10] discharging an average of 50,000 U.S. gallons (190,000 L) of water per minute, or 111 cubic feet per second (3.1 m3/s).[11] Below the falls, the creek enters a narrow canyon shaped by glaciation and basalt lava flows from higher in the Cascades.[9][12] McCredie Hot Springs, at the former community of McCredie Springs, are natural hot springs along the lower half of Salt Creek beside Route 58.[13][14]

The Salt Creek watershed is a temperate coniferous forest in which the primary tree species include Douglas fir, western hemlock, and mountain hemlock.[15][16][17] Fish species in Salt Creek are primarily trout,[18] especially coastal cutthroat trout, rainbow trout, and non-native brook trout.[19] The brook trout were introduced into lakes in and around the Salt Creek watershed, and many now live in upper Salt Creek. Bull trout formerly inhabited Salt Creek until damage to habitat throughout the Willamette River basin, such as the construction of dams, reduced and eliminated some populations in the Willamette's watershed.[20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c McArthur, Lewis A.; McArthur, Lewis L. (2003) [1928]. Oregon Geographic Names (7th ed.). Portland, Oregon: Oregon Historical Society Press. p. 843. ISBN 978-0875952772. 
  2. ^ a b Source and mouth elevations derived from Google Earth search using GNIS coordinates.
  3. ^ a b c "Salt Creek". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. November 28, 1980. Retrieved February 17, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "National Hydrography Dataset". U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved February 17, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Indians, Surveyors, Incidents Gave Names to Streams, Lakes and Mountains". Eugene Register-Guard. January 4, 1942. p. 5. Retrieved April 23, 2015. 
  6. ^ United States Geological Survey Topographic Map: Jo Ann Lake, Oregon, Quadrangle (Map). Cartography by U.S. Geological Survey. TopoQuest. Retrieved February 17, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b Oregon (Map) (1993 ed.). 1:500,000. Cartography by Allan Cartography. Medford, Oregon: Raven Maps & Images. 1987. OCLC 41588689. 
  8. ^ United States Geological Survey Topographic Map: Lower Marilyn Lake, Oregon, Quadrangle (Map). Cartography by U.S. Geological Survey. TopoQuest. Retrieved February 17, 2014. 
  9. ^ a b United States Geological Survey Topographic Map: Salt Creek Tunnel 2539, Oregon, Quadrangle (Map). Cartography by U.S. Geological Survey. TopoQuest. Retrieved February 17, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Salt Creek Falls Trail/Diamond Creek Falls Loop". U.S. Forest Service. Retrieved February 17, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Salt Creek Falls Observation Site". U.S. Forest Service. Retrieved February 17, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Salt Creek Falls: Lane County, Oregon". Northwest Waterfall Survey. July 27, 2011. Retrieved February 17, 2014. 
  13. ^ "McCredie Hot Springs". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. May 22, 1986. Retrieved February 17, 2014. 
  14. ^ Richard, Terry (January 12, 2014). "Snow isn't essential to enjoy Willamette Pass in Oregon". The Herald. Everett, Washington. Retrieved February 17, 2014. 
  15. ^ Richardson, David M., ed. (1998). Ecology and Biogeography of Pinus (2000 ed.). New York, New York: Cambridge University Press. pp. 128–30. ISBN 0-521-78910-9. OCLC 43717786. 
  16. ^ "Subalpine Fir". U.S. Forest Service. Retrieved July 10, 2015. 
  17. ^ "Western Hemlock". U.S. Forest Service. Retrieved July 10, 2015. 
  18. ^ "Recreation Report: Willamette Zone: Fishing". Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. February 12, 2014. Retrieved February 17, 2014. 
  19. ^ "Middle Fork Willamette & Tributaries" (PDF). Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 22, 2014. 
  20. ^ "Chapter 5: Willamette River Recovery Unit" (PDF). U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. pp. v–vii, 7, 17. Retrieved February 17, 2014. 

External links[edit]