Some species of wildlife aren’t appreciated at Eastmoreland Golf Course, Portland, Ore.
And some are.
The Canadian geese that foul the greens are considered pests. Beavers rank high on the annoyance chart, too, as groundskeepers remove their dams, constructed in the dark of night, during the day.
But native fish are enthusiastically welcomed, reports the Southeast Portland Bee.
“We’re a ‘salmon safe’ golf course,” says Superintendent Kathy Hauff. “Many of our practices here are designed to enhance their habitat.”
Over the years, Portland Parks and Recreation, which owns and operates the public course, has restored sections of Crystal Springs Creek, which meanders through the fairways.
As a result, a natural-looking fish ladder now allows young fish in the creek to bypass the dam that creates the lake shared by course and the neighboring Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden. Along that stretch of creek, mature native plants provide shade and protection from predators.
And, according to Hauff, there are plans to do even more.
One project involves removing concrete borders along portions of the creek’s banks near the north end of the golf course. A creek culvert on the course will also be removed and replaced with a bridge. The work will likely begin in June of 2012, and must be done when migrating fish are most likely to be gone from the creek and out in the Pacific Ocean.
That means work on the culverts and concrete removal has an in-stream work window of June to August, which happens to be the golf course’s busiest time. To avoid disturbing golfers, Hauff says the work will probably be done at night, which may startle the beavers.
She also plans to increase creek water quality and turf endurance by having the greens seeded with bentgrass, a hardier variety than the poa annua grass that mostly grows there now. “Poana is not very hardy, and it gets fungus. We’re trying to use less fungicides,” she tells the Bee adding that pesticides are avoided. And when herbicides are applied, she’s careful to keep the chemicals away from the creek.