The WetlandsConservancy

Protecting Oregon's Wetlands


Total acreage: 196.10 acres
Date acquired by TWC: June 2005
Location: Rikereal, Benton County
Key TWC staff or board member : Esther Lev
Site Description:

Mud Slough Wetland, located west of Salem, is one of the most diverse, productive wetlands in western Oregon. The site features a range of diverse shallow water habitats and vegetation, from small native sedges to taller cattails and rushes, as well as a single deeper pond. Willow patches and restored native wetland prairie are also present. The lack of invasive plant and animal species can be attributed to the site preparation done prior to restoration and the continued vigilance of the landowner.
To prepare the soil for native plants, it was first scraped and then planted with an annual cover crop, flooded and sprayed Round-Up in the spring and fall. Then, without tilling, meadow foxtail and tufted hairgrass were planted. Eight years later, thousands of native plants, including some rare species, have sprung up and turned the wetlands into a tapestry of color and texture. 

Virginia Rail, Sora, and American Bittern, use this wetland as a place to breed. During spring and fall, hundreds of shorebirds can be found foraging. During fall and winter, several thousand waterfowl and shorebirds (mainly Dunlin) can be seen.  Birds otherwise rare in western Oregon, including Black-necked Stilt, Wilson's Phalarope, and the Yellow-headed Blackbird, are known to breed here.



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