Glenbrook Gulch Anadromous Fish Habitat Restoration

Project Location:  The project is located in the Glenbrook Gulch watershed, approximately 9 km northeast of the town of Albion, Mendocino County. The project site follows the remnants of the old logging road starting at the confluence of Glenbrook Gulch and the Albion River, approximately 8.5 stream miles from the mouth of the Albion River, and ending at Comptche-Ukiah Road, approximately 7.2 miles from Highway 1 (NAD 83,Latitude 39.2632, Longitude -123.67056 to Latitude 39.2688, Longitude -123.66713).
Glenbrook Gulch, pre-constructionLink to the locatin of the remediated barrier in the CDFW Map Viewer (BIOS):

Passage Assessment Database ID: 758545

Project Description: The project removed an earthen dam that formed a complete leap barrier to coho and steelhead passage, restored instream habitat with the placement of large woody debris and the re-establishment of hydrologic connectivity, and removed unstable road fill and decommission sections of road to prevent sediment delivery to the stream channel. Heavy equipment was used to remove the dam and associated road-related work. Equipment and hand labor was used to place large woody debris, and install erosion control features. Revegetation was conducted by park staff and volunteers.
Pre-project conditions/barriers/challenges/background:  A number of limiting factors to anadromous salmonids identified by the NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries) in Chapter 3 of the 2006 Report to Congress, Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund FY 2000–2005 will be remediated by the proposed project. These factors include: water quality (temperature, chemistry, turbidity), excessive sediment yield (pool and gravel quality), spawning requirements (gravel, resting areas-pools), rearing requirements (velocity, lack of shelter, pools), and fish passage. The channel below the barrier is lacking spawning substrate because gravel is trapped behind the dam - thus, so spawning is occurring in Glenbrook Gulch.
Project actions/deliverables: The primary project action was the removal of a 10-foot high barrier (dam) that prevented the passage of two Glenbrook Gulch, post-dam removalESA-listed salmonid species, coho salmon (Central California Coast ESU - Endangered) and steelhead (Northern California ESU – Threatened), to about 3,500 feet of suitable spawning and rearing habitat located on State Park property.

Fish benefits/ecological value:  The project will also result in ecological benefits to the Albion River (listed under the Clean Water Act as impaired for sediments) by removing the poised sediments in Glenbrook Gulch that would otherwise flow directly downstream to the Albion. Other fish and aquatic species such as prickly sculpin, Pacific lamprey, Pacific giant salamanders and red-legged frogs will also be able to freely migrate up and down the restored stream corridor.
Other benefits: Other benefits include the removal of about 5,020 cubic yards of excess earth materials associated with the dam, the immediately adjacent section of abandoned logging road that constricts the channel, and the oversteepened fill along the former access logging road. A final benefit of this work is the elimination of a Project Summary - Glenbrook Gulch Anadromous Fish Habitat Restoration nuisance road that is contributing additional sedimentation due to illegal off-road vehicle use.

Amount of habitat made available as a result of project implementation:  0.66 miles of Glenbrook Gulch was made accessible to anadromous fish.
Habitat quality and type characterization:  A habitat typing study conducted in 2007 determined that ample amounts of good quality salmonid spawning and rearing habitat were available upstream of the dam. This study documented numerous side-bank observations of juvenile salmonids throughout the channel reach downstream of the dam, yet no fish were observed upstream of the dam.
Project partners:  Wildlife Conservation Board, California Coastal Conservancy, US Fish and Wildlife service, Trust for Wildland Communities, Save-the-Redwoods League, Mendocino Land Trust, NOAA, private citizens
Project cost:  $479,080
Project start date:  2008
Project end date:  2010
Monitoring and evaluation:  Monitoring included pre-and post-project aquatic species surveys and channel characterization profiles. Specifically, spawner and juvenile coho and steelhead surveys were conducted 2 years pre-project and 3 years post-project.
Did the project make a difference, and if so, how?

For a summary of the Glenbrook Gulch project, click here.