Redwood Creek Passage Barrier Removal



Project Location: Redwood Creek, Kellogg Creek, and Yellowjacket Creek; tributary to Maacama Creek; near the town of Knights Valley; in Sonoma County.


Passage Assessment Database ID: 735125



Project Objectives: The main goal of this project was to remove a complete barrier on Redwood Creek. The barrier blocked adult coho salmon and steelhead migration to spawning and rearing habitat in Redwood Creek, Kellogg Creek, and Yellowjacket Creek.


Project Description: The project was implemented between July 1, 2011 and August 31, 2012. During the course of this project, a concrete ford was removed creating access to 7.8 miles of potential habitat for salmonids. The project proponent was the California Land Stewardship Institute.



Project actions/deliverables: The concrete ford was completely decommissioned and the channel was excavated to a gradient of approximately 4%. The objective to remove the barrier and create favorable channel conditions through the crossing for migrating fish was met. Channel and bank stabilization treatments included a series of unanchored boulder wing-deflectors installed to help stabilize approximately 140 feet of streambank. 


Redwood pre-conditions


Concrete ford looking upstream, pre-treatment condition, 7/21/2011


Redwood post-condition


Removed concrete ford (Note: isolated pools throughout project reach and irrigation pipe, once embedded in concrete, is not spanning the channel) - looking upstream, post-treatment condition, 6/25/2013.



Fish benefits/ecological value (i.e., species affected): Adult coho salmon and steelhead trout were provided with spawning and rearing habitat in three creeks as a result of this barrier removal.


Amount of stream miles opened up: 7.8 miles of potential salmonid habitat.



Challenges/lessons learned: Limited growth was observed two years after replanting willow and cottonwood along the banks - additional plantings were necessary to increase canopy cover in the channel.


Project partners: Department of Fish and Wildlife Fisheries Restoration Grant Program, Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, •    Montague Water Conservation District, Shasta Valley Resource Conservation District         


Project cost: $277,812.30



Funding sources:  Department of Fish and Wildlife Fisheries Restoration Grant Program, Beringer Vineyard, University of California, California Land Stewardship Institute.

Project end date: November 2011


Monitoring and evaluation:


Did the project make a difference, and if so, how? Rock and willow streambank toe protection and live willow mattresses were exhibiting vigorous growth and appeared to be contributing to channel stability throughout the reach. Fish presence was also assessed by bank observation during post-treatment monitoring. A total of 39 juvenile steelhead were observed in two pools approximately 80 feet and 110 feet upstream of the removed crossing on June 25, 2013. While fish appeared to be in good health during the late June visit, pools were geographically isolated due to subsurface flow conditions within riffle and run habitat units, restricting juvenile movement. Additionally, substrate homogeneity and lack of woody debris in pools offered juvenile fish very little hiding cover from ocular predators. Cover habitat is expected to improve as riparian vegetation continues to develop; however, predation and low-flow stranding mortality remain concerns for aquatic organisms throughout the project reach.