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2014 Projects

Pinole Creek Fish Passage Project

Pinole Creek Fish Passage Project

Pinole Creek Update: August 2016

Pinole Creek Update: April 2016

Pinole Creek Update: January 2016
Project Update: July 2015


Location: Latitude: 37.997110 Longitude: -122.286179


Purpose: This project will restore access to the upper reaches of Pinole Creek for the current population of Central California Coast Steelhead by modifying the existing box culverts where Pinole Creek passes under Interstate Highway 80 (I-80). Habitat assessments conducted on Pinole Creek in 2009 indicate sufficient habitat to support anadromous steelhead spawning and rearing if passage issues at the I-80 culvert are remedied. This project will improve access to nearly 7 miles of documented quality steelhead spawning and rearing habitat on the main stem of Pinole Creek. 


Work Performed: The nearly 400-foot long Caltrans I-80 double-bay box culvert on Pinole Creek creates a severe barrier to upstream passage of juvenile and adult steelhead trout. The culvert slope and shape lack sufficient water depth and produces excessive water velocities at fish migration flows. This culvert crossing, located only 1.5 miles upstream of San Pablo Bay, is the only substantial barrier preventing anadromous steelhead from reaching the high quality spawning and rearing habitat found in the upper watershed. Analysis using FishXing software has demonstrated that this culvert presents a migration barrier to adult and juvenile steelhead at all flows. Pinole Creek has regional significance as one of only a small handful of viable steelhead runs within San Francisco and San Pablo Bays. The I-80 culvert is the only significant barrier to fish passage on Pinole Creek. Monitoring in the upper watershed has indicated steelhead presence only twice in the past 12 years (2002 and 2011). Each year that steelhead cannot reach the spawning habitat in Upper Pinole Creek is a lost opportunity to recover and sustain these populations.


Expected Benefits:

  • Fish Passage Enhancement—The project will retrofit a 10'x12', 320-foot long dual box culvert and apron under Interstate Hwy 80 by constructing a low flow splitter wall (sill) and angled baffle system that keeps low flows concentrated into the south box culvert to increase flow depths for passage at the lower passage flows while allowing for overtopping during higher flood flows into both culverts to limit upstream flooding. On the outlet apron there will be a sidewall constructed to contain flows within the baffled section. The water surface below the outlet would be raised approximately one to two feet with a rock ramp or rock weirs to avoid a large water surface drop at the downstream end of the baffles. Boulder rocks may be also be added to the culvert bottom to assist in fish passage.

  • Prioritization—Habitat assessments conducted on Pinole Creek in 2009 by project partners indicate sufficient habitat to support anadromous steelhead spawning and rearing if passage issues at the I-80 culvert are remedied. The I-80 culvert, which is situated 1.5 miles from San Pablo Bay, was identified as the only significant fish passage barrier preventing access to nearly 7 miles of suitable spawning and rearing habitat upstream (EBMUD/Hagar et al., 2009). Watershed assessments throughout Contra Costa County identified Pinole Creek as one of the three most suitable watersheds for salmonid restoration (Contra Costa Watershed Atlas, 2003).

  • Monitoring—Biologists from East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) will perform 3 spawning surveys per season on Pinole Creek. Spawning surveys will confirm presence and spawning success of steelhead in the upper watershed after completion of the fish passage project. Monitoring may be extended beyond 5 years to document spawning success in a variety of water year types (dry, average and high rainfall years). EBMUD will conduct biological for monitoring as an in-kind contribution to the project.


Contra Costa Resource Conservation District, Friends of Pinole Creek Watershed, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, California Coastal Conservancy, NOAA, California Water Boards, Natural Resources Conservation Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Contra Costa County Flood Control and Water Conservation District, Caltrans, Contra Costa Fish and Wildlife Committee, City of Pinole, East Bay Municipal District, and the California Fish Passage Forum.

Total cost of project:  $785,625

Carpinteria Creek Fish Passage Project


Project Update - January 2016
Project Update - June 2015
South Coast Habitat Restoration Newsletter


Purpose:The project will address the last major barrier to steelhead migration in the Carpinteria Creek watershed. The existing barrier is an undersized bridge and concrete lined channel with a series of drop/grade control structures starting at the bridge and extending 95 feet downstream. The project would open up at least 1.27 miles of habitat by removing the undersized bridge and concrete channel to meet fish passage criteria for all steelhead life stages. The project will also replace the existing bridge with a longer spanning bridge and natural stream channel that will provide steelhead access to the perennial habitat in the headwaters of Carpinteria Creek. The Carpinteria Creek Watershed is listed as a Core 1 watershed in the NOAA Recovery Plan and also was listed listed as the highest scoring focal watershed by the 2002 Conception Coast Project which assessed all South Coast streams for their potential to recover steelhead.


Work Performed:

The main goal is to remove a complete barrier to steelhead migration and regrade the stream channel to provide fish passage through the site for all life stages of the endangered southern steelhead trout. The barrier to be removed is an undersized bridge and 95 feet of concreted stream channel. The channel is over a 5% slope and due to the lack of a low flow channel or any channel roughness the site creates a velocity barrier to migrating steelhead. The project is part of a larger watershed wide barrier removal effort. The project is the last remaining major barrier in the Carpinteria Creek Watershed. The project site will be monitored on an annual basis for a period of 5 years to determine that fish passage criteria are being met and that re-vegetation efforts meet or exceed the permit required performance criteria. SCHR hopes build upon positive partnerships that have been created with private property owners in the watershed through steelhead restoration efforts to further fish passage efforts in the southern region.


Expected Benefits:

Open up at least 1.27 miles of habitat by removing the undersized bridge and concrete channel to meet fish passage criteria for all steelhead life stages.



  • California Coastal Conservancy

  • US Fish and Wildlife Service

  • NOAA

  • South Coast Habitat Restoration


Total cost of project:  $571,550

Carpinteria Creek Fish Passage Project

Salt River Ecosystem Restoration Project

Salt River Ecosystem Restoration Proect

FINAL REPORT (December 2017)

October 2017 monitoring report

Monitoring Phase 1 Estuary - March 2017

Post-Construction Geomorphic Channel Survey Report, Phase 1, Year 3 – 2016

Monitoring Phase 1 Estuary - January 2017

Post-Construction Eelgrass Survey Report Year 3 - 2016

Fish Monitoring Program - 2016

November 2016 - FINAL REPORT

October 2016 progress report

June 2016 progress report

March 2016 progress report

January 2016 progress report

June 2015 progress report

The Salt River Watershed is located in coastal northern California in the Eel River Delta. The watershed extends from the Wild Cat Mountains on the south, to the Eel River on the north. A fertile agricultural valley lies between.  Due to the highly erosive nature of the Wild Cat Mountains, anthropogenic activities within the watershed, and heavy annual rainfall, the Salt River system has aggraded and lost its hydrologic capacity, as well as the rich estuarine habitat it once hosted.  Once 200’ wide and 15’ deep the Salt River is now on average 6’ to 10’ ft wide and 1.5’ to 6’ deep; in some places there is no channel at all.  This hydraulic dysfunction causes average rainfall events to flood the valley, severely impacting homes and farms.


The Salt River Ecosystem Restoration Project (SRERP) is a cooperative public/private partnership that takes an ecosystem wide approach to restoration.  The SRERP has three main components:  tidal marsh restoration; restoration of seven miles of the Salt River Channel and floodplain corridor; and upslope sediment reduction.  Upslope efforts have been on going and will continue into the future.  Two and a half miles of the Salt River and 330 acres of tidal marsh were restored this past winter (2013).  An additional 1.2 miles of Salt River Channel will be restored this summer (2014), another 1.3 miles of channel restoration will occur next summer (2015), and the remaining two miles is expected to be completed the following year (2016).  This project is intended to relieve annual flooding on the delta plain and to restore, create and enhance wildlife habitat.


Phase 1 of the SRERP was completed in the winter of 2013. This phase involved excavation and widening of the historically estuarine Salt River channel to a width of approximately 90’ and a depth of 8’.  Several miles of an internal slough network on a 330-acre site was also created.  The newly excavated Salt River channel and associated slough channels will provide a substantial increase in tidal prism that will keep sediment suspended in the water column so it will be carried out of the system to the ocean on each tidal cycle. The project design also provides increased habitat for salmonids and other brackish and marine species.  Monthly spring and summer fish surveys in 2014 established that Coho, Chinook, tidewater goby, smelt, and numerous other fish species already utilize the newly enhanced and created habitat.


The Humboldt County Resource Conservation District (RCD) has spent nearly three decades developing this project. Its ongoing implementation is a tribute to the determination of the RCD, the patience and support of the community, the leadership of Supervisor Jimmy Smith (retired), and the financial and technical contributions of numerous agencies and individuals. Some key funders and partners include the State Coastal Conservancy, Wildlife Conservation Board, State Water Resources Control Board, California Department of Water Resources, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, NOAA/NMFS, Natural Resource Conservation Service, and California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Other funders and project partners contributing to the success of this project are listed below.

Project partners: State Water Resources Control Board, Ducks Unlimited, State Coastal Conservancy, California Conservation Corps, Wildlife Conservation Board, US Army Corps of Engineers, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Humboldt County Resource Conservation District, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Humboldt County, Caltrans, Humboldt State University, Department of Water Resources, Pacific Coast Joint Venture, Department of Conservation, Pacific Marine and Estuarine Fish Habitat Partnership, North American Wetlands Conservation Act, California Fish Passage Forum, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, City of Ferndale, NOAA Fisheries/National Marine Fisheries Service, Greater Ferndale Community, Western Rivers Conservancy


Sharber-Peckham Fish Passage Project

Sharber-Peckham Fish Passage Project
Project map

Project Updates: January 2017 progress reportAugust 2016 progress reportJanuary 2016 progress report
Location of Project:  40º53’45”N Lat, 123º33’38”W Long
Description of Project: The proposed project will replace an undersized culvert which has created a migration barrier to anadromous fish species on Sharber/Peckham Creek.  This barrier prevents access to upstream spawning and rearing habitat for threatened Southern Oregon/Northern California Coasts (SONCC) coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch), Upper Klamath-Trinity Rivers Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) and Klamath Mountains Province Steelhead trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss).  Removal of this barrier would allow use of approximately 1.2 miles of high quality spawning, over-wintering and summer rearing habitat within this tributary.  Currently, anadromous fish can access only the lower 0.2 miles of Sharber/Peckham Creek.  The project area is within designated critical habitat and Essential Fish Habitat for SONCC coho salmon. Deliverables of the proposed project will include a final construction and monitoring report documenting the success of the project.
This project will address spawning, rearing and fish passage requirements by removing the impassable culvert and installing a 12 foot x 14 foot multi-plate arch culvert allowing juvenile and adult fish to move further up into the watershed where high quality summer and winter rearing and spawning habitat exists. This project is part of a larger effort within the range of SONCC coho salmon to open up access to inaccessible habitat that was previously part of the species range. The new crossing will have an increased flow capacity beyond that of the existing culvert and will be designed to pass a 100-year flood of 2,062 cfs, while maintaining the natural streambed and channel width.  This project is one of the highest priority recovery actions listed for the Lower Trinity population unit in NMFS coho salmon recovery plan, and implementation of this project will increase population and species viability, helping to recover coho salmon in the Klamath River basin.
This project will result in long-term benefits to SONCC coho salmon in the Sharber/Peckham Creek watershed by improving passage condition, thus increasing the availability of habitat (adding approximately one mile) accessible for spawning and rearing, and increasing population viability in the Lower Trinity population unit, which will assist with recovery of SONCC coho salmon.  Passage condition will be improved by removing the current undersized culvert which is impassable to salmonids at various life history stages and at the majority of flow conditions. The increased capacity of the proposed crossing will allow for the conveyance of greater flows and transport of associated bedload and woody debris associated with higher flows.
How it was determined this barrier is a high priority project: Barrier is listed in a key restoration plan for the region - Recovery Plan for the Evolutionarily Significant Unit of Southern Oregon/Northern California Coast Coho Salmon Public Draft Version: January 2012 (SONCC Plan): Task SONCC-LTR., The project is supported by the USFS and NOAA Fisheries.
California Fish Passage Forum objectives the project will help to address: 1. Remediate barriers to effective fish migration.; 2. Facilitate coordination and communication among agencies, agency staff, and other entities that may propose, review, or promulgate fish passage criteria within California.; 3. Identify, assess and prioritize the removal of fish passage barriers. The project will remove a fish passage barrier on private land within a watershed identified as a priority by the Public Draft Recovery Plan for Southern Oregon/Northern California Coast Coho Salmon. Removal of this barrier will restore access to about one mile of spawning, over-wintering and rearing fish habitat. Planning and implementation of this project will be a cooperative effort among the Five Counties Salmonid Conservation Program, Six Rivers National Forest, the Northern California Office of NOAA Fisheries, and local landowners.

Anadromous fish species that will benefit from project: Coho salmon; Chinook salmon; Steelhead/rainbow trout

The location and distance in stream miles to downstream river structures, and whether each structure represents an insignificant, partial, or total barrier to fish passage: The proposed project is located, on Sharber/Peckham Creek, approximately 0.2 miles upstream from the Trinity River. There are no known river structures from the proposed project site downstream to the Trinity River. There are no known river structures upstream of the proposed project site. The natural limit of anadromy terminates at a waterfall and steep gradient, approximately one mile above the project site.

How the project will be evaluated and measured for success: The project will be evaluated and measured for success through both physical and biological monitoring activities. Biological monitoring will consist of fish presence surveys during both spawning season (assessing adult migration) and summer season (assessing passage of juveniles). Physical monitoring will consist of longitudinal profiles and cross sectional surveys through the project area to confirm that the project was built as designed and no unintended channel adjustment occurs.
Project outreach: This project will provide an opportunity for local landowners to be part of an important conservation effort. The 5C Program is highly effective in promoting and sustaining collaborative efforts. 5C recognizes that taking on these challenges will lead to a healthier environment, sustainable fisheries, and better community, all of which contribute to a more robust economy.  All monitoring data associated with the project will be reported to all organizations that fund the project in the form of progress or final reports as specified in the grant agreement, as well as having the final report posted to the Five Counties Salmonid Conservation Program’s website (  The 5C Program and its staff have published multiple reports on migration barrier removal projects and routinely share data with both public and private organizations. The 5C Program routinely posts its projects and activities in the Trinity Journal which provides an opportunity for the public to learn about the restoration activities in and around their community. The 5C Program also holds community workshops covering various topics ranging from the role of the beaver in the riparian ecosystem to water conservation, and highlights fish passage projects.

Dinner Creek Fish Migration Barrier Removal Project

Dinner Creek Fish Migraton Barrier Removal Project

Project Update: December 2017January 2016


Name of Project: Dinner Creek Fish Migration Barrier Removal Project

Location of Project: 40.091508 N, -123.935992 W

Description of Project: The project replaces fish migration barrier culverts with natural bottom installations that meet NOAA fish passage design criteria.  Removal of these barrier culverts will open access to over 9,400 feet of spawning habitat in the Dinner Creek watershed (Taylor, 2005).


How it was determined this project is a high priority project: Barrier is listed in a key restoration plan for the region 
California Fish Passage Forum objectives that align with project: 1. Remediate barriers to effective fish migration. The project will remove three existing barrier culverts and replace them with bottomless or countersunk culverts that will have the same characteristics as the natural creek.  Grade, width and bedload within the new installations will mimic the natural creek in the perception of migrating salmonids.

Anadromous fish species that will benefit from project: Coho salmon; Chinook salmon; Steelhead/rainbow trout
How project will be evaluated and measured for success: There are currently coho, steelhead and Chinook salmon downstream of the current barriers.  The measure of success will be the presence of these species upstream of the project site, and an increase in the over-all numbers of salmonids in Dinner Creek in the years following the project.

Kelly Gulch Fish Passage Project

Kelly Gulch Fish Passage Proect

Project Update: January 2016


Name of Project: Kelly Gulch Fish Passage Project
Location of Project: 41°17’30” 123°10’0”
Description of Project: Kelly Gulch is a perennial tributary of the North Fork Salmon River that contains Southern Oregon and Northern California Coast (SONCC) coho salmon, Klamath Mountains Province steelhead trout and potentially Pacific lamprey, along with resident cold water fishes. Klamath National Forest data show that anadromous fish distribution in Kelly Gulch extends to the culvert at FS Road 40N39 road crossing.  This culvert is a known fish passage barrier. The Kelly Gulch drainage burned during the 2013 Salmon River Complex. This culvert and two others in the drainage were surveyed by the Salmon River Complex Burned Area Emergency Recovery (BAER) Team after fire suppression activities in the Salmon River Complex Fires were completed. The team reconfirmed that this culvert is undersized, with aggradation at and above the inlet suggesting that passage of sediment and other watershed products was already hindered prior to the fire.  The blockage risk is a concern, especially given the channel bend at the inlet and lack of an end section to funnel incoming debris.  The drainage upstream of this culvert includes moderate burn severity, which will likely lead to an increase of discharge and debris during high flow events. As part of the BAER process, this culvert was again recommended to be upgraded to a bottomless arch culvert of appropriate size and configuration to pass the flows and debris expected post-fire as well as to address aquatic organism passage concerns.  Unfortunately BAER funds were not granted for the bottomless arch upgrade; funds were granted for emergency repair in the watershed including installation of critical dips and cleaning out of road drainage features. Although the emergency repair has occurred the crossing remains a fish passage barrier. The recommended treatment is to install a bottomless arch culvert to allow natural passage of aquatic organisms, water, sediment, and debris through the system.  The upgrade would extend the range of coho salmon designated critical habitat. An additional 0.4 miles of spawning and rearing habitat for anadromous fish including SONCC coho salmon and steelhead trout upstream of this culvert would become accessible.


Description of why this this barrier is a high priority project: Barrier is listed in a key restoration plan for the region (see question number 8 below); Endorsed by agency; Local knowledge/conversation with local representatives


The name(s) of the recovery plans and the specific task that name this barrier as a high priority: KNF 2001 road stream crossing inventory identified this site as RED - passage barrier to all life stages and all/most flows.  SONCC coho salmon recovery plan - Recovery action SONCC-SalR.5.1.9 identifies the need to address the few remaining road stream crossing barriers in the watershed.  Also, the barrier has been identified in the Salmon River Restoration Council Riparian Assessment and Salmon River Complex BAER Team Final Report.

The California Fish Passage Forum has nine overall objectives. This project will help to address: 1. Remediate barriers to effective fish migration.; 3. Identify, assess and prioritize the removal of fish passage barriers.; 7. Facilitate plans to monitor and evaluate fish passage restoration effectiveness to ensure accountability. Because this crossing is one of the only remaining barriers to anadromous fish on the Klamath National Forest Transportation System, it is a top priority for upgrade. The Forest Service and Salmon River Restoration Council will actively monitor the site to ensure passage objectives are met in the short and long term.

Anadromous fish species that will benefit from project: Coho salmon; Steelhead/rainbow trout; Pacific lamprey
Location and distance in stream miles to downstream river structures, and whether each structure represents an insignificant, partial, or total barrier to fish passage: About one mile downstream a bridge was placed over Kelly Gulch at Siskiyou County Road 1C01 crossing to address fish passage concerns around 2006.  Legal location: T40N, R12W, Sec 24, NE1/4. The bridge is not a barrier to fish passage.  

Location and distance in stream miles to upstream river structures, and whether each structure represents an insignificant, partial, or total barrier to fish passage: About 0.5 mile upstream a culvert at FS Road 40N42 road crossing is a total barrier to fish passage.  Legal location: T40N, R11W, Sec 18 NW1/4. However Kelly Gulch is an intermittent stream at this point. A different fork of Kelly Gulch has more perennial flow; in that fork approximately 0.75 miles upstream is another culvert that is probably a total barrier to fish passage.

How the project will be evaluated and measured for success: The project will be monitored to determine if anadromous fish are accessing the habitat made accessible upstream of the project.  A section of Kelly Gulch beginning from the upstream end of the culvert and extending approximately 0.4 miles upstream will be surveyed to determine if juvenile SONCC coho salmon and/or steelhead trout are present in this section. The new crossing will be monitored during and after high flow events to ensure that the passage of watershed products at the site is functional and sustainable.

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