2018 Projects

Neefus Gulch Coho Salmon Barrier Removal Project Design at Appian Way

 

Location of Project:

39.17875000 : -123.57107000 - Earthen Barrier Forming Pond 
39.17592000 : -123.56846000 - Appian Way Culvert Barrier

Description of Project, including deliverables and outcomes:

Develop engineered designs to address fish passage at the Appian Way crossing on Neefus Gulch (tributary to the North Fork Navarro River) within the Rancho Navarro Subdivision. The site on Appian Way is an undersized, ill-aligned culvert that is a total barrier. 

This project restores fish passage in Neefus Gulch at a known fish passage barrier on Appian Way by developing final designs that will lead to implementation of a culvert replacement project that uses instream large wood as grade control downstream. 

About 700 feet downstream of the road-stream crossing, there is a 5.3-foot high knickpoint with two steps that drop into a highly incised channel. The drops in this feature are comprised primarily of clayey-sand ledges and a rootwad that has rolled into the channel from the adjacent eroding bank (refer to Fig. 4 in Appian Way Design Memo). This knickpoint appears to be progressing slowly upstream as it erodes through the clayey sand, as evidenced by the u-shaped, highly entrenched channel downstream of the knickpoint. The rootwad has been holding grade for several years, but is not considered to provide long-term stability. 

The project area at Neefus Gulch is the property of the Mendocino Redwood Company, and consists of an about 1,400-foot long incised channel reach upstream of the bridge on Masonite Road. This reach continues to actively incise and widen through bank failures, mobilizing excessive amounts of sediment into the stream and contributing to headcut migration within the channel. Several knickpoints within the project area are arrested by Redwood woody debris, and  some locations are presumed to be partial fish passage barriers.  Potential failure at the Redwood knickpoints, and resulting channel incision, present challenges to the integrity of the upstream crossing currently under design on Appian Way. To address those challenges the Project Engineers have recommended performing a topographic survey in the proposed project area and preparing design plans to accompany the design work at Appian way that is already ongoing with the Rancho Navarro community. 

The intent of the proposed wood-loading in the incised reach is to construct large-wood features that trap sediment, raise the bed of the channel, and stabilize the downstream knickpoints, thus reducing sediment delivery to the downstream and ensuring structural integrity upstream at the Appian Way Crossing. This project will result in the replacement a known barrier (culvert crossing),thus improving fish passage for Coho Salmon and steelhead rout and better routing flows and sediment directly to the North Fork Navarro River. This work is integral to the overall design approach and long term success of the restoration currently under design at Appian Way. 

Time frame: 
The survey and design plan preparation will be performed assuming that implementation will occur in the summer of 2019. 

  • Winter/Spring 2018: Topographic surveys 

  • Summer 2018: Design plan preparation 

  • Fall 2018- Winter 2019 (or as funding opportunities arise): Secure Implementation Funding & Permitting approvals (lead by TU) 

  • Implementation: Summer 2019 (pending implementation funding award) 


Deliverables: 

  • Draft design plans in 11x17 pdf format 

  • Final design plans in 11x17 pdf format signed and stamped by a licensed California Civil Engineer


The current limit of anadromy in Neefus Gulch is defined by the Appian Way culvert crossing, which consists of two culverts. The first culvert is a 5' high x 5.3' wide x 34' long metal pipe with a 2% slope. There is a 3' high plunge at the outlet; the maximum depth within 5' of the outlet is 3.7'. The bottom of the culvert is lined with asphalt. The second culvert is parallel to the first. It is a 3.2' high x 2.7' wide x 40' long corrugated metal pipe. The plunge at the outlet is 5' high. There is no rust line. Both culverts are barriers to juvenile and adult salmonids at all times (CDFW, 2011; K.Vodopals, 2011). According to a 2011 CDFW survey completed by A. Renger and T. Fuller, there is approximately 7,726 feet (1.46 mi) of potential habitat upstream of the downstream most barrier (Appian Way culverts).


This project has been funded by CDFW and the State Coastal Conservancy and is endorsed by the local Resource Conservation District as a high priority project.

 

The California Fish Passage Forum has nine overall objectives. This project will help to address:

  • 1. Remediate barriers to effective fish migration.

  • 9. Implement education and outreach activities, targeting both the general public and fish passage practitioners.

The project has been and will continue to be highlighted in outreach activities presented by TU and its partners. For example, the Neefus Gulch design project was featured at the SRF Fish Passage Design Workshop in March 2017. 

Anadromous fish species that will benefit from the project:

  • Coho salmon

  • Steelhead/rainbow trout

 

The miles of stream opened as a result of implementing the project: 1.46

 

Access to Forum's priority habitats that will be made available as a result of the project:

  • Spawning habitat

  • Rearing habitat

National Conservation Strategies that will be addressed by the project:

  • 1. Protect intact and healthy waters.

  • 2. Restore hydrologic conditions for fish.

  • 3. Reconnect fragmented fish habitats.

  • 4. Restore water quality.
     

USFWS Climate Change Strategies that will be addressed by the project:

  • 3.1 Take conservation action for climate-vulnerable species.

  • 3.2 Promote habitat connectivity and integrity.

  • 3.5 Conserve coastal and marine resources.

  • 3.6 Manage genetic resources.

 

How the project addresses climate change:

The proposed project will design and eventually implement proactive conservation measures Coho Salmon and Steelhead Trout which are both listed under CA state and Federal ESA. The project intends to improve instream habitat conditions, restore fish passage, and address sedimentation . The project will connect fragmented habitats within Neefus Gulch which is a coastal anadromous tributary to the North Fork Navarro River, a core recovery watershed for endangered CCC Coho Salmon.  According to recent genetic data collected by NMFS Biologist Carlos Garza, the coastal populations of salmonids within Mendocino County watersheds are very important populations to conserve within the CCC Coho Salmon DPS due to the genetic diversity that exists in the region.​

Cooper Mill Fish Passage Improvement Project Design

 

Location of Project: Downstream Project Extent - 
40.55923000 : -124.05789000 - Cooper Mill and Yager Creek confluence, Map

Description of Project, including deliverables:

The objective of the project is to develop 100% designs for two fish barrier locations on Cooper Mill Creek that will lead to improved fish passage for all salmonid life stages. Cooper Mill Creek is an important anadromous fish-bearing tributary of Yager Creek, a major tributary to the Van Duzen River. Cooper Mill contains 3.0 miles of anadromous stream and opportunities to provide summer and winter cold-water refugia habit for three salmon species. The proposed project area is located on Humboldt Redwood Company property (HRC), and the proposed project team includes TU, HRC, and Pacific Watershed Associates (PWA).   

The designs will focus on improving fish migration for all life cycles of coho salmon and steelhead trout during all seasons. The project area extends from the first barrier, located at the confluence of Cooper Mill Creek and Yager Creek, upstream about 5 miles to the second barrier, a remnant channel spaninng concrete weir associated with an abandoned fish hatchery.  The design process will include a thorough site assessment of existing conditions, an analysis of design alternatives, and final designs for up to two future restoration projects. 


Cooper Mill Creek suffers from legacy impacts of industrial timber practices, including channelization and levee development, irregular large debris accumulations, rip rap bank protection, and other infrastructure located in proximity to the stream. The proposed objective is to develop 100% designs that are focused  on enhancing instream habitat and improving fish migration for all life cycles of Coho and other salmonids. The design process will include an analysis of alternatives that address: 1) the constructed boulder step weir located at a debris accumulation at the confluence with Yager Creek; 2) the concrete weir upstream (PAD #); 3) historic channelization and poor instream habitat complexity; and 4) appropriate locations and configurations of instream habitat structures between the two barrier locations. 

This project will improve access for natal and non-natal salmon species to high priorty refugia habitat during extreme water velocity and temperature events in the lower Yager Creek basin. 

This barrier is a high priority project:

  • Barrier is listed in a key restoration plan for the region

  • 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:

  • National Marine Fisheries Service, 2016, Final Coastal Multispecies Recovery Plan, National Marine Fisheries Service, Santa Rosa, California 

  • SONCC-LEVR.5.1.37.2- Improve access - Remove Sediment Barriers - Remove alluvial deposits, construct low flow channels, or reduce stream gradient to provide fish passage at all life stages 

  • CDFG, 2004, Recovery Strategy for California Coho Salmon, CDFG, Sacramento, CA 

  • ER-VD-01- Develop a plan to restore and maintain tributary and mainstem habitat connectivity where low flow or sediment aggradation is restricting coho salmon passage.

 The California Fish Passage Forum has nine overall objectives. This project will help address the following objectives:

  • 1. Remediate barriers to effective fish migration.

  • 3. Identify, assess and prioritize the removal of fish passage barriers.

  • 9. Implement education and outreach activities, targeting both the general public and fish passage practitioners.

  • 10. Please provide a brief explanation of how your project addresses all of the checked boxes in the previous question.

    The proposed project intend to remediate two known fish passage barriers in Cooper Mill Creek.  Restoring access to Cooper Mill Creek benefits all life stages of salmonids, but most likely will have the greatest benefits to rearing juvenile salmonids by providing access to cold water refugia in the summer and winter refugia during high velocity flow events. 

The anadromous fish species that will benefit from the project:

  • Coho salmon

  • Chinook salmon

  • Steelhead/rainbow trout

 

The miles of stream opened as a result of implementing the project: 1.7

The access to Forum's priority habitats that will be made available as a result of the project:

  • Spawning habitat

  • Rearing habitat

National Conservation Strategies that will be addressed by the project:

  • 1. Protect intact and healthy waters.

  • 2. Restore hydrologic conditions for fish.

  • 3. Reconnect fragmented fish habitats.

USFWS Climate Change Strategies that will be addressed by the project:

  • 3.1 Take conservation action for climate-vulnerable species.

  • 3.2 Promote habitat connectivity and integrity.

  • 3.5 Conserve coastal and marine resources.

The project will design and eventually implement proactive conservation measures Coho Salmon and steelhead trout which are both listed under CA state and Federal ESA. The project intends to restore fish passage at two identified barriers and to improve instream habitat conditions between those two locations . The project will connect fragmented habitats within Yager Creek and Cooper Mill Creek which are identified as high priority core recovery watersheds for threatened SONC Coho Salmon. The project will address climate change by providing access to cold perennial water in the summer and by providing refugia during intense storm events.  These two climate conditions, prolonged drought and intense storm events, are both predicted to occur more frequently in a changing climate.  

Fishery enhancement:

Recreational steelhead fishing does occur in the Van Duzen River basin.  The project would assist in providing access to spawning and rearing habitat for steelhead trout and Coho Salmon (a former commercial fishery).  The long term results of the project are intended to assist with restoring native salmon populations to their recovery targets.  If accomplished both commercial and recreational fishing opportunities would be enhanced.

Mid Klamath Fish Passage Improvement Project

 

Location of project: 
Weitchepec, CA (41.1856, -123.708611) to Cottonwood Creek (41.8881666667, -122.5438750000)

Description of Project, including deliverables:

Since 2001, the Mid Klamath Watershed Council (MKWC), Karuk Tribal Fisheries Program (KTFP), the Salmon River Restoration Council (SRRC), and the US Forest Service (Orleans Ranger District, Happy Camp/Oak Knoll Ranger District) have been working together to identify and manually treat barriers to anadromous fish passage on key tributaries in the Mid Klamath Subbasin. To date, they have maintained an ongoing effort to improve adult and juvenile anadromous fish passage at the mouths of tributaries to the Mid Klamath, Salmon and Lower Scott Rivers. MKWC, KTFP, SRRC and USFS biologists have identified streams throughout the subbasin that chronically have fish passage problems at or near their confluence with the mainstem Klamath, Salmon and Lower Scott Rivers. The Mid Klamath Subbasin Fisheries Resource Recovery Plan calls for the identification and implementation of improved fish passage, as well as the assessment and evaluation of longterm restoration projects. Assessments will be completed on all identified tributaries prior to implementation. Assessments of these streams will include: identification of low flow barriers, potential long-term solutions to historic problems, presence/absence surveys, and assessments of qualitative features. Low flow barriers to these anadromous streams and temporary dams built for fire suppression and or recreational purposes (swimmers dams) will be manually reconstructed to allow for adult and juvenile fish passage, where feasible. MKWC and partners began this project in 2001 and have expanded from working on only a handful of creek mouths, to surveying up to 72 creeks in the Mid Klamath for fish passage barriers. 

This project was designed to ensure both juvenile and adult fish passage into high quality thermal refugia areas during critical periods of migration. Access to cold, clean tributaries of the mainstem Klamath, Salmon and Scott Rivers during low flow, high temperature summer and fall months is critical for both migration and rearing within the Klamath River system. Re-connecting tributaries to mainstem river corridors provides for significant remediation of all limiting factors affecting salmonids in the Klamath River Basin, including: water quality, water quantity, and habitat quantity and quality. Cold water tributaries provide critical thermal refugia and rearing habitat during the juvenile and adult life stages of salmonids. These tributaries will be monitored for juvenile and adult fish passage throughout the season to monitor effectiveness of the project. 

This past year, crews identified 25 barriers to fish passage and manually modified 24 of these barriers to allow fish passage opening about 4.5 miles of stream habitat to out migrating juvenile salmonids seeking cold water refugia.   

The name(s) of the recovery plans and the specific task that name this barrier as a high priority:

The barriers that this proposal seeks to address are seasonal anthropogenic barriers. Depending on the hydrologic outlook for the year, each tributary addressed in this project will have varying needs throughout the season such as: High velocity barriers, low velocity, swimmers dams, perched alluvial deltas, fragmented connection, or combinations of these.

The California Fish Passage Forum has nine overall objectives. This projects helps 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.

  • 7. Facilitate plans to monitor and evaluate fish passage restoration effectiveness to ensure accountability.

  • 9. Implement education and outreach activities, targeting both the general public and fish passage practitioners.

​​

The anadromous fish species that will benefit from this project:

  • Coho salmon

  • Chinook salmon

  • Steelhead/rainbow trout

The miles of stream opened as a result of implementing this project: 7

The access to Forum's priority habitats that will be made available as a result of this project:

  • Spawning habitat

  • Rearing habitat

National Conservation Strategies will be addressed by this project:

  • 1. Protect intact and healthy waters.

  • 2. Restore hydrologic conditions for fish.

  • 3. Reconnect fragmented fish habitats.

USFWS Climate Change Strategies that will be addressed by this project:

  • 3.2 Promote habitat connectivity and integrity.

  • 3.7 Reduce susceptibility to diseases, pathogens, and pests.

This project will look to ensure habitat connectivity, specifically at the mouths of cold water tributaries by manually modifying creek mouths to ensure passage from the mainstem Klamath into connecting cold water tributaries. Studies have shown that access to cold water refuge during times of the year when main stem Klamath conditions become stressful for juvenile and adult salmonids can help arrest the spread of disease and parasites that can be lethal to salmonids. This project directly addresses this need by enhancing creek mouths to ensure passage for salmonids into these critical habitats. MKWC technicians are trained in identifying symptoms of disease and report any findings to appropriate agencies.  

Fishery: 

  • By increasing passage into high value rearing and refuge habitat, MKWC's fish passage improvement project can directly benefit commercial, recreational and subsistence fishing by increasing the fitness of outmigrating juvenile and returning spawning adults.Studies have shown that access to these refuge habitats can increase survival and overall health of salmonid species when mainstem conditions become stressful or inhospitable to salmonid health.  

Davy Brown and Munch Creek Fish Passage Project

 

Location of project: 34.760303, -119.953943, Project map

Description of Project, including deliverables:

Davy Brown and Munch Creeks, located in the Los Padres National Forest, are tributaries to Manzana Creek, which is the largest tributary to the Sisquoc River. The mainstem Sisquoc contains no fish migration barriers, making habitat in this area critical for the recovery of the Southern California Steelhead (SCS). In 2007, the Zaca Fire burned much of the Sisquoc River watershed, resulting in the removal of native vegetation, and subsequent erosion and sediment deposition into water bodies, which is harmful to aquatic organisms at various life stages. Manzana Creek and its tributaries were relatively unaffected by the fire, and have provided valuable refuge for SCS and other aquatic species from areas negatively impacted by the fire. This Project will allow for the restoration of the streambed at each of the three locations (two barriers on Davy Brown Creek and one on Munch Creek) and allow for unimpeded migration of aquatic organisms through each reach, creating and opening up further refuge habitat needed for aquatic species while burned areas recover. Additionally, the Project will provide for future improvement and safety of the road crossings through the replacement of low flow road crossings with two steel bridges over Davy Brown creek. The Project also addresses action item (Sis-SCS-3.1 Develop and implement plan to remove or modify fish passage barriers with the watershed) presented in the NOAA Southern California Steelhead Recovery Management Plan.   

Specifically, the proposed fish passage improvements include the replacement of two low flow stream crossings/concrete fords with pre-fabricated steel bridges on Davy Brown Creek, and the complete removal of a concrete ford at Munch Creek. This work will open up ~3.1 miles of additional high quality habitat for SCS. Channels at project sites will be regraded and created to improve habitat quality, fish passage, and channel hydraulics, and will be constructed to remain stable in a 100-year flood event. The project will also provide safer creek crossings, as the new bridges will be constructed to pass the 100-year flood conveyance with two feet of freeboard per United States Forest Service guidelines, and will allow the US Forest Service to be better adapted to the potential increased flow events that may result from climate change. 
SCHR seeks funding to complete the engineering designs for this project while taking them from 90% designs to 100% designs. With funding from NFWF secured for the construction of this project, California Fish Passage Forum Funding is needed in order to complete the engineering phase.   

Project Goals 
The goals of this Project are to remove three barriers to steelhead migration on Davy Brown and Munch Creeks, and to replace two of these barriers over Davy Brown with steel bridges. This Project will work towards restoring a sustainable population of steelhead to the watershed, and will provide SCS and other aquatic species refuge from fire affected areas and areas of poor habitat quality. Additional goals of this project are to increase public safety of road crossings through the installation of new stream crossings with the capacity to withstand large flooding which may be exacerbated by climate change. Specific measurable long-term objectives include 1) removing three barriers to migration, 2) replacing two of these low flow road crossings (barriers) with steel bridges, 3) reconstructing and restoring the creek’s grade at each of the three sites to comply with state and federal criteria for fish passage, and 4) return of anadromous fish spawning in habitats upstream of the removed barriers. 


Deliverables and Outcomes 
Deliverables from the engineering portion of project, for which SCHR seeks CFPF funding, are final project engineering and structural designs prepared by Waterways Engineering. 

Deliverables of the overall project include a final report with copies of approved final engineering and structural designs, re-vegetation plans, and photos of Project pre-, during and post-construction. Additionally, monitoring of re-vegetation effort after project completion (3-5 years) along with final monitoring report, as well as an as built designs and report. In addition, weekly QA/QC reports will be submitted during all instream project activities to ensure project is constructed as designed. 

Expected outcomes of this project include increased fish passage in the Sisquoc River watershed, resulting in a direct benefit to steelhead, as this newly opened habitat is of higher quality than nearby burned areas. 

How it was determined this barrier is a high priority project:

  • Barrier is listed in a key restoration plan for the region 

  • Endorsed by agency

  • Local knowledge/conversation with local representatives

The California Fish Passage Forum has nine overall objectives. This 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.

  • 4. Disseminate guidelines and design criteria for replacement of barriers.

  • 5. Coordinate funding mechanisms to remove fish passage barriers.

  • 6. Promote state and federal permit coordination and streamlining.

  • 7. Facilitate plans to monitor and evaluate fish passage restoration effectiveness to ensure accountability.

The anadromous fish species that will benefit from this project:

  • Steelhead/rainbow trout

The miles of stream opened as a result of implementing this project: 3.1

The access to Forum's priority habitats that will be made available as a result of this project:

  • Spawning habitat

  • Rearing habitat

National Conservation Strategies that will be addressed by this project:

  • 1. Protect intact and healthy waters.

  • 2. Restore hydrologic conditions for fish.

  • 3. Reconnect fragmented fish habitats.

USFWS Climate Change Strategies that will be addressed by this project:

  • 3.1 Take conservation action for climate-vulnerable species.

  • 3.2 Promote habitat connectivity and integrity.

  • 3.3 Reduce non-climate change ecosystem stressors.

  • 3.4 Identify and fill priority freshwater needs.

  • 3.5 Conserve coastal and marine resources.

  • 3.6 Manage genetic resources.

The removal of non-climate change stressors, such as fish passage impediments, will promote stream habitat connectivity and integrity. Additionally, the removal of these barriers will provide refuge habitat for SCS and other species in higher portions of the watershed where stream temperatures are typically cooler. This will in turn facilitate the protection of phenotypic and genetic diversity by interlinking populations and providing habitat refugia. Freshwater ecosystems are critical to resident rainbow trout and anadromous steelhead populations, and effective fish passage strategies need to address juvenile and adult stages of migratory fish. By augmenting fish passage to natal freshwater habitats in the Sisquoc River watershed, as well as in migration corridors to the Pacific Ocean, both marine and freshwater SCS populations will have increased prospects for success.

©2019 BY CALIFORNIA FISH PASSAGE FORUM.