2021 Projects

Mid Klamath Creek Mouth Enhancement Project

 

Project Lead:   Mid Klamath Watershed Council

Location of Project:  41.30222, -123.53805 

Description of Project:  

Since 2001, the Mid Klamath Watershed Council (MKWC), Karuk Tribal Fisheries Program (KTFP), the Salmon River Restoration Council (SRRC), and the U.S. 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, these ongoing efforts have improved adult and juvenile anadromous fish passage at the mouths of tributaries to the Mid Klamath, Salmon, and Lower Scott Rivers. 

 

Maintaining fish passage in this area is especially important with the impending removal of the four Klamath River dams. This project is a continuation of this collaborative effort led by MKWC and its partners to address key stressors identified in the Mid Klamath Subbasin Fisheries Resource Recovery Plan by identifying and manually treating barriers to anadromous fish passage on key tributaries in the region. Reconnecting tributaries to mainstem river corridors provides for significant remediation of all limiting factors affecting salmonids in the Klamath River Basin, including: water quality and 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. Tributaries will be monitored throughout the season to assess effectiveness of the project. 

 

This particular project will open seven miles of stream for Coho salmon, Chinook salmon, and steelhead/rainbow trout by addressing barriers within the first 1,000 ft of up to 40 tributaries to the Klamath River. Modifying and identifying temporal or partial barriers will ensure crucial cold water refugia for out migrating juvenile salmonids and returning adults. This project will enhance habitat connectivity, specifically at the mouths of cold water tributaries in the Klamath River Basin. Assessments will also be completed on all identified tributaries prior to the implementation to identify low flow barriers, potential long-term solutions to historic problems, presence/absence surveys, and assessments of qualitative features.

Project Partners include Karuk Tribal Fisheries Program, Salmon River Restoration Council, and U.S. Forest Service (Orleans Ranger District, Happy Camp/Oak Knoll Ranger District).

Ross Valley Sanitary District Shady Lane Abandoned Sewer & Barrier Removal Project

 

Project Lead: Ross Valley Sanitary District

Location of Project: 37.5815, -122.3339

Description of Project:

This project will remove the first barrier migrating steelhead encounter by removing a 21-inch abandoned sewer line encased in concrete and currently resting on the bed of Ross Creek. 700-feet below the project site Ross Creek joins San Anselmo Creek to form Corte Madera Creek.  This remediation will provide passage for juvenile steelhead, as well as younger age classes between Corte Madera Creek and 8,000-lf of the Ross Creek stream channel accessible upstream. The concrete casing forms a 3.5ft dam in the bed of the creek, and is a barrier to most juvenile steelhead seeking summer rearing habitat or to smolts attempting to leave the creek. Removing the barrier by replacing the abandoned sewer line and concrete encasement with a natural channel bottom composed of native channel bed material of course cobble and boulders will restore access to 30-lf of stream miles and 1,500 ft2 of habitat. This will restore the riparian canopy and promote lower water temperatures in the summer, as well as provide access to deep pools and areas with structure that provide high-flow refugia in the winter and thermal refugia in the summer both up and downstream of the exposed sewer line.

Partners include Town of Ross, Friends of Corte Madera Creek Watershed, and Marine Resource Conservation District (RCD).

 

Fish Passage Project Media Acquisition Effort

 

Project Lead: Fast and Light Productions

Location of Project:  Various locations TBD throughout the state of California

Description of Project:

This media acquisition project will bolster the Forum’s ability to communicate and educate the public on the importance and success of its efforts in California. Images (both still and video) collected through this effort will be valuable tools in the Forum’s ability to communicate to partners, stakeholders, policy/decision makers and the public the importance of protecting and restoring anadromous fish populations and their habitat in California. This project will focus on upcoming or completed fish passage projects directly supported by the Forum, but may also include other fish passage efforts where appropriate and images of fishes benefited from the passage efforts. Approximately 4-5 project sites (dependent on input from the Forum, weather and hydrologic conditions, and species availability) will be selected from strategic locations across the Forum’s geographic scope to demonstrate the wide variety of habitats, species, and fish passage remediation techniques being implemented across the state of California and the waters that feed into it.

 

Assets gathered will include high quality stills and video including drone and underwater images of current and past fish passage projects that have received funding and/or support from the Forum, as well as priority species and areas. These products will be developed for the use of a variety of outreach efforts including website, presentation, and news stories (e.g., and Electronic Press Kit).

Project partners include the California Fish Passage Forum, signatory agencies of the Forum, as well as other Forum partners and project funding recipients.

Lawrence Creek Off Channel Habitat Connectivity Project Phase III

 

Project Lead: Trout Unlimited

 

Location of Project: 40.5988, -123.9785

 

Description of Project:

This project will occur within Lawrence Creek, a high priority, core recovery salmon and steelhead stream in Humboldt County, and while it will benefit multiple species, this effort addresses high priority Southern Oregon/Northern California Coast Coho salmon recovery actions. By creating off-channel ponds and enhancing and restoring hydrologic connectivity to existing side channel habitat features adjacent to Lawrence Creek, the project will enhance 0.09 stream miles, and restore 1.1 acres of off-channel habitat in the Lawrence Creek watershed, considered high priority, core recovery habitat for Coho Salmon, Chinook Salmon, and steelhead. The project will provide important winter refugia habitat for juvenile salmonids by restoring access to side channel habitat that is hydrologically disconnected from Lawrence Creek most of the year, and enhancing the newly reconnected habitat with the excavation of an off-channel alcove enhanced with large wood structures. The project will provide ESA species access to historic floodplain habitats by enhancing hydrologic connectivity to a side channel feature and creating a new connected alcove-pond feature that will provide shelter during intense storm events.

 

This is the third off-channel habitat restoration project in the Lawrence Creek Subbasin since 2015 (Phase III), continuing a series of successful collaborative efforts by Forum signatories Trout Unlimited and the NOAA Restoration Center, working with the Humboldt Redwood Company and Pacific Watershed Associates.

 

Project partners include Humboldt Redwood Company, NOAA Restoration Center, and Pacific Watershed Associates.

Wildcat Creek Fish Passage & Community Engagement Project

 

Project Lead: The Watershed Project

Location of Project: 37.96103, -122.3596

 

Description of Project:

The primary goal of the overall project is to replace a failed fish passage facility constructed in the mid 1990s by the Army Corps of Engineers, the most downstream of the three significant barriers to Central California Coast Steelhead migration in Lower Wildcat Creek. The project will result in the restoration of 1.125 stream miles and 13 acres of habitat helping to reconnect the headwaters of Wildcat Creek with San Francisco Bay, and provide additional spawning and rearing habitat for steelhead and other anadromous fish, and potentially restoring steelhead in the creek. This project will develop final design drawings for the fish passage facility replacement and obtain the permits necessary to reevaluate the Corps/NHC design to enable the project to move forward. The California Department of Water Resources supports the project and has committed the remaining funding needed for 100% designs.

 

The project site is in a disadvantaged community that is currently involved in a stream trail enhancement effort and near an elementary school that could benefit from a nearby restoration effort. Community outreach and education is a critical element in the success of this project, and includes outreach to increase awareness of creek ecology and fish passage restoration. Outreach deliverables will include K-12 educational programing, development of a children’s book, community facing web page, and presentations at community meetings.  

Project partners include Contra Costa Flood Control and Water Conservation District, Trout Unlimited, FlowWest Consultants, and Wildcat-San Pablo Creeks Watershed Council.