Lower Stotenburg Creek Fish Passage Project
Project Lead: Smith River Alliance
Location of Project: 41.8895780, -124.1480910 (downstream end)
Description of Project:
Stotenburg Creek is a small Smith River Plain tributary, with a watershed area of 452 acres, shown to provide important non-natal winter rearing habitat for juvenile Coho salmon (Parish and Garwood 2015 & 2016). The project will treat four barriers and passage impediments that extend from the confluence of Stotenburg Creek and the Smith River, to upstream of Cedar Lodge Lane (the 4th crossing from the mouth). Overall, the project will reduce the number of stream crossings, decrease flow velocities through the project reach, inundate and create additional winter rearing habitat, and reduce the potential for stranding as the stream dries in the spring.
The Lower Stotenburg Creek Fish Passage Project will take advantage of a valuable opportunity to partner with private landowners to remove all barriers to fish passage along the downstream-most 0.5 mile of Stotenburg Creek, while also increasing habitat complexity and improving the native riparian corridor. These actions will also increase the quality and quantity of accessible productive coastal rearing habitat in the Smith River Plain. The project will improve the connection between Stotenburg Creek and the mainstem Smith River through treatment of barriers and impediments to salmonid upstream and downstream passage, and by upgrading and/or removing four stream crossings. Specific activities include:
Replacing two crossings and complete removal of two crossings that are known fish barriers;
Installing the engineered log jam, large wood structures, and re-contouring the channel to enhance connection to the mainstem Smith River;
Building five beaver dam analogs to increase channel complexity and winter rearing habitat; and,
Enhancing native riparian vegetation and cattle exclusion fencing throughout the 0.5 mile stream reach and project area.
Forum funding will be used to initiate and complete the CEQA and tribal consultation process, as well as fund subcontractor work to remove the culvert at Crossing #2.
Project Partners include Stillwater Sciences, McCollough Construction, California Conservation Corps, and Samara Restoration
Wildcat Creek Fish Passage & Community Engagement Project - Phase 2
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.
The Forum also provided partial funding to this project in 2021 to initiate the first portion of this work (Phase 1), which is being continued in 2022 (Phase 2).
Project partners include Contra Costa Flood Control and Water Conservation District, Trout Unlimited, FlowWest Consultants, and Wildcat-San Pablo Creeks Watershed Council.
Hosie Low Water Crossing
Project Lead: Stockton East Water District
Location of Project: 38.992214, -121.041456
Description of Project:
The Hosie Low Water Crossing is currently a partial barrier to juveniles (unimpaired passage ~340% of the time during migration periods), and adult salmonids (steelhead have unimpaired passage ~16% and Chinook ~5% of the time during their migration periods). Replacing this low water crossing with box culverts and a road crossing will improve habitat, natural production, and viability of native fish populations in the San Joaquin River watershed on the Mormon Slough. The replacement will allow for passage of water under the crossing with lower velocities thereby lessening the barrier for fish at high and low flows.
Project partners include National Marine Fisheries Service, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and California Department of Water Resources.