Carpinteria Creek Fish Passage Project
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
- South Coast Habitat Restoration
Total cost of project: $571,550