Dry Creek Habitat Restoration Project
This restoration project has created year-round stream habitat in Dry Creek, the largest tributary in the Russian River watershed.
Why does this project matter?
This habitat is essential for the recovery of endangered Coho Salmon and threatened Steelhead Trout in the region.
What is ESA doing to help?
The construction and operations of Warm Springs Dam on Dry Creek for water supply has led to downstream channel incision and the loss of rearing habitat for salmonids and other aquatic organisms. As a result, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) issued the Russian River Biological Opinion (RRBO), calling for improving rearing conditions for juvenile Coho Salmon on Dry Creek. ESA has been assisting Sonoma Water and the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers with designing habitat restoration that meets the requirements set by the RRBO in 2008. Project sites are located along several privately-owned properties in the highly dynamic lower reaches of Dry Creek between the Warm Springs Dam and the confluence with Russian River.
ESA’s multi-disciplinary team of engineers, hydrologists, geomorphologists, riparian ecologists, fisheries biologists, and landscape architects collaborated to design in-channel and off-channel habitat enhanced with a large quantity of engineered log structures directly targeted at creating summer rearing and winter high flow refuge habitat for coho salmon and steelhead trout. Due to the system’s uniquely dynamic conditions, ESA utilized highly sophisticated 2-dimensionals hydraulic and sediment transport models to test and guide the restoration designs. Starting in 2016, a mile of ESA designed sites have been implemented under the observation of ESA with another mile of sites currently under construction.
Connect with our team
Client Sonoma County Water Agency (Sonoma Water)
Location Sonoma County
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