Dutch Bill Creek Watershed

Coho Habitat Enhancement Project

Project Description:

The Gold Ridge RCD has partnered with Dragonfly Stream Enhancement and Streamline Engineering to construct a series of instream large woody debris structures designed to improve rearing and spawning habitat for coho salmon and steelhead in Dutch Bill Creek.

Dutch Bill Creek is a primary focus of salmonid recovery efforts in the Russian River Watershed and is part of the Russian River Coho Salmon Captive Broodstock Program. The program identified the stretch of creek where these structures were placed as a priority site for coho salmonid recovery.

The instream structures, composed of logs, root wads, and boulders, are designed to work in a number of ways. They affect water flow to scour the streambed, creating large, deep pools that juvenile salmon need to survive summers. They also create shelter and provide refugia during high winter flows. Structures can enhance aquatic macroinvertebrate populations, a key food source for juvenile salmon. Structures can also be designed to promote channel aggradation, allowing for the accumulation of the coarse gravel that returning salmon need for spawning.

Structures were embedded into the streambed or bank, anchored to existing trees or bedrock, and weighted with boulders. A total of 37 structures have been placed within the channel along a 2.25-mile stretch of creek, beginning at the Westminster Woods Camp and Conference Center and ending downstream.

Funding sources:

These projects have been funded through the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the FishAmerica Foundation, the NOAA Restoration Center, and the Sonoma County Water Agency.

Project Manager: Noelle Johnson, Conservation Planner
(707) 823-5244 or Noelle@goldridgercd.org

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