Dutch Bill Creek
Dutch Bill Creek, a tributary of the lower Russian River, flows for eight miles through the hills of west Sonoma County, from its headwaters near Occidental north to its confluence with the Russian at Monte Rio. Dutch Bill Creek drains a watershed area of nearly 12 square miles, and is underlain mostly by the Franciscan Complex, a very diverse geological unit. The watershed supports a variety of land cover types, with extensive forested areas, occurring mostly on the relatively moist north and east-facing slopes, as well as grasslands and scrublands found on the drier, south-facing slopes. The major land use in the Dutch Bill Creek watershed is unmanaged forestland, but there are areas of vineyards, and concentrated residential development, including the communities of Occidental and Camp Meeker. The watershed is also home to a diverse wildlife community, including the endangered coho salmon and threatened steelhead trout, acorn woodpeckers and spotted owls, mountain lions and bobcats, and the threatened California red-legged frog.
Natural Resource Conservation Efforts
For nearly two decades, the Dutch Bill Creek watershed has been the site of intensive efforts to enhance habitat for endangered fish species and restore watershed processes. Extensive work has been undertaken to improve fish passage and enhance habitat within the creek, with additional projects planned for the future. This instream work has been coupled with efforts to reduce sedimentation and improve water quality through erosion control projects, with a focus on the network of unpaved roads throughout the watershed. And in the past several years, water conservation, water storage and streamflow enhancement projects have been designed and built to ensure that the stream has enough flow year-round to support a healthy aquatic community.
Past Habitat Enhancement Projects:
- Dutch Bill Creek Dam Removal and Creek Restoration Project