What's New

Salmonid Rearing Habitat Delineation and Restoration Prioritization:  
East Austin, Pena, Mill, and Redwood Creek Watersheds
 

This project, designed to identify and prioritize stream reaches for habitat enhancement projects within four tributaries of the Russian River--East Austin, Mill, Pena, and Redwood Creeks--was completed in 2018.  The two-year project was conceived and executed by O'Connor Environmental, Inc. with assistance from its partner and fiscal sponsor, the Pepperwood Foundation. Funding was provided by the Fisheries Restoration Grant Program administered by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.  The project team developed a unique approach combining the use of high-resolution LiDAR topographic data to support hydrologic and hydraulic modeling of fish habitat suitability with existing habitat and monitoring data to efficiently evaluate more than 80 river miles of streams.  The LiDAR data was obtained and made publicly-available by the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District. Habitat and monitoring data along with technical input was provided by SeaGrant California and NOAA Fisheries.

Work products include a series of detailed prioritization maps for each of the study watersheds which identify and prioritize reaches and sites for habitat enhancement projects.

For more information please refer to the links below:

 

 

 

 

 

 
Weighted useable area classifications in the Mill Creek watershed
OEI Completes Comprehensive Study of Flow Availability Based Habitat Conditions to Assist Coho Restoration Efforts in Russian River Tributary Watersheds
 

The Dutch Bill and Green Valley/Atascadero Creek watersheds provide some of the best remaining habitat for endangered coho salmon in the Russian River Watershed.  State and Federal fisheries agencies have identified low stream flows during the summer months as a key limiting factor affecting the survival and recovery of the species.  O'Connor Environmental and the Gold Ridge Resource Conservation District with funding from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife's Fisheries Grant Restoration Program have completed a four-year scientific study to gain a better understanding of how stream flows vary across the watersheds and over time, how various natural and man-made factors influence these flows, and what actions can be taken to improve flows and habitat conditions for coho.  A major component of the project was the development of a distributed hydrologic model capable of representing both surface water and groundwater processes and the interactions between them.  This study provides a wealth of information and tools for understanding watershed conditions and assisting local stakeholders in sustainably managing water resources and restoring coho populations.

 

For more information please refer to the links below:

 

 

 

 

 

Mean annual groundwater recharge
Minimum water depths and extent of reaches where flows between adjacent pools habitats become disconnected
Change in groundwater elevations between October 2009 and October 2014
Flow availability based reach classification and restoration prioritization recommendations map