Middle Subbasin Overview

The Middle Subbasin includes the area east of the Eel River from the confluence of Finch Creek (RM 7.8) to upstream of the confluence with Strongs Creek (RM 10.1) as well as a narrow parallel strip west of the Eel River.  There are seven named tributaries and 20.5 permanent stream miles in this subbasin. Drainage areas range from less than one to 16 square miles. Strongs, Rohner, Mill, Jameson, and North Fork Strongs Creeks all flow through the city of Fortuna for part of their length. The Eel River forms the western margin of much of the city as well. Some development has occurred on all of these stream’s floodplains. Stream elevations range from approximately 40 feet at the confluence of the Eel River with Finch Creek to approximately 1,700 feet in the headwaters of the tributaries.

The subbasin encompasses 24 square miles, occupying 14% of the total assessment basin area.  Lower elevations areas are mostly held in private parcels less than 40 acres in size while much of the higher elevation areas are owned by large timber companies and are managed for timber production.  This subbasin contains the largest human population in the basin within the town of Fortuna.  Fish surveys of the streams in this basin have identified the presence of coho, steelhead, and coastal cutthroat.
Attributes of the Lower Eel River Middle Subbasin
Area (square miles) 24
Percent of Basin 14
Miles of Stream (permanent + intermittent) 40 miles
Principal Communities Fortuna, Rohnerville
Predominant Geology Unconsolidated river terrace deposits 
Predominant Vegetation Conifer
Predominant Land Use Urban, Agriculture, Mining
Lowest Elevation (feet) 5
Highest Elevation (feet) 2,255
Salmonid Species Coho, Steelhead,
Coastal Cutthroat
Photo of the Eel River on the Fernbridge (approximately RM 7) looking downstream.
View of the Eel River and the communities of Fortuna and Rohnerville.