Upper Subbasin Overview

The Upper Subbasin includes the watershed area along the Eel River from Barber Creek to Dean Creek at the town of Rio Dell, a distance of 7.5 miles.  It also includes the Van Duzen River from its mouth to Cummings Creek, approximately 9 miles above its confluence with the Eel River. There are 21 named tributaries and 64.3 permanent stream miles in this subbasin. This assessment area encompasses the upper delta agricultural lands.  Stream elevations range from approximately 40 feet at the confluence of the Eel River with Barber Creek to approximately 2,160 feet in the headwaters of the tributaries.  This subbasin is the largest of the Lower Eel Basin at 75 square miles, 43% of the total basin area.  This subbasin is mostly held in private parcels 40-500 acres in size with some sections owned by large timber companies and managed for timber production.  Chinook, coho, steelhead, and Coastal cutthroat trout have each been documented in fish surveys of the Upper Subbasin.

Attributes of the Lower Eel River Upper Subbasin
Area (square miles) 75
Percent of Basin 43
Miles of Stream (permanent + intermittent) 133 miles
Principal Communities Hydesville, Carlotta, Rio Dell
Predominant Geology Wildcat Group 
Predominant Vegetation Conifer
Predominant Land Use Forestry, Agriculture, Mining
Lowest Elevation (feet) 30
Highest Elevation (feet) 2,435
Salmonid Species Coho, Chinook, Steelhead
Scotia Bluffs
Eel River between Rio Dell and Scotia (RM 21). Spring 2007
Photo of a landslide on the Eel River, near Scotia following 2005/2006 storms.
View of Nanning Creek entering the Eel River at RM 20. Spring 2007