Middle Subbasin Overview

The Middle Subbasin begins at the confluence with Long Valley Creek and extends upstream to the northern end of Little Lake Valley, north of Willits. The Middle Subbasin has an area of 34 square miles (9,958 acres) and represents approximately 11% of the Outlet Creek Basin area. The subbasin is very rural and does not contain a principle community. The human population is estimated at 1,065 residents. Land ownership is 99% private and land uses consist primarily of agriculture, timber production, and large rural residential properties.

Chinook and coho salmon and steelhead trout spawn and rear in this subbasin. Rainfall is impounded by six dams located in the Southern Subbasin. Impounding flows inhibit the upstream adult Chinook and coho salmon spawning migration to Outlet Creek. During late summer and early fall, flows dissipate and become subsurface in some of the tributaries, causing juvenile salmonid stranding and in some cases mortality. Natural low flow conditions are severely reduced by dewatering, much of which is related to illegal marijuana cultivation.