Lower Subbasin Overview

The Lower Subbasin includes the area above the confluence of Redwood and Prairie creeks upstream to the confluence of Redwood and Devil’s creeks including Devil’s Creek watershed. The Lower Subbasin includes the planning watersheds of McArthur Creek, Bond Creek, Bridge Creek, Copper Creek, and Devils Creek. The lands within the Lower Subbasin are in public ownership and managed by Redwood National and State Park (RNSP). Lower Subbasin streams support populations of Chinook, coho, steelhead and coastal cutthroat trout.

Lower Subbasin Summary
Square Miles 69.51
Total Acreage 44,488
Private Acres 275
Public Acres 44,212
Principal Communities None
Predominant Land Use Park land
Predominant Vegetation Type Redwood forest
Miles of Anadromous Stream 24.5
Low Elevation (feet) ~10
High Elevation (feet) 1,286
The lower mainstem of Redwood Creek is an important migratory route for anadromous salmonids because it provides access to Lower Subbasin tributaries and upstream spawning areas. The mainstem may also serve as spawning habitat for Chinook salmon during low water years. Elevated water temperature and lack of channel complexity are the most limiting factors for juvenile anadromous salmonids in the lower reaches of the mainstem Redwood Creek during the summer months.

Juvenile Chinook, coho, steelhead, and coastal cutthroat have been observed in Lower Subbasin tributaries. These streams provide important salmonid spawning and year round rearing habitat. Water temperature is generally suitable in the tributaries year round. However, tributary streams lack sufficient area in deep, complex pools. Spawning gravels were moderately to highly embedded in fine sediments, which is considered unfavorable for successful incubation of salmonid eggs.

The Lower Subbasin offers opportunities for both implementing and effectiveness monitoring of stream and riparian habitat improvement activities. Based on the surveyed sites, appropriate stream habitat improvement activities for Lower subbasin streams include reducing sediment inputs by stabilizing stream bank and hillslope erosion, increasing depth and complexity of existing pool habitats, promoting near stream conifer growth, and adding shelter complexity to cool water refuge sites.