Issues


Water quality conditions (flow and temperature) in the late summer and early fall are limiting juvenile salmonid survival.

Water quality conditions (flow and fine sediment) in the early winter are limiting adult salmonid upstream spawning migration.

Fine sediment is contributed to the stream by eroding stream banks, poorly maintained roads, and culverts.

Instream habitat could be improved by increasing canopy, pool depth, structure, and barrier removal.

Findings

Water quality conditions (flow and temperature) in the late summer and early fall are limiting juvenile salmonid survival.

Analysis of gage data showed low and absent flow conditions frequently occurred during the months of August and September from the 1950-90s;

Flows were frequently less than 1 cfs and had intermittent flows during the summer of 2004;

Subsurface flow conditions disconnected from the streams in Little Lake Valley from the mainstem of Outlet Creek and the lower reach of Outlet Creek and the mainstem Eel.

Legal and illegal water diversions exist throughout the basin;

Water temperatures were unsuitable on the mainstem with a few tributaries within suitable ranges.

Water quality conditions (flow and fine sediment) in the early winter are limiting adult salmonid upstream spawning migration.

Analysis of gage data showed that low or absent flow conditions frequently occurred during the month of November in the 1980-90s;

Four out of the five dams were built between 1962-89. These dams increased the water impounds 65%.

Local fishery biologists frequently observe adult Chinook salmon unable to migrate up into Outlet Creek for spawning due to low flow conditions upstream.

Fine sediment is contributed to the stream by eroding stream banks, poorly maintained roads, and culverts.

Bank erosion of streams running through Little Lake Valley likely deliver the most fine sediment to the basin. Debris slides located throughout the basin are also a major contributor of fine sediment;

Non-earthflow and earthflow related to naturally occurring erosion (background) contribute the most fine sediment. Non-earthflow from timber harvest, roads, and agriculture/grazing activities is contributing small amounts of fine sediment;

Embeddedness did not meet target values in many locations.

Instream habitat could be improved by increasing canopy, pool depth, structure, and barrier removal.

Canopy density did not meet target values in many locations;

Pool depth did not meet target values in some locations;

Instream cover did not meet target values in most locations;

Barriers to juvenile salmonid migration exist.

Recommendations


What watershed and habitat improvement activities would most likely lead toward more desirable conditions in a timely, cost effective manner?

Recommendations  Activities Basin  Northern Middle Southern
Flow and Water Quality Enforce bypass flows during the summer and early fall to support juvenile salmonid survival.       X
  Enforce bypass flows during the late fall and early winter to support the salmonid spawning run.       X
  Continue and expand stream flow gage monitoring. X X X X
  Continue and expand water quality (temperature, dissolved oxygen, and fine sediment) monitoring. X X X X
  Conserve water during the summer and fall months. X X X X
Erosion and Fine Sediment Reduce bank erosion. X X X X
  Reduce fine sediment input from roads, culverts, and other land use activities. X X X X
  Reduce sediment input from debris slides where possible.
  X X  
  Use exclusion fencing where erosion caused by grazing livestock.   X   X
Riparian and Instream Habitat Revegetate stream banks to develop and expand canopy. X X X X
  Add large woody debris and other structure to increase cover and pool depth and frequency. X X X X
  Removal barriers to migration.  X  X  X  X
Education, Research, and Monitoring Develop and support water quality monitoring. X X X X
  Develop and support water conservation education with the City of Willits.       X
  Continue efforts to develop watershed, landowner, and road association groups. X X X X