Salmonid Restoration Federation

Holland Reservoir Planning Project

The Holland Reservoir Planning Project is assessing the Holland Reservoir and water supply system to support flow enhancement opportunities in Cahto Creek.

The Holland Reservoir is the largest privately-held reservoir on the North Coast of California and has tremendous restoration and flow enhancement potential for Cahto Creek which drains into the South Fork Eel River. SRF has a planning grant under the Cannabis Restoration Grant Program's Watershed Enhancement solicitation. This planning project includes assessments of the Holland Reservoir and water supply distribution system to support flow enhancement opportunities in Cahto Creek including: bathymetric survey, water level gauging, biological, water delivery system investigation, and identification of all water use by co-owners. Next, the project will facilitate dialogue among the existing water right co-owners and their successors, record water rights agreement clarifying quantity of water per owner and cost-sharing responsibilities, negotiating water conservation agreements, and file an amendment to the existing water right. These assessments and agreements will support development of 65% designs for an optimized distribution system and a plan to manage the reservoir for dry season flow enhancement. 

These assessments and negotiations will resolve long-standing insecurity among the water right co-owners. This will allow a functional and beneficial forbearance and/or drought management agreement to be attained. As such, significant on-paper and in-reality water can be made available for flow enhancement to the downstream reaches of Cahto Creek. Flow supplementation will result in aquatic and riparian habitat restoration and connectivity, offer protection to aquatic and riparian species, and alleviate the limiting factor of lack of water in the Cahto Creek watershed. 

Additionally, a major project component is developing 30% and 65% engineered designs to restore ~2,500 feet of Cahto Creek to its historic course through decommissioning a series of old mill ponds and massive diversion channel. The project team has identified this site as one of the highest priority opportunities for large-scale instream restoration that we have ever witnessed. The natural landscape has been drastically altered and the current landowner is willing to consider full restoration of the site. Restoration of this site will have far reaching benefits for native aquatic, riparian and upland native species within the project footprint, but will also greatly enhance habitat potential within the broader Cahto Creek watershed by restoring natural processes such as sediment transport while reducing landslide potential, and improving fish passage and water quality.

Holland Project Pictures

Restoration Partners

Salmonid Restoration Federation

The mission of Salmonid Restoration Federation (SRF) is to promote restoration and stewardship of California’s native salmon, steelhead, and trout populations and their habitat. To accomplish our mission, we have been working since 1986 to advance the art and science of habitat restoration for California’s precious salmonid species. We provide crucial educational services for landowners, community-based restoration organizations, consultancies, and state and federal agencies. SRF is the project manager of this planning grant.

Stillwater Sciences

Stillwater Sciences specializes in science-based, technical approaches to natural and water resource management. Using a collaborative and targeted approach, we integrate habitat and species information to understand critical ecosystem processes and identify effective measures for restoring and managing rivers and their floodplains as functioning ecosystems within the context of current conditions and future climate change. We work closely with our partner clients, including agencies, industry, and non-governmental organizations, to provide the technical information you need to make scientifically sound management decisions. Stillwater Sciences is the scientific lead on this project.


Mainspring Consulting is a female-owned and staffed, environmental consulting company, based in Ukiah, CA. We offer a range of adaptive services tailored to fit each situation and need. Areas of expertise include watershed restoration planning and implementation, grant development, water supply planning, cannabis environmental permitting and ongoing compliance, land management for fire preparedness and post-fire restoration, environmental conflict resolution, professional team building, and general environmental compliance. Mainspring Consulting is the project coordinator on this project.

Mendocino Magic

Mendocino Magic features the pristine Holland Reservoir - the largest private water holding in the North Coast region. Miles of trails wind throughout mountainous hillsides and scenic valleys. These former logging era pathways now lead guests around ponds, through manzanita groves and oak forests, to numerous campsites, weekend getaway cabins, furnished luxury canvas tents, and an exclusive and uniquely secluded woods ball paintball course. Mendocino Magic is the primary landowner associated with the Holland Reservoir.

Baker Water Law

Aaron Baker is the primary at Baker H20 Law. In practice for over 15 years, Aaron prides himself on his ability to use his understanding of the nuances of water law to work constructively with other parties in a dispute to find solutions that everyone can live with. Aaron’s clients include individuals, farmers, organizations, businesses, and other law firms seeking specialized water counsel. Aaron Baker is the water attorney working on this project.