Please fill out this form to get updates about Sproul Creek including notices for upcoming meetings.
May 12, 2022- SRF hosted an in-person Sproul Creek Watershed Meeting (click link to find presentations)
May 11, 2022- Stella Girkins at KMUD News- Sproul Creek Community Meeting
Jan 18, 2022- Stella Girkins at KMUD News audio- Green Diamond Responds to Sproul Creek Watershed Management
Jan 13. 2022- Stella Girkins at KMUD Sproul Creek Augmentation Projects
KMUD News Interview on 12/13/21 promoting the December Sproul Creek Watershed Meeting.
Sproul Creek Action Plan-South Fork Eel River SHaRP Collaborative. 2021.
Click here to see a digital flipbook of photos from the West Fork of Sproul Creek (Summer 2020)
Sproul Creek Project Background
Sproul Creek is a critical tributary for juvenile salmonids in the South Fork Eel watershed. Since 2019, Salmonid Restoration Federation (SRF) has been conducting low-flow monitoring in order to understand the low flow trends and prioritize flow enhancement efforts in this impaired watershed that is home to residents as well as threatened species like coho salmon. This important tributary historically supported Coho, Chinook and steelhead and provided important cold-water refugia for juvenile salmonids yet it suffers from lack of adequate instream flows and high-water temperatures.
SRF is working closely with Stillwater Sciences, a leading consulting firm on the North Coast that is actively working in the South Fork of the Eel on restoration and flow enhancement projects. SRF and Stillwater Sciences have been restoration partners for several years and their engineers and geologists have completed a feasibility study for a portion of Redwood Creek (Miller Creek and a segment of the mainstem). Stillwater Sciences project team is exploring flow enhancement opportunities in the remainder of Redwood Creek.
This project complements the existing work of the project team and builds on the years of flow monitoring that Cal Trout conducted in Sproul Creek. In fact, SRF and Cal Trout began their independent flow studies at the same time with the understanding that it would be beneficial to do a paired study to understand flow patterns in both an impaired and unimpaired watershed (Redwood Creek and Sproul Creek respectively).
Redwood Creek is a densely populated watershed with approximately 400 parcels, hundreds of residents, and countless water diversions for legal and unregulated cannabis cultivation as well as small domestic use and homestead gardens. Comparatively, Sproul Creek is relatively unimpaired with large tracts of the watershed in private ownership including the Marshall and Wagner ranches and the former Barnum timberland that is now owned by Green Diamond Timber Company.
The goal of this project is to create an implementable plan for improving dry season streamflows in Sproul Creek, a sub-basin that is crucial to the recovery of threatened and endangered steelhead and salmon. The Implementation Plan will be closely integrated with past work by CalTrout and ongoing work by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the State Water Resources Control Board in the watershed, in order to identify specific projects and to enhance instream flows. Stillwater Sciences will create 65% project designs and do the initial permitting for the highest priority flow enhancement site as identified in the implementation plan.
According to the Salmon Habitat and Restoration Priorities process, Sproul Creek has high potential for recovery. The South Fork Eel is considered one of five priority watersheds in the state for flow enhancement projects. Sproul Creek has a strong history of restoration projects but without water in the creeks, salmon will not survive the increasingly longer dry seasons. This is a critical time for small and large landowners to convene and learn about flow enhancement opportunities that could benefit salmon, water supply reliability, and fire-fighting capacity.