NBTU’s main restoration project is at Devil’s Gulch which is part of the Lagunitas Watershed in Marin County. There are four phases in the project which will relocate a trail and provide refuge for salmon and steelhead fry and smolts during heavy periods of rain. This project is being undertaken in cooperation with the California State Parks.
Phase I was completed in August 2010. Five work teams installed six signs to notify park visitors of the fragile habitat, repaired a bridge damaged by a fallen tree and constructed 100 feet of split-rail cedar fencing to reduce the possibility of Coho salmon and steelhead being spooked off of their redds this winter by park visitors. Funding for Phase 1 was provided through a grant from the Marin Fish & Wildlife Foundation. A special thank you goes to Ralph Alexander and Associates for their plans and supervision of the work.
Phase II was completed in November 2010 and focused on eliminating erosion around the creek. Nine wattles (stray-filled burlap tubes) were installed on the Barnabee Trail to provide basins for sediment to accumulate instead of entering the creek. Eighteen plants were relocated into channels created by runoff in hopes of stabilizing the stream banks. A bridge (previously installed by NBTU) was repaired and 60 feet of split-rail fencing were installed to eliminate foot traffic on the creek banks. In October 2011 and November 2012, the wattles were replaced in advance of the rainy season and additional fencing installed to keep visitors on the trail and away from the creek. A number of steelhead fry were spotted on both outings.
North Bay Trout Unlimited (NBTU) replaced three culverts with wet crossings in Devil’s Gulch Creek, a tributary to Lagunitas Creek - one of California’s Southern most reaches of the endangered Coho salmon, in 2004. The uppermost crossing, on National Park land, was washed out by the 100 year storm of 2006. The watershed empties into Bolinas Bay and on to the Pacific Ocean. NBTU is continuing 40 years of work in the area by repairing a wet crossing to enhance water quality, habitat and open more spawning areas for migrating salmon and steelhead trout.
NBTU, with grants from Trout Unlimited, the Rockey Foundation, and Patagonia completed restoration of the wet crossing on October 12, 2013 installing rock walls and three layers of bio-technical fabric that will eliminate a source of sediment load downstream of the crossing.
At the same time, an existing wet crossing received a new grading which will permit fish to migrate farther upstream. NBTU volunteers harvested and planted native trees and bushes to help stabilize the banks and provide overhead shelter to lower water temperatures and provide protection for the young fish. Our previous restoration work indicates that we should expect to see fish in the upstream area as well as less sediment in the lower reaches.
NBTU would like to thank the following for their contribution:
Trout Unlimited Embrace-A-Stream Program
Firma Design Group
Pt. Reyes National Seashore
Phase III is currently awaiting approval by the CA State Parks and will re-route a portion of the trail to eliminate human contact with the fish.
Phase IV will consist of in-stream habitat restoration to provide refuge for young fish.
Thanks to the many volunteers who participated in Phases I and II and to the Dennis and Carol Ann Rockey Fund which is providing a grant to fund Phases III and IV. If you are interested in volunteering at Devil’s Creek or other conservation efforts, please send an email to info@NBTU.org.