Sonoma Resource Conservation District

Habitat Enhancement

The RCD works in partnership with landowners, resource agencies and local contractors to develop and implement riparian and instream enhancement projects on rural and agricultural lands throughout our District. These projects have multi-benefits both for landowners and for salmonids and other aquatic species that utilize the stream habitat. Riparian enhancement projects are often focused on expanding the riparian corridor, removing invasive species and improving species diversity. These projects are done with the goal of increasing bank stability, protecting against flooding and climate change, improving stormwater management, preventing erosion, improving water quality and water temperature.

Some projects may include other components to more specifically improve instream conditions for salmonids. Adding large wood and boulders to streams can slow water, create areas and pools where fish can rest during migration or live during the freshwater phase of their life cycles. Log structures can also provide cover to keep water cool and protect fish from predators.

Existing high-quality habitat can also be made available to fish by removing or modifying structures that block fish from migrating upstream. Many historic road crossings, dams and other structures that span stream channels make it difficult or impossible for fish to swim upstream beyond the structure. The Sonoma RCD works with willing landowners to assess how these structures can be modified, removed, or replaced in order to improve fish passage while maintaining the function of the structures for the landowners' use. Focus watersheds for these programs include Austin Creek, Dry Creek, Mill Creek, Maacama Creek, Mark West Creek, Laguna de Santa Rosa, and Sonoma Creek Watersheds, and the Petaluma River Watershed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more information on riparian enhancement projects contact Aaron Fairbrook, Project Manager, at 707.569.1448 ext 106 or afairbrook@sonomarcd.org or contact Justin Bodell, Project Manager, at 707.569.1448 ext 107 or email jbodell@sonomarcd.org.