Sonoma Resource Conservation District

Mill Creek

Mill Creek

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Watershed Overview

Current & Past RCD Programs:

Planning

  • The RCD worked on a design for a Large Woody Material (LWM) project along Mill Creek with funding from the Sonoma County Water Agency and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The design has over 51 sites for a one mile stretch of creek. The design will be proposed to the Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Fisheries Restoration Grant Program (FRGP) in 2017.
  • The RCD has started developing an in-stream habitat enhancement project in Mill Creek with the goal to enhance habitat complexity, cover, and scour. Additional funding and landowner interest is sought to design a larger project.

 

Watershed Scale Planning

  • The Mill Creek Watershed Management Plan is available for download on our Publications page. The goal of the plan is to work with watershed landowners and stakeholders to investigate and evaluate current and historic conditions as well as recommend a prioritized set of actions to improve water quality, sustain agricultural operations, and improve riparian and aquatic habitat conditions.

Water Resource Management

  • Sonoma RCD is one of six partners in the Russian River Coho Water Resources Partnership, a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Coho Keystone Initiative. The Partnership was formed in 2009 to develop a systematic approach to improve streamflow and water supply reliability in Mill Creek and four other sub-watersheds critical to coho recovery in the Russian River Watershed. The Partnership’s goal is to further the recovery of coho salmon through habitat and streamflow enhancements and improve water security.
  • The RCD is currently outreaching to landowners to develop and implement rain water storage projects along key stream reaches with the goal of improving water reliability for landowners and to keep more water in the stream during the dry season for salmonids. Coho Partnership.
  • Water Quality Monitoring Program is ongoing in several of the watersheds surrounding Mill Creek. The Sonoma RCD is working toward establishing a monitoring program in Mill Creek as well.

On-the-Ground Projects

  • The RCD plans to implement eleven Large Woody Material (LWM) sites on Felta Creek, a tributary to Mill Creek. The goal of the project is to increase habitat complexity, cover, and refugia for coho salmon. The design calls for the Accelerated Recruitment method, which consists of cutting trees in the riparian corridor and wedging/placing them in the creek for habitat. The project was made possible from funding from the Department of Fish and Wildlife and implementation will happen in Summer 2016.
  • Assessment of existing large wood instream habitat enhancement structures previously placed in Mill Creek and its tributaries as part of the Mill Creek Watershed Management Plan.
  • Implementation of the Salt Creek Habitat Restoration Project along 3,000 ft. of Salt Creek (tributary to Mill Creek) to lay back and revegetate eroding banks, and install wood structures designed to create pools and shelter to improve habitat quality for endangered salmonids.  
  • The Mill Creek Watershed has long been a focal area for the RCD’s Rural Roads Improvement Program. To date, road improvements have been completed in Palmer Creek and Felta Creek (both tributaries to Mill Creek). The RCD continues to implement projects identified through outreach and stream assessments.

Links to Other Important Programs in the Watershed:

For more information about the Mill Creek Watershed please contact Justin Bodell at 707.569.1448 ext 107 or jbodell@sonomarcd.org.