Sunday, March 23, 2008

Auburn Ravine/Coon Creek Environmental Restoration Plan Excerpt

Fisheries Resources
Protection and restoration of aquatic habitat for anadromous species is one of the primary
goals of the Auburn Ravine/Coon Creek ERP. Six objectives have been identified in
support of this goal (Table 5). Auburn Ravine, Coon Creek, and Doty Ravine provide
habitat of varying quality for Steelhead trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and chinook salmon
(Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), which are both special status species. The Draft ERP
identified a number of potential opportunities to enhance the aquatic habitat for these
species. However, additional information about how the species are currently using the
existing habitat, such as extent of migration and the location of active spawning and
rearing areas, is needed to focus habitat enhancement efforts.
This focus is desirable for several reasons. Restoration funds are limited and it is
important that projects undertaken provide a meaningful benefit to the species.
Implementing spawning area enhancements when adults cannot bypass the barriers to
reach spawning areas is probably not the most productive use of resources. In addition,
the complexities of private property ownership and the use of the channels for
conveyance and flood control must also be considered. Private property owners, the
water purveyors, and the local jurisdictions responsible for flood management have
expressed their willingness to participate in aquatic habitat enhancement efforts provided
the proposed projects are executed in a manner that reasonably reflects an understanding
of the actual uses and needs of the species in the local watersheds. For example, prior to
considering redesign of a diversion structure to provide passage, the operator would want
to know that there was a reasonable potential for the adults to even reach the structure.
Therefore, development of this comprehensive strategy has been identified as a first-tier
priority (FR6).
Another first-priority objective to enhance fisheries resources is to better manage the
import and transport of sediment in the creek corridor (FR7). This is considered a first
tier-priority because excess sediment is known to compromise aquatic habitat for many
species, and because some of the mechanisms of sedimentation, such as erosion,
backwatering, and flooding are creating significant other problems in the watersheds.
Four additional objectives have been defined for fisheries resources. These address
removal of barriers to adult migration (FR3), juvenile emigration (FR4) and enhancement
of spawning and rearing habitat (FR1 and FR5). Each of these objectives is important,
and is to some degree dependent on the comprehensive strategy described above for
focus. In reaches where salmonid presence and meaningful habitat restoration
Auburn Ravine/Coon Creek ERP Projects 13 Foothill Associates © 2004
opportunities are already known to exist, such as Coon Creek, the assessment and
removal of adult migration barriers should proceed concurrently with development of the
comprehensive strategy. This objective is thus assigned a first-tier priority. The
remaining three objectives are assigned to the second tier since efforts aimed at the
improvement of spawning and rearing habitat and juvenile emigration are most
meaningful only if barriers to adult migration are addressed.
Table 5 - Fisheries Resources Objectives
ID Objective Priority
FR6 Develop a comprehensive strategy to guide implementation of measures
to enhance salmonid habitat in the watersheds that identifies current and
historical migration timing and extent, determines locations of existing
and potential spawning and rearing habitat, and establishes habitat
restoration/enhancement priorities. Incorporate information developed
for the PCCP in this process.
FR7 Implement measures throughout watersheds to reduce excess sediment
and sediment imports. Coordinate with assessment, remediation, and
restoration activities under Water Quality and Plant Community tasks.
FR3 Based on the priorities established in the salmonid habitat enhancement
strategy, identify barriers for adult chinook salmon and steelhead trout
migration to spawning areas, such as diversion structures or gauging
stations, in all watersheds excluding Markham Ravine. This assessment
of barriers is already underway on Coon Creek. Develop a
comprehensive strategy for improving passage that considers priority,
flow, infrastructure needs, alternative structures, and ownership by 2009.
FR4 Based on the priorities established in the salmonid habitat enhancement
strategy, identify barriers for juvenile chinook salmon and steelhead trout
to the Sacramento River during emigration in all watersheds excluding
Markham Ravine, and develop a comprehensive strategy for improving
passage that considers priority, flow, infrastructure needs, alternative
structures, and ownership by 2009.
FR1 Based on the priorities identified in the salmonid habitat enhancement
strategy, select areas in the upper watersheds (excluding Markham
Ravine) that are determined to have good potential for spawning habitat
but where stream channel sediment concentration is excessive. Reduce to
target condition (particles < 6.35 mm in diameter to less than 20% of the
gravel/cobble substrate composition, and particles <0.833 mm in
diameter to less than 10% of the gravel/cobble substrate).
FR5 Optimize juvenile salmonid rearing habitat in the upper watersheds where
the potential for fish presence is high as determined by the salmonid
habitat enhancement strategy. Optimal habitat should have approximately
60 percent pool habitat and 40 percent riffle habitat.
Auburn Ravine/Coon Creek ERP Projects 14 Foothill Associates © 2004
For each objective, a set of tasks has been identified to support implementation of the
objective. The suggested sequencing for the individual tasks reflects the order in which
the interdependent activities should be implemented. Tasks that are not interdependent
are may be implemented concurrently. Not all objectives and tasks are relevant to each
of the four watersheds considered by the Draft ERP (Auburn Ravine, Coon Creek, Doty
Ravine and Markham Ravine). The AR/CC ERP database identifies which tasks pertain
to which watersheds.
4.1 Public Outreach

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