The Santa Rosa Creek Watershed Management Plan was funded by California Department of Fish and Game’s (CDFG) Fisheries Restoration Grant Program to develop a technically sound plan that addresses the strategic and scientific needs for watershed management, restoration planning, and south-central California coast steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) recovery in the Santa Rosa Creek watershed, and that will be effective within current and foreseeable land use, water supply, and land ownership patterns in the watershed.
Specifically, the objectives of the watershed management plan are to assess existing conditions, prioritize limiting factors for steelhead, and identify and prioritize restoration recommendations to address these limiting factors and improve physical functions and ecological conditions in the watershed.
The watershed management plan was developed through the collaboration of a broad spectrum of participants. Stakeholders representing community sectors including agriculture, business, the community services district, planning advisory groups and fishing interests, and who work or live in the watershed, met periodically throughout the development of the watershed management plan to advise and inform the process, contribute historic and current information, assist in evaluating the accuracy of existing conditions and to review information and provide comments. In addition, a Technical Advisory Committee reviewed key watershed management plan elements, and input from the public was solicited at three public workshops.
Physical processes and ecological conditions in the Santa Rosa Creek watershed have been affected by historical clearing of land, groundwater pumping, urban development, bank revetment, historical mercury mining, land management practices, and road building. These activities have increased hillslope erosion and fine sediment supply to creek channels, resulted in channel incision, exacerbated low flows in the summer and fall, degraded riparian and aquatic habitat conditions, created barriers to fish migration, decreased water and sediment quality, and introduced non-native invasive species. Several of these effects limit the population of steelhead in the watershed by dramatically reducing instream flows in the summer and fall, decreasing pool habitat and large woody debris for summer and winter rearing, restricting their migration, and possibly limiting the potential for lagoon rearing.
The watershed management plan includes a suite of management, restoration and study recommendations based on the synthesis of existing watershed conditions, steelhead limiting factors analysis, results of a geomorphic assessment and benthic macroinvertebrate sampling conducted specifically for the watershed management plan, and input from stakeholders and technical advisors. The recommendations present multiple ways to address steelhead limiting factors and conserve and improve physical processes and ecological conditions in the watershed, and are designed to be implemented individually, or in combination, on a voluntary basis, by or with the consent of willing landowners. Recommendations are presented by their ultimate objective and are listed in order of their relative importance to steelhead habitat restoration:
- • Restore the riparian corridor
- • Reduce fine sediment delivery to the creek
- • Conserve and protect open spaces and existing land uses
- • Increase large woody debris supply and retention
- • Remove barriers to fish passage
- • Fill key data gaps
- • Reduce mercury supply
- Figure 1-1: Vicinity
- Figure 1-2: Topography and Streams
- Figure 2-1: Historical Timeline
- Figure 2-2: Rancho Santa Rosa Coffman 1995
- Figure 2-3: Land Use
- Figure 2-4: Williamson Act
- Figure 2-5: Precipitation
- Figure 2-7: Geology
- Figure 2-8: Sediment Sources
- Figure 2-9: Water Resources
- Figure 2-12: Barriers
- Figure 2-13: Mercury Sampling
- Figure 2-24: Land Cover
- Figure 2-25: SRC Lower Reaches, 1937 to 2009
Stakeholder Meeting Agendas Minutes: