Friday September 1, 2023

CalTrout News

Amidst the largest remaining contiguous old-growth coastal redwood forest in the world, just off Highway 101, Bull Creek trickles by.  This modest 41.5 square mile watershed has incredible potential to support endangered salmonids – but the conditions in the creek are not yet quite right for fish. Soon, completion of a restoration project on the Hamilton Reach of Bull Creek will change this giving existing coho populations in the South Fork Eel River watershed the chance to migrate through.

Throughout their lifecycles, salmonids need varied water temperatures. When they are young, they might need warmer water, and as they grow, they seek out colder temperatures. They need different summer and winter habitat to thrive. Ultimately, these fish need habitat year-round that can fulfill the full spectrum of their lifecycle needs. For salmon in the South Fork Eel watershed close to Bull Creek, their needs are not met without the restoration of the creek.  

“Salmonids need less homogenous environments,” explained Christine Davis, CalTrout North Coast Project Manager. “They need more varied conditions, and that’s what this project is providing.” 

Davis works closely with California State Parks staff to manage the Bull Creek restoration project, which is located in Humboldt Redwood State Park in Humboldt County. Restoration, which began in June 2023, will provide habitat for fish in summer and winter. In summer, deep pools will provide cover and keep the water cool. In winter, off-channel habitat will provide refuge from high flows. 

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