Lower Ryan Creek Off-Channel Habitat and Floodplain Enhancement Planning Project

Project Dates: 
2022 to 2024

Project Leads

Funding Organizations: 
California Department of Fish and Wildlife

NRS received a grant through the CDFW Fisheries Restoration Grant Program to design year-round rearing habitat for juvenile salmonids in the lower Ryan Creek watershed. The Project is necessary because fish passage between lower Ryan Creek and its floodplain wetlands is tenuous and temporally limited. Access to and from refugia rearing habitat is critical for juvenile salmonid survival during high winter flows when fish seek refuge from increased water volumes, water velocities and increased turbidities.

This project will develop final design plans to enhance off-channel wetland features for salmonid rearing and improve floodplain connectivity to reduce stranding in the Ryan Creek watershed. The overarching, long-term goals of this project will be accomplished in the implementation phase, which will be dependent on funding. These goals include: 1) improve hydrologic connectivity between lower Ryan Creek, tributaries, and the extensive freshwater wetlands encompassing the project area; and 2) provide enhanced rearing habitat opportunities for listed salmonids while maintaining and improving conditions for native plant and wildlife species.

The goals of this planning and design project are to:

  1. Obtain guidance and technical expertise on overall project approach and scope from a Technical Working Group (TWG) consisting of natural resource agency scientists and experts, as well as landowners;
  2. Understand project site characteristics to inform project design, the CEQA process, and future permitting needs;
  3. Understand regulatory compliance needs and requirements, and complete CEQA documentation;
  4. Complete final designs, including a revegetation plan, for an off-channel Coho habitat and floodplain/wetland enhancement and connectivity project in the lower Ryan Creek watershed; and
  5. Draft a monitoring plan to support the pursuit of implementation funding and permits.