Elk Creek Fish & Restoration
Development activities around timber harvest and Crescent City expansion has caused simplification of streams, disconnection from the floodplain, and degraded the quality of riparian vegetation (NMFS 2014). Coastal wetlands and estuarine habitats that may have existed in the lower basin have been dredged, channelized, and/or filled (NMFS 2014). These altered channel and hydrologic conditions have reduced: 1) water storage capacity; 2) aquatic and riparian habitats; and 3) the natural water cleansing capabilities of the basin. Long (>500 ft) undersized culverts further reduce hydrologic function while also limiting habitat availability and creating fish barriers for coho salmon. Lastly, historical channel modifications create ideal habitat for invasive reed canary grass, which leads to impaired water and habitat quality.
The proposed feasibility study will assemble the information needed to develop a master plan to solve multiple complex issues and provide multi-benefit restoration opportunities and increase the resilience of Elk Creek and Crescent City.