The Smith River Alliance was recently awarded $946,848 for the Lower Stotenburg Creek Coho Habitat Enhancement Implementation Project through Proposition 1 funds.

This project will restore 0.5 miles of Stotenburg Creek, a small tributary that provides vital winter refugia habitat for juvenile coho salmon, steelhead, and coastal cutthroat trout along the estuary of the Smith River.

Twenty-three projects were awarded twenty-six million dollars by California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

“These funds will be used to restore vitally important rearing habitat for our native salmonid populations that spawn every year in the Smith,” said Grant Werschkull, Co-Executive Director of the Smith River Alliance. “Our status as a Salmon Stronghold, is supported by restoration of key streams like Stotenburg Creek in the Smith River Estuary”.

The Project will address four different fish barriers, which includes removing two fish barriers and replacing two road crossings with a larger culvert and a bridge to improve access to rearing habitat. The work plan includes installation of riparian vegetation, 3.5 acres of cattle exclusion fencing and instream “Beaver Dam Analogues” or “BDAs” which will improve both the quality, and quantity of winter rearing habitat in Lower Stotenberg Creek.

This multi-benefit project has been years in the making, starting with a fisheries monitoring partnership with CDFW which started in 2013, the publication of the Smith River Plain Stream Restoration Plan in 2018, and collaboration with a private landowner which developed the agricultural friendly designs that will be implemented.

To read more about the important work we are doing in the Smith River Estuary, go to our website here.