Mill Creek is a tributary to Dry Creek, west of the City of Healdsburg
in the Russian River watershed. Other major tributaries within this
sub-basin include Felta, Wallace, and Palmer Creeks.
Mill Creek and its tributaries drain a basin of approximately 24
square miles and has a total of 29 miles of USGS blue-line streams
with an elevation gradient ranging from 1,400 ft. at the headwaters to
approximately 60 ft. at the Dry Creek confluence. The watershed is
primarily hardwood, chaparral and conifer forest with land use being
mainly timber, rural residential and vineyards.
The Mill Creek watershed is considered to be a high priority
watershed for coho recovery and was identified as having some of
the best summer rearing habitat in the Russian River watershed
according the Russian River Biological Opinion (National Marine
Fisheries Services, 2008). Water quantity was among the greatest
areas of concern identified in 2002 by the California Department of
Fish and Game (DFG). In addition to coho salmon, the watershed
supports habitat for numerous aquatic species including steelhead,
sculpin, and Pacific giant salamander.
Juvenile coho have been released from the
Russian River Coho Salmon Captive Broodstock Program
into Mill and Palmer Creeks annually since 2004.
A number of resource enhancement projects addressing
sedimentation, fish passage and habitat enhancement are currently
being identified and developed to build upon past efforts in this
watershed. Sotoyome RCD is formulating a watershed assessment
and action plan for the Mill Creek watershed as a part of the
Fisheries Restoration Grant Program, sponsored by DFG. The plan
will provide tools and resources for the stewardship of this unique
- Sediment reduction on rural roads.
- Fish passage enhancement.
- Riparian vegetation enhancement.
- Instream habitat enhancement.
- Watershed Assessment and Action Plan currently being developed.
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