Dutch Bill Creek
Historically, Dutch Bill Creek was home to robust populations of coho salmon and steelhead trout, but these fish went into decline in the second half of the 20th century, and populations reached critically low levels in the early 2000s. Small numbers of coho continued to return to Dutch Bill Creek, however, and the stream provided some of the fish used to start the Russian River Coho Salmon Captive Broodstock Program.
The coho population decline triggered intensive efforts to restore salmon habitat starting in the mid-1990s. A number of instream large wood projects were implemented in high-value habitat reaches, and a watershed-wide effort to limit erosion undertaken, including an extensive project to prevent sediment delivery from dirt and gravel roads.
Critically low streamflows and streambed drying occur in portions of Dutch Bill Creek during the late summer and fall dry season. Pool disconnection and streambed drying are common in the low-gradient alluvial reaches near its confluence with the Russian River, but can also occur in the prime spawning and rearing reached in the central portion of the creek. This area is the focus of Coho Partnership efforts to improve streamflow, and we have implemented several projects aimed at reducing the amount of water drawn for the creek. Most notable among these is the Westminster Woods Water Conservation and Storage Project, which switched the source of irrigation water for a summer camp from a direct summer diversion to water drawn from springs and stored during the winter for summer use.
For more information, see Dutch Bill Creek Streamflow Improvement Plan or Dutch Bill Creek on the Gold Ridge RCD website.
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Santa Rosa, CA 95405
707-569-1448 ext. 104
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