Santa Cruz, CA
831.421.9291
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  Portland, OR
503.227.5979
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Blackwood Creek Stream Restoration

woodydebris webClient: US Forest Service

Waterways staff led an interdisciplinary team to assess existing conditions within the Blackwood Creek Watershed. Blackwood Creek is a major tributary to Lake Tahoe, drains a mix of steep volcanic and granitic terrain, has a high bedload transport rate, and was historically impacted by grazing, logging, and instream gravel mining. Key impacts identified during the study were excessive bank erosion and channel widening associated with channel incision and loss of floodplain connectivity and the presence of several fish passage barriers. To restore the physical processes that sustain channel morphology and biological function, an aggressive, long-term restoration strategy was proposed.

The projects completed or in the design phase include:

  • Removal of a concrete dam and non-functional fish ladder and replacement with a natural boulder step-pool channel (completed 2004),
  • Removal of an existing failed concrete ford crossing and replacement with a three-span 140-foot bridge and restored channel that incorporates boulder weirs for fish passage enhancement (completed 2006),
  • Installation of over 40 engineered log jams and boulder structures designed to increase channel length, induce sediment deposition, protect eroding banks, and improve floodplain connectivity (two phases of construction in Summer 2008 and 2009), and
  • Enhancement of an incised primary and secondary channel to increase roughness, encourage sediment deposition, and set the stage for reactivation of the secondary channel (completed in Summer 2010)


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Project Menu

Central California Project Portfolio
Aptos Creek Watershed Assessment and Enhancement Plan
Attiyeh Ranch Conservation Easement
Camp Pico Blanco Fish Ladder and Dam Retrofit
City of Santa Cruz Watershed Management Plan
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Geyer Quarry Restoration Plan
Mitchell Creek Dam Removals & Fish Passage Improvements
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Pajaro River Care Project
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Salmonid Enhancment Plan for the San Lorenzo River
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Soquel Creek Floodplain Restoration
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Valencia Creek Fish Ladder
Watsonville Sloughs Landfill Site Restoration near Ramsay Park
Watsonville Sloughs Manabe Property Wetland Restoration
Watsonville Trails Master Plan
West Valley College Stream and Wetland Enhancement and Riparian Trail Plan
Zayante Area Sediment Source Reduction Plan
Northern Cal-Nevada Project Portfolio
Big Meadow Creek Watershed Assessment
Blackwood Creek Stream Restoration
Cold Creek/ High Meadow Ecosystem Restoration
Coldstream Floodplain Enhancement Project
Edgewood Creek Watershed Assessment, Enhancement Plan, & Restoration
Hat Creek Restoration
Hope Valley Meadow Restoration
Independence Lake Log Cribwall and Fish Barrier Design
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Perazzo Meadows Geomorphic Assessment
Russian River Projects
Sonoma County Fish Passage Projects
St. Helena Comprehensive Flood Protection Plan
Trout Creek Restoration
Upper Carson River Watershed Assessment
Pacific Northwest Project Portfolio
Batwater Station Floodplain Enhancement Project
Clackamas County Water Environment Services Action Planning & Geomorphic Monitoring
Dairy Creek- Sturgeon Lake Restoration
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Fox Creek Restoration Plan
Gales Creek Restoration Planning
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Jackson Creek Restoration Plan
Lower Clatskanie Floodplain Restoration
Lower Cottonwood Creek Points of Diversion Modification Projects
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Milton Creek Large Wood Enhancement Project
Murtaugh Creek Fish Passage
North Fork Deep Creek Habitat Enhancement Project
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Salmon and Cox Creek Fish Barrier Improvement Project
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Southern California Project Portfolio
Arroyo Grande Creek Channel Flood Mitigation
Circle G Ranch Fish Passage Improvement
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