Santa Cruz, CA
831.421.9291
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  Portland, OR
503.227.5979
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Southern California Project Portfolio

 

Explore some of our Southern California projects using the cluster map or by viewing the items below.

DSC01634 webClient: Coastal San Luis Resource Conservation District

The primary objective of this project was to develop a planning document to restore and enhance aquatic habitat conditions for steelhead trout in the Morro Bay watershed. Specific tasks included oversight and review of field data collection by Resource Conservation District programs, organization and review of existing and historical data, field reconnaissance of potential limiting factors, interaction with agency staff and members of the public, and development of the Restoration Planning document. Recommendations and restoration priorities were developed based on the results of the limiting factors analysis and input from agencies and the public. This project was funded by the Morro Bay National Estuary Program, California Department of Fish and Game, and the California Coastal Conservancy.

IMG 2471webClient: Coastal San Luis Resource Conservation District

NOAA Fisheries Recovery Plan for steelhead populations lists Pismo Creek as a high priority system for the recovery of the South Central California Coast Steelhead ESU.  Limiting factors to their continued survival in the Pismo Creek Watershed are water withdrawals and fish passage barriers.  One of the most significant fish passage barriers in the lower portion of the system is a Union Pacific Railroad Crossing that blocks all life stages of steelhead under all flow conditions.  Incision downstream of the concrete culvert railroad crossing has resulted in a 12 foot drop over the concrete structure along with a broad concrete apron through the culvert itself that creates shallow flow under most discharges.  A series of Denil fish ladders was installed at the site in the 1980's but has proven to be ineffective at providing fish passage and requires constant maintenance from debris and bedload. 

RodriguezClient: County of San Luis Obispo

Waterways was contracted by the County of San Luis Obispo Public Works Department (Utilities Division) to provide assessment, design and construction observation services for the improvement of fish passage conditions and the protection of a waterline in Arroyo Grande Creek at the Rodriguez Bridge crossing. Our work also included preparation of a design report and response to comments from NMFS fish passage engineers.


Just upstream of Rodriguez Bridge there was an exposed concrete encased water supply line within the bed of Arroyo Grande. Channel scour on the downstream side of the encasement had nearly undermined the encasement, potentially leading to structural failure of the pipeline, and leaving a 3 foot hydraulic drop that created a partial barrier to fish passage.
The designs for fish passage improvements and pipeline included installation of a roughened channel. The channel was reconstructed for approximately 250 feet, using imported rock to provide a smooth transition in the stream profile and hydraulic conditions conducive to fish passage. Two pools and a woody debris structure were incorporated into the project to provide resting and rearing habitat. Additionally, boulder weirs were installed to maintain pool scour and grade control through the project area.


Steelhead were not found in the project reach during pre-construction field surveys. However, steelhead were observed both upstream and downstream of Rodriguez Bridge, and near the installed woody debris structure during post-construction monitoring. The project has greatly improved fish passage conditions and is meeting established success criteria.

P7080089 webClient: Coastal San Luis Resource Conservation District

Channel and riparian conditions along Tally Ho Creek within the project area look much different today than they did several hundred years ago. Pressure to utilize flat valley bottoms for agriculture and, later, suburban development, resulted in removal of much of the riparian vegetation, filling of wetlands, road building, and straightening and deepening of Tally Ho Creek. Cleared portions of the valley bottom now consist of single family homes and Tally Ho Road, and Tally Ho Creek has been confined to the eastern edge of the valley floor.