Title: Upper Carpinteria Creek Fish Passage Restoration Project
Goals: Improve fish passage and riparian habitat by removing the FINAL major barrier to migration
Funders: California Department of Fish and Wildlife, California Coastal Conservancy, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, California Fish Passage Forum, County of Santa Barbara CREF, Landowner
Partners: California Department of Fish and Wildlife, California Conservation Corps, Waterways Consulting, VJS Biological Consulting, Shaw Contracting, Inc., Sustainable Conservation
The Upper Carpinteria Creek Fish Passage Restoration involved the removal of the FINAL major barrier to migration in the Carpinteria Creek Watershed. After many years of work, the completion of this project now allows for the federally endangered steelhead trout to access all of the historic spawning habitat along the mainstem of the Carpinteria Creek watershed. For the first time in decades, ocean returning steelhead will be able to swim upstream to beautiful pools and continue their lifecycle.
The project removed an undersized bridge and ~100 feet of concrete from the stream channel. A new clear span wider bridge (Big R Manufacturing) with greater capacity was built to allow for safer access by the landowner. The stream channel was restored by adding natural rock and building a pool with large woody debris. The construction phase of the project began in late Summer 2015. After heavy equipment work was completed, the project site was re-vegetated with native riparian species. Re-vegetation efforts began in December 2015, in total over 165 native container plants were planted at the sites along with tree stakes (willows and sycamores) that were salvaged from the sites prior to construction.
This was the first project to be permitted under AB 2193 the Habitat Restoration and Enhancement Act in the California. The bill was passed in 2014 and co-sponsored by Sustainable Conservation and authored by Assemblymember Rich Gordon. The bill simplifies the permitting process with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to accelerate regulatory approval (30 – 60 days) for voluntary habitat restoration projects which help fish, wildlife and plants throughout the state. Click here for more information and to watch a video highlighting the project.
The project was funded by the Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Fisheries Restoration Grant Program, California Coastal Conservancy, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, California Fish Passage Forum, County of Santa Barbara CREF and the landowner.