Tajiguas Ranch Phase 3

Title: Rancho Tajiguas Barrier Removal Project – Phase 3

Cost: $400,000

Goals: Improve fish passage and riparian habitat

Funders: California Department of Fish and Wildlife, NOAA Fisheries, Landowner

Partners: California Department of Fish and Wildlife, California Conservation Corps, Waterways Consulting, VJS Biological Consulting, Peter Lapidus Construction

The Rancho Tajiguas Barrier Removal Project – Phase 3 involved the removal of a low flow crossings and a concrete dam. Both structures were removed and the stream channels regraded to provide fish passage through the project site. Rancho Tajiguas, is a private property that encompasses the entire 6.2 square mile watershed of Tajiguas Creek on the Gaviota Coast near Santa Barbara, California. The project followed upon the successful Phase 1 efforts which were completed in 2011 and restored approximately three miles of steelhead spawning and rearing habitat. Completion of Phase 2 and the final Phase 3 have opened up over six miles of historic steelhead habitat.


The construction phase of the project began in late Summer 2014. The concrete was removed, the channel regraded, three large pools were created, the stream banks were restored and re-vegetation with a variety of native riparian species. Re-vegetation efforts began in December 2014, in total over 150 native container plants were planted at the site along with tree stakes that were salvaged from the sites prior to construction.


The project was funded by the Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Fisheries Restoration Grant Program as well as by the property owner. Removal of the barriers significantly improved conditions for steelhead within the Tajiguas Watershed along the Gaviota Coast.