Upper Gobernador

Title: The Upper Gobernador Creek Fish Passage Restoration Project

Cost: $800,000
Goals: Improve fish passage into the perennial headwaters of Gobernador Creek
Funders: California Department of Fish and Game, National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, California Coastal Conservancy
Partners: California Department of Fish and Game, Waterways Consulting, California Conservation Corps, VJS Biological Consulting, Peter Lapidus Construction, Carpinteria Creek Watershed Coalition, Santa Barbara County Flood Control District


Upper Gobernador Canyon Barrier Removal project was completed in 2011. The fish passage restoration project along Gobernador Creek, removed the last major barrier to fish migration between the headwaters of Gobernador Creek and the Pacific Ocean. The barrier was just downstream of the County debris basin which was modified to allow for fish passage in 2008. The barrier which was removed was a low flow crossing across the creek that created a significant jump height greater than 10 feet that was considered completely impassable to steelhead trout.


The project was awarded funding from the DFG and NOAA fisheries. The project involved the removal of the low flow crossing, regrading of the stream channel and installation of three rock weirs and root-wad structures, designed to create pool habitat for steelhead at the site. A new bridge was installed to provide the property owners access across the creek, and native re-vegetation efforts were done to restore the riparian cover at the site. The project was an essential component to restoring steelhead runs to the Carpinteria Creek Watershed and is a tremendous accomplishment for SCHR and the Carpinteria Creek Watershed Coalition.