Salmon Snapshots

Big River

Restoration Highlights

    • 7 fish barriers removed
    • 16 miles of stream made accessible to fish
    • 647 large woody debris structures added for instream habitat
    • 7.7 miles of instream habitat restored
    • 23 miles of roads decommissioned or upgraded to reduce sediment loading to streams
    • 44,500 cubic yards of sediment prevented from reaching streams
    • 8,600 acres of riparian habitat restored
    • 50 stream crossings removed or upgraded

    Restoration Organizations

    Priority Restoration Actions

    • Promote restoration projects to create or restore off channel habitats
    • Retain, recruit and actively input large wood into streams
    • Eliminate depletion of summer flows
    • Modify two barriers on James Creek
    • Develop riparian improvement projects
    • Develop a sediment reduction plan

    See all National Marine Fisheries Service Recovery Plan restoration actions at


    Restoration Highlights compiled from Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund (PCSRF) Projects and Performance Metrics Database;California Fish Passage Assessment Database (PAD); DFW Fisheries Restoration Grant Program publicly available information; 5 Counties Salmonid Conservation project summaries; NOAA Restoration Center grant information; and Mendocino Redwood Company data (1998-2003). Metrics from 2000-2017 unless otherwise specified.

    Priority Restoration Actions are the Priority 1 Immediate Restoration Actions listed in the Final Recovery Plan for Central California Coast Coho Salmon Evolutionarily Significant Unit

    2001 US Fish and Wildlife Service Final Restoration Plan for the Anadromous Fish Restoration Program




    Drought is stressing our rivers, and it's even harder for young salmon to grow and thrive when there are barriers to their habitat. Luckily for them, big steps towards Big River's restoration began this summer. Mendocino Land Trust and California State Parks is replacing failing culverts along 8 miles of Big River Haul Road to reduce river sediment and improve salmon habitat and also to allow fish safe passage up Nelson Gulch. Read more  © Mendocino Land Trust 

    Nelson Gulch Fish Passage Project  The time lapse video captures the two-month construction effort in 2014 on Big River in the Mendocino Headlands State Park. The work was completed with a grant from the Natural Resources Agency, project management, procurement and administration by the Mendocino Land Trust, project design by the California Geological Survey with permitting, restoration and heavy equipment operation by California State Parks. Learn more. © Mendocino Land Trust 


    Mendocino Redwood Company upgraded a stream crossing and provided open access to additional rearing and spawning habitat.  Redwood Company

    Before: The Mendocino Land Trust sought to remove a sill that impeded salmon access to upstream habitat. © Michael Miller, Big River Program Manager, Mendocino Land Trust

    During: California Conservation Corps worked with Mendocino Land Trust to dismantle the sill on the Little North Fork. © Michael Miller, Big River Program Manager, Mendocino Land Trust

    After: Mendocino Land Trust sill removal opened up 10 miles of habitat for juvenile and adult coho and steelhead on the Little North Fork of the Big River. © Michael Miller, Big River Program Manager, Mendocino Land Trust

    Restoration efforts by the Conservation Fund have created more complex, braided channels, which provide additional habitat and protection from predators for salmonids. © Whitney Flanagan