Salmon Snapshots

Cottonwood Creek

Restoration Highlights

    • 2 fish passage barrier removed
    • 40 miles of stream made accessible to fish
    • 63 miles of roads decommissioned or upgraded to reduce sedimentation from old roads 
    • 69 stream crossings upgraded to reduce sedimentation 
    • 7 miles (254 acres) of riparian habitat restoration (non-native invasive plant removal)
    • Small bank stabilization and re-vegetation project


    Restoration Organizations

    Priority Restoration Actions

    • Enhance watershed resiliency in Beegum Creek and the greater Cottonwood watershed by identifying and implementing projects that would reduce the potential for, and magnitude of a catastrophic wildfire, restore meadows to potentially increase summer flows and reduce local water temperatures, or increase riparian shade.
    • Develop and implement a spawning gravel augmentation plan in Beegum Creek.
    • Protect/enhance existing riparian habitat and corridors in Beegum Creek and the greater Cottonwood watershed.
    • Apply NMFS gravel mining criteria to all gravel mining projects in Beegum Creek and the greater Cottonwood watershed.
    • Integrate riparian habitat restoration into bank protection and other stream side development projects in Beegum Creek and the greater Cottonwood watershed.


    Restoration highlights compiled from the US Fish and Wildlife Service Anadromous Fish Restoration Program (AFRP) website; Ecosystem Restoration Program (ERP) summary reports; Central Valley Improvement Action annual reports; California Fish Passage Assessment Database (PAD); the UC Davis Information Center for the Environment (ICE) Natural Resource Projects Inventory (NRPI); US Bureau of Reclamation website; California Department of Water Resources website, and US Forest Service - Shasta-Trinity National Forest staff.

    Priority Restoration Actions are the Priority 2 Immediate Restoration Actions listed in the California Central Valley Salmon & Steelhead Recovery Plan. There are no Priority 1 actions.


    Restoration Plans: 

    2007 Cottonwood Creek Watershed Management Plan (Cottonwood Creek Watershed Group)

    2014 Ecosystem Restoration Program Conservation Strategy for Restoration of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, Sacramento Valley and San Joaquin Valley Regions

    2014 National Marine Fisheries Service California Central Valley Salmon & Steelhead Recovery Plan

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


    BEFORE: The 80 year-old Hammer Dam, a small domestic hydropwer dam, on the South Fork of Cottonwood Creek in Tehama County was demolished in October 2014 as part of a multi-agency fish passage project, including the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the landowner. © Tricia Bratcher, California Department of Fish and Wildlife

    Hammer Dam demolition - Slow motion video

    Slow motion footage of the demolition of the Hammer Dam. © Doug Killam, California Department of Fish and Wildlife

    AFTER: The Hammer Dam removal project has restored access for anadromous fish to an additional ten miles of historic holding, spawning and rearing stream habitat for spring-run Chinook salmon and steelhead. Learn more© Tricia Parker Hamelberg/USFWS

    The Cottonwood Creek Anderson-Cottonwood Irrigation District (ACID) siphon had become exposed once again in Cottonwood Creek and posed a passage problem for adult salmonids. Construction of the Cottonwood Creek ACID Siphon Project to alleviate this barrier was completed in November 2010. This project improved access to 30 miles of spawning habitat for fall run and spring run Chinook salmon and Central Valley steelhead. © Tricia Bratcher, California Department of Fish and Wildlife 

    US Forest Service has storm-proofed 63 miles of roads in the Beegum Creek watershed to reduce sedimentation coming from old roads and failing stream crossing. This work included replacing culverts from old and undersized pipes, constructing rocked rolling dips and other work to protect spring run Chinook and steelhead. © US Forest Service Shasta-Trinity National Forest

    Video cameras at the Cottonwood Creek station site were used in conjunction with a partial weir to record the passage of upstream migration fall-run Chinook salmon. Organizations facilitating the monitoring include the CA Department of Fish & Wildlife, Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, Cottonwood Creek Watershed Group, Western Shasta RCD, US Fish and Wildlife Service Anadromous Fisheries Restoration Program and US Bureau of Reclamation. Learn more © California Dept of Fish and Wildlife