Salmon Snapshots

Eel River - South Fork

Restoration Highlights

    • 23 fish barriers removed
    • 71 miles of stream made accessible to fish
    • 510 large woody debris structures added for instream habitat
    • 16 miles of instream habitat restored
    • 23 mile of riparian corridor restored, including 63,873 plantings
    • 4.6 miles of streamside livestock exclusion fence installed
    • 450 miles of roads decommissioned or upgraded to reduce sediment loading to streams
    • 876,500 cubic yards of sediment prevented from reaching streams
    • 7.6 miles of streambank stabilized
    • 1,082 stream crossings removed or upgraded


    Restoration Organizations

    Local Restoration Groups

    Actively support these salmon restoration groups with your donations, volunteer time and expertise:

    Other Participants and Agencies

    Priority Restoration Actions

    • Increase instream flows by reducing diversions
    • Determine effects of marijuana cultivation and minimize if necessary
    • Increase large woody debris (LWD), boulders, or other instream structure
    • Restore natural channel form and function by addressing confinement and channelization
    • Reduce abundance of Sacramento pikeminnow
    • Reduce sediment barriers formed by alluvial deposits at the confluence of tributaries

    See all National Marine Fisheries Service Coho Salmon Recovery Plan restoration actions at


    Restoration Highlights compiled from DFW Fisheries Restoration Grant Program publicly available information; UC Davis Information Center for the Environment (ICE) Natural Resource Projects Inventory (NRPI); Six Rivers National Forest input (USFS); 5 Counties Salmonid Conservation project summaries; California Fish Passage Assessment Database (PAD; Trout Unlimited project reports; NOAA Restoration Center grant information; Mendocino Redwood Company data (1998-2003); and Humboldt Redwood Company data (1999-2012). Metrics from 2000-2012 unless otherwise specified.

    Priority Restoration Actions are the restoration actions listed in the Recovery Strategy section for each coho population in the Final Southern Oregon/Northern California Coast Coho Salmon Recovery Plan.

    Latest watershed plan: 2014 South Fork Eel River Assessment Report

    PWA’s Engineering Geologist Tom Leroy talks about the placement of the Large Wood structures near an old road crossing on Anderson Creek with Trout Unlimited Anna Halligan and Elizabeth MacKey and Usal Redwood Forest’s Chief Forester Linwood Gill. Anderson Creek is a 4-mile long tributary to Indian Creek, a prime Coho tributary to the South Fork Eel River. In 2017 and 2018, Usal Redwood Forest Company with the help of Pacific Watershed Associates (PWA),Trout Unlimited (TU) and Eel River Watershed Improvement Group, decommissioned approximately 2 miles of streamside roads. This prevents approximately 8,000 cubic yards of sediment from entering Anderson Creek on Usal Redwood Forest. In addition, PWA and the California Conservation Corp placed 43 Large Wood structures designed to sort sediment and create complex fish habitat.

    After seven years of planning and preparation, the Woodman Creek Fish Passage Project, a tributary of the Eel River is completed. Crews removed the railroad embankment that buried the mouth of Woodman Creek. This opened access to 14 miles of prime salmon and steelhead spawning and rearing habitat for the first time in over a century. This project supported 33 quality local jobs, putting $2.2 million into the local economy while providing significant ecological benefits to the region. Learn more here and hereWatch Woodman video© California Trout

    In 2009 the Redwood Forest Foundation worked to remove an old crossing on the Clark Fork tributary of Standley Creek, which flows into the South Fork Eel River. © Redwood Forest Foundation

    Two years after removal of an old "stringer bridge" the Redwood Forest Foundation reviews the results of restoration of on the Clark Fork tributary of Standley Creek, which flows into the South Fork Eel River, in the Usal Redwood Forest. © Redwood Forest Foundation

    Confluence of Anderson Creek and Indian Creek after log jams were removed. Today, Usal Redwood Forest is supporting restoration work, putting large wood back into the streams in strategic locations and positions to encourage pool scour and habitat complexity. During our last visit, juvenile coho were plentiful and seen for miles along Anderson Creek. © Usal Redwood Forest

    The Salmon Restoration Federation is leading a project that evaluates the feasibility of transferring Sanctuary Forest's Mattole headwaters water conservation and forbearance program to neighboring Redwood Creek, a tributary of the South Fork Eel. Read more. © Dana Stolzman, SRF

    Before: Pacific Watershed Associates, Trout Unlimited, and the landowner, Redwood Forest Foundation, at work in the Usal Redwood Forest. The partners decommissioned a stream crossing that was a fish passage barrier in Standley Creek, a tributary to the South Fork Eel. This unculverted crossing was failing and delivering eroded sediment downstream. © Pacific Watershed Associates

    After: Pacific Watershed Associates, in partnership with Trout Unlimited and the Redwood Forest Foundation, restored fish passage and saved approximately 5,000 cubic yards of sediment from entering Standley Creek. Re-establishing the stream bed and sideslopes was a critical element in stabilizing & reopening the site to fish passage.  © Pacific Watershed Associates

    Volunteers walk the riverbank following the removal of invasive Scotch and French broom. A stone structure installed in 2000 can be seen in the foreground. @ Save the Redwoods

    The Mendocino Redwood Company replaced a culvert with a single span bridge over Walters Creek in the South Fork Eel, improving fish passage. © Mendocino Redwood Company

    The Salt River Ecosystem Restoration Project has been developed in collaboration with landowners and resource and regulatory agencies over 30 years to restore and improve hydrologic function and fish and wildlife habitat in the Salt River watershed. Learn more at Salt River Ecosystem Restoration Project  2015 Monitoring Report © Humboldt County RCD

    Randy Klein (L), Consulting Hydrologist, and Bill Eastwood (R), Monitoring Coordinator, stand at a streamflow monitoring site and discuss monitoring techniques and best practices for recording river flows. They are part of the Monitoring Team for the Redwood Creek Water Conservation Project, which was initiated by Salmonid Restoration Federation to engage landowners and stakeholders in a coordinated, community-based water conservation effort in critical reaches of salmon habitat on the South Fork of the Eel River. Learn more © Salmon Restoration Federation

    NOAA Fisheries and California State Parks are removing the 80 year old Benbow Dam, slated for completion by end of 2016. This is the 2nd largest dam removal in California. The project will improve passage to nearly 50 miles of high-quality spawning and rearing habitat for Chinook, coho, and steelhead. © California State Parks