Save Our Salmon

The Salmon Creek Habitat Rehabilitation Program

young coho salmon
Photo courtesy of Brock Dolman
Coho and other salmonids have been the focus of watershed restoration efforts designed to improve habitat conditions for the fish and assist in their long-term survival in coastal California. In Salmon Creek, the Gold Ridge RCD has been an important part of these efforts, conducting assessments of watershed and habitat conditions, working with local landowners on stream protection and restoration projects, and helping to inform the public about the ecological and economic importance of coho.

Efforts to restore the fish in Salmon Creek have been given a huge boost by the California Department of Fish and Game, which has released spawning adult coho into the stream for the past four winters. But improvements to both summer flows and instream habitat must continue if the coho are to thrive once again in Salmon Creek.

Save Our Salmon, Phase I

In 2009, the Gold Ridge RCD, working with our partner, Prunuske Chatham Inc., secured a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to fund Phase I of the Save Our Salmon Program (SOS). The program had two purposes: to implement restoration and resource protection projects to improve habitat conditions in Salmon Creek, and to create jobs and stimulate the west county economy. Implementation of SOS Phase I projects was complete by early 2011.

Click here for a summary of SOS Phase I projects.

Save Our Salmon, Phase II
- Salmon Creek Rural Water Conservation Project

Small water tank
In the spring of 2012, the Gold Ridge RCD secured grant funding from the California Department of Fish and Game to continue the successful rainwater catchment and storage work started as part of SOS Phase I. Under the Salmon Creek Rural Water Conservation Project, we will construct up to 10 additional rainwater catchment systems on residential and small agricultural parcels in and around the town of Bodega.

  • Rainwater systems collect rainfall from roofs and other hard surfaces during the winter to be stored for summer use.

  • They are intended to provide landowners and residents with an alternative source of water for outdoor, non-potable purposes (such as gardens, landscaping, livestock, etc.).

  • The projects are not intended to increase the water supply; rather they are meant to REPLACE water drawn from the BWC system, from shallow, near-stream wells, or directly from Salmon Creek and its tributaries.

  • Rainwater catchment systems are designed to fill to capacity even during a drought year, thereby providing a more secure water supply.

  • Systems include plumbing to convey water from the catchment surface (usually a roof) to storage tanks, as well as a pump and pressure tank so that stored water can be used. The systems do not include plumbing for water distribution - this is the responsibility of the landowner.

  • Program participants are asked to sign an agreement to use the stored rainwater in lieu of extractive water sources.

Planning for SOS Phase II rainwater systems will start during 2012, with construction to follow in 2013. If you are interested in participating, please fill out and return a landowner questionnaire. You can find a link to the questionnaire in the left margin of this page.

For more information, contact John Green, Lead Scientist, Gold Ridge RCD.

Gold Ridge Resource Conservation District
2776 Sullivan Rd., Sebastopol, CA 95472
phone: (707) 823-5244   |   fax: (707) 823-5243

many thanks to the Sonoma County Water Agency for funding the development of this website