Dry Creek Habitat Enhancement Demonstration Projects

    Updates and what's happening now

    On June 16, 2014 contractors will begin summer 2014 construction. Expect to see trucks with logs, tree roots and boulders in the area (Dry Creek Road, West Dry Creek Road and Lambert Bridge Road). Construction will take place on weekdays and traffic interruptions will be minimal.

    The Quivira portion of the project was completed in the fall of 2012. Over heavy periods of rain, antennas in the new backwater channel registered steelhead fish taking advantage of the calm waters. Fisheries staff have also recorded many fish in the backwater.

    Construction of the Corps project (below Warm Springs Dam) was completed in 2013.

    dry creek pre-construction


    dry creek during construction

    During Consruction

    dry creek post-construction


    Dry creek high water event

    Post-Constrction High Water Event

    View more construction photos on the Water Agency's Facebook Page...

    Watch a video of December 2012's high flows in Dry Creek. Principal Program Specialist Dave Manning tells us why fish like the new backwater channel located at Quivera Winery.


    The Russian River Biological Opinion (issued in 2008 by National Marine Fisheries Service) requires the Sonoma County Water Agency (Water Agency) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to provide hiding places and refuge in Dry Creek for young coho salmon and steelhead trout. While the cold, clean water in Dry Creek is ideal for salmon and steelhead, the water moves too fast for young fish to thrive. The Biological Opinion requires that six miles of habitat be constructed in the 14-mile long creek. The first mile of enhancements, which includes logs, boulder and thousands of native plants, must be complete by 2014.

    Dry Creek Habitat Enhancement Demonstration Project MapDownload map

    Download Conceptual Design Report (July 2012)

    The Water Agency is working with a willing group of Dry Creek landowners on a one-mile habitat enhancement demonstration project. The purpose of the project is to demonstrate to regulators, landowners, and local decision makers the feasibility of Dry Creek habitat enhancements on a smaller scale and, in particular, to determine how they could be constructed, what they may ultimately look like, and how effective they are before implementing the full six miles of habitat enhancements on Dry Creek. The project is centered on Lambert Bridge, near the middle of Dry Creek.

    On November 15, 2011, the Water Agency Board of Directors approved the demonstration project and the environmental document (described below) analyzing the project.

    Dry Creek Habitat Enhancement

    Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration for the Habitat Enhancement Demonstration Project

    The Sonoma County Water Agency (Water Agency) is the Lead Agency under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) for the proposed Dry Creek Habitat Enhancement Demonstration Project (Dry Creek Demonstration Project). The Water Agency prepared an Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration (Initial Study) for the project in accordance with CEQA. The Water Agency’s Board of Directors approved the Initial Study on November 15, 2011.

    Full Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration of Environmental Impact, including Appendices (PDF, 25MB)