Meeting Slated to Discuss Dry Creek Construction this Summer


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    June 13, 2013 - For Immediate Release


    Healdsburg, CA— Major construction will be happening in the Lambert Bridge area of Dry Creek this summer on the first mile of habitat enhancement for endangered coho salmon and threatened steelhead and Chinook.

    An annual community meeting hosted by Supervisor Mike McGuire, the Dry Creek Valley Association, Winegrowers of Dry Creek Valley, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and the Sonoma County Water Agency (Water Agency) will be held on Thursday, June 27th, 6-8 pm at the Lake Sonoma Visitors Center to provide information on the planned construction. In addition, there will be information on plans for the second and third miles of habitat enhancement.

    The first mile of habitat enhancement is divided into two major components:

    • Corps Project -- The Corps is enhancing 1,400-feet of property it owns directly below the bridge at Warm Springs Dam. Construction has begun and is being conducted by Contractor Services Group.
    • Dry Creek Demonstration Project -- The Water Agency is working with willing landowners  (Amista Vineyards, Dry Creek Vineyard, Doug Lipton & Cindy Daniel, Carole & Geno Mascherini, Quivira Vineyards and Winery, Rued Winery, Seghesio Family Vineyards, Peter & Marian Van Alyea, Ron Wolmer, Yellow Dog Vineyard) to construct about one mile of habitat enhancements near Lambert Bridge. Construction will begin approximately June 15 and continue into the fall. Local company Hanford Applied Restoration & Conservation will be completing the construction of multiple habitat enhancement features on about 3,500 feet of Dry Creek.

    Elements of the projects include bank stabilization to reduce erosion, anchored boulders to create small rapids, anchored log jams, and side channels to provide refuge for young fish and native plants to reduce erosion and create shade. The majority of the construction on both projects will be happening in the creek and won’t be visible to residents and visitors. More than 1,700 logs and root wads will be used to create refuge for the young fish that live in Dry Creek, so the most obvious sign of the project will be trucks carrying material to the habitat enhancement sites.

    “There will be a lot of activity in and around Dry Creek this summer and we invite all of the neighbors to join the conversation on June 27,” said Water Agency Director Mike McGuire. “This is an exciting project whose success is due to the incredible partnership with local landowners.”

    “The Corps is excited to be building enhancements that will provide habitat for the young coho and steelhead that are raised at the Don Clausen Fish Hatchery,” said Mike Dillabough, Chief of Operations, San Francisco District. "We value our partnership with Sonoma County Water Agency as we jointly focus on environmental restoration and sustainability."

    This project will contribute to the six miles required in National Marine Fisheries Service’ Russian River Biological Opinion. The Biological Opinion was issued in 2008, and requires the Water Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to improve habitat for juvenile coho and steelhead in Dry Creek as an alternative to reducing summertime flows in the creek. (The high velocity of water flowing in Dry Creek in the summer was found by NMFS’ biologists to be detrimental to the survival of young coho and steelhead.)

    “It has been my life’s wish to provide for a more environmentally friendly future for the next generation, said Don Wallace, partner, Dry Creek Vineyard, which is one of the project sites. “I believe that this project does exactly that and at the same time, it shines a light to a better way for citizens and government to work together for the common good.”

    Since nearly all of the 14-mile Dry Creek is privately owned, the required six miles of habitat enhancement is dependent on partnerships with landowners. Access to the creek will be necessary for several years to maintain, repair and monitor the enhancements, which include side channels and backwaters, large wood features, riffles, and revegetation to control erosion and provide shade.

    “The habitat enhancement project will benefit the community, watershed and endangered species,” said McGuire. “We are committed to protecting and enhancing Dry Creek’s natural and agricultural value for the benefit of residents, farmers and generations to come.”

    Dry Creek carries water from Lake Sonoma to the Russian River and is a critical component of the Water Agency’s water transmission system serving 600,000 people. To learn more about NMFS’ Biological Opinion and Dry Creek requirements go to

    Event Details

    • Date:              Thursday, June 27
    • Time:              6-8 pm
    • Location:        Lake Sonoma Visitors Center 3333 Skaggs Springs Road, Geyserville, CA


    The Sonoma County Water Agency is working to secure our future by investing in our water resources, community and environment.  The Water Agency provides water supply, flood protection and sanitation services for portions of Sonoma and Marin counties. Visit us on the Web at


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