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Dry Creek Watershed Resource Management Plan

Miners Ravine

The Dry Creek watershed is one of the fastest-urbanizing areas in California. For the past two decades, the Sacramento and Roseville areas have experienced substantial development and growth.

Placer County had a 2000 population of 248,399, an increase of 43.8 percent over the 1990 population, and more than double the 117,247 residents in 1980. By 2020, the population is projected to grow by an additional 182,000. The resulting development has stressed the natural environment. Loss of riparian vegetation, stream bank erosion, and sedimentation of the streams have contributed to the perceived decline of water quality in Dry Creek.

In June of 1998, Placer County was awarded a $605,400 grant from the State Water Resources Control Board. The purpose of the grant was to prepare a resource management plan for the Dry Creek watershed, a Miners Ravine Pilot Restoration/Enhancement project and a watershed quality monitoring and assessment plan. Major components included:

  • Miners Ravine Restoration Project
  • Water Quality Monitoring
  • Watershed Management Plan
  • Public Outreach

The geographic scope of this project includes the Dry Creek watershed, located in the American River South Basin in the central portion of the Sacramento Valley and Sierra Nevada foothills in Placer and Sacramento counties. The watershed encompasses approximately 101 square miles and includes six tributary watersheds: Antelope Creek, Cirby Creek, Linda Creek, Strap Ravine, Secret Ravine, and Miner's Ravine. Water drains to the Sacramento River through the Natomas East Main Drainage Canal. (watershed map)

Hidden ValleyThe purpose of the project is two-fold:

  • Facilitate and support the development and implementation of a comprehensive resource management plan for the Dry Creek watershed; and,
  • Reduce long-term sediment load carried by Dry Creek.

Resource Management Plan

The development of a comprehensive resource management plan (CRMP) for the Dry Creek watershed is a necessary element to address the impacts on an urbanizing watershed and to improve the ecological health of the Bay-Delta Region. The CRMP includes the following elements:

  • Identifies areas of conflict and opportunities for resolution;
  • Develops recommendations on program activities to improve the watershed consistent with the project’s objectives;
  • Develops recommendations on future restoration/enhancement projects;
  • Prioritizes the recommended projects and activities and prepare a series of alternatives for implementation; and,
  • Provides a final recommended list of activities and restoration/enhancement projects to be funded by future funding sources.

The watershed analysis addresses riparian habitat, water quality, water flow rates during critical fish passage time periods, fish passage constraints, sedimentation, and an inventory of water intake devices that have the potential to threaten anadromous fish. Field surveys analyzed water quality, fisheries habitat conditions, riparian vegetation conditions (structure and composition), and stream flow characteristics (e.g., seasonal flow regimes, extreme event characteristics, and agricultural water deliveries).

Restoration ProjectMiners Ravine Pilot Restoration/Enhancement Project

Grant funding was also used to identify habitat restoration opportunities that positively influence sediment loading. The Miners Ravine Preserve restoration project included the following components:

  • Recontour banks
  • Floodplain creation
  • Debris removal
  • Non-native vegetation removal and control
  • Revegetation with native species
  • Barrier removal
  • Landowner intervention
  • Public education

Initial work commenced in late September 2002 and was substantially completed by December 1, 2002.

Restoration Project Details

Fish Passage Project Details