The Anadromous Fish Restoration Program

Cottonwood Creek

map of watershed showing location of dams and major roads

Watershed Information

Species 1967-1991 Baseline Target 1992-2009 Average Increase Percent Change
fall-run Chinook salmon 2,964       5,900       1,584       -1,380       -46.6      
  Watershed area:   938 square miles
  Watershed Priority:  medium to high
  Total storage:  3,600 acre-feet
  Historic:   130 miles  
  Current:   130 miles  ( 100 %)
     Patricia Bratcher
     Brenda Olson
2009 will the final year of a 3-year study on video weir use on Cottonwood Creek, which measured fall-run Chinook entry into the watershed. As of fall, 2009, environmental documentation on the non-native plant species removal will be completed; implementation will begin in 2010, with a focus on the South Fork of Cottonwood Creek and moving downstream. The ACID siphon project on mainstem Cottonwood Creek is projected to be implemented in 2010, as well as the beginnings of a study of geomorphological conditions/sediment budget for the watershed. As of end of 2009, using only funding from AFRP projects as a criteria, it is estimated that 0% of the work needed to address Cottonwood Creek’s limiting factors (from the Final Restoration Plan) and implement watershed actions has been completed other than providing critical inventory data; however, if one were to include funding from other sources, roughly 32% of the potential solutions to limiting factors (Actions) have been addressed. FY09 AFRP projects, once implemented, will address 14% of the identified actions.
  Projected number of restoration projects:   >5   Projected total cost of restoration:   $10,000,000.00
  Total invested to date:  AFRP    $222,820.00  other    $970,000.00


No AFRP projects have been conducted on this Watershed.


Results of the 2007 Cottonwood Creek Video Station Fall-Run Chinook Salmon Escapement. 2008, 0.914 mb (.914 MB)

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Actions and Evaluations

Status Description
Not Addressed A5. Establish, restore, and maintain riparian habitat on Cottonwood Creek.
Not Addressed A4. Facilitate watershed protection and restoration to reduce water temperatures and siltation to improve holding, spawning, and rearing habitats for salmonids.
Not Addressed A3. Eliminate adult fall-run chinook stranding by stopping attraction flows in Crowley Gulch or by constructing a barrier at the mouth of Crowley Gulch.
Ongoing A2. Restore the stream channel to prevent ACID Siphon from becoming a barrier to migration of spring- and fall-run chinook salmon and steelhead.
Not Addressed A1. Establish limits on instream gravel mining operations by working with state and local agencies to protect spawning gravel and enhance recruitment of spawning gravel to the Sacramento River in the valley sections of Cottonwood Creek.


Arundo on Cottonwood Creek Cottonwood and Dry Creek confluence Cottonwood Creek Cottonwood Creek aerial photo Cottonwood Creek aerial photo Cottonwood Creek aerial south fork and mainstem Cottonwood Creek at Snake Lake Cottonwood Creek Bald Hills Cottonwood Creek Beegum watershed Cottonwood Creek flood event Cottonwood Creek looking downstream from Lema west Cottonwood Creek looking upstream from Lema east Cottonwood Creek railroad bridge Cottonwood Creek railroad bridge Cottonwood Creek upper watershed Middle fork Cottonwood Creek South fork Cottonwood Creek at highway 36