California Trout and its partners are working to add Outstanding Waters protection for two Eel River tributaries. Here’s more from CalTrout:
Along with our partners, CalWild, Trout Unlimited, and the Pew Charitable Trusts, we recently identified and filed petition to the Regional Water Quality Board to designate two key tributaries of the upper South Fork Eel River — Elder Creek and Cedar Creek — to be protected as Outstanding Waters. These two creeks possess significant ecological value. Both are spring-fed headwater tributaries, and as the climate continues to rapidly warm, they represent resilience for flow and temperature regulation in California rivers. …
Elder Creek is one of the most studied stream segments in California, if not the world. The ecological value is well documented through decades of UC funded research, and is designated as a United Nations Biosphere Preserve. A portion of Elder Creek flows through the Angelo Coast Range Reserve, which is managed by UC Berkeley for scientific research. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) identified Elder Creek as eligible for National Wild and Scenic River Protection.
Due to its unique geology, Cedar Creek produces reliable, prolific summer baseflow even in critically dry years. In late summer and fall, this tributary contributes a majority of the stream flow in the South Fork of the Eel River, producing clean, cold water that provides a vital refuge for fish and other species during the hottest time of year. A recent dam removal project near the confluence will allow salmon and steelhead access to this cold, clean water for the first time in decades. A portion of Cedar Creek flows through the state’s Little Red Mountain Ecological Reserve, managed by CDFW. BLM also identified Cedar Creek as eligible for National Wild and Scenic River Protection.