Habitat Restoration


San Gregorio and Pescadero creeks are central California coastal streams where coho salmon and steelhead trout once occurred in great abundance. Their survival is now threatened by a lack of adequate habitat. The RCD has undertaken several projects to improve habitat conditions in critical reaches of these priority watersheds.

To increase habitat complexity, projects often include large wood structures to interrupt and decrease water velocities during winter high flows. Large woody debris (LWD) also creates off-channel habitat where feasible, and can increase size and cover of pools during summer low-flows. All of these elements are essential for these fish. The design of the features implemented have been guided by natural habitat features observed in other similar watersheds with healthy populations of both coho salmon and steelhead.

An important component to this project is to design features that do not increase flooding on adjacent properties, and if possible, reduce the potential for bank erosion. To ensure the longevity of the structures, they must be durable and stable. Landowner and environmental concerns are carefully balanced to develop designs that achieve the objectives of multiple stakeholders in the watershed.


  • Integrated Watershed Restoration Program Technical Advisory Committee
  • Landowners

RCD Contact: Joe Issel

The RCD has completed the San Gregorio Creek Habitat Enhancement Project, and the Pescadero Creek Habitat Enhancement Project.