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Fall Creek Fish Ladder Improvement Project Begins

by Bob Garbarino

The San Lorenzo Valley Water District has announced that work has begun in Felton to improve fish migration up into Fall Creek—a tributary of San Lorenzo River. Early last year, our club submitted a letter in support of this project. This was in response to a request from one of our members, Carly Blanchard, who happens to be The San Lorenzo Valley Water District Environmental Programs Manager. The existing fish ladder—built thirty years ago—had steps too tall to allow the fish to easily move up the creek. The re-design incorporates lowering the ladder steps from eighteen to twelve inch steps. This is critical to make the trip upstream easier for steelhead and coho salmon. The water district has been working with the National Marine Fisheries Services and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife on the design to meet current accepted standards. The budget for the project is about $2.3 million with $1.1 million coming by way of a grant from the CDFW Watershed Restoration Grant Program. Completion date is expected to be October 2023.  Great work Carly!
By the way, there is a trail that follows Fall Creek in the Fall Creek Unit of Henry Cowell State Park that is beautiful, especially this year after all the rain. Check it out if you get a chance.
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