Stanislaus River - An Overview

swedishstreakMechanics

Feb 22, 2014 (3 years and 5 months ago)

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Stanislaus River

An overview…

History and Background


One of largest tributaries to San Joaquin River


Development of Basin began during the Gold
Rush


River is about 96 miles long, three forks


Watershed is 1,075 square miles


Source elevation is 1,230 feet


Average annual outflow about one million
acre feet

Location


Upper reaches largely in Tuolumne County and in
Stanislaus National Forest


Three forks merge just upstream of New
Melones

Reservoir; Stanislaus River is boundary between
Tuolumne and Calaveras Counties


Enters Stanislaus County at Knights Ferry and
crosses Stanislaus County


At Riverbank becomes boundary between San
Joaquin and Stanislaus Counties to San Joaquin
River


Education and Awareness


Lots of publicity during long review of New
Melones

Dam and Reservoir


Major public education and awareness event
started three years ago
--
annual salmon
festival in Knights Ferry in November

visitors
increased from 1,500 first year to 3,000 last
year.

Public Access and Recreation


Lots of recreation activities including fishing and
whitewater rafting


Lots of parks and public access along the River
-
Federal provided by Corps, State and local


Calaveras State Park, Caswell Memorial State Park
Knights Ferry Recreation Area, Horseshoe Park,
Orange Blossom Park, Valley Oak Campground,
Oakdale Recreation Area, Jacob Meyers park,
McHenry Recreation Area, Two Mile Bar,
Goodwin Dam


Policy and Protection


Federal ESA laws protect Chinook and Riparian
Brush Rabbit and habitat


Calaveras County General Plan Goals:


Goal V
-
2 : Protect streams, rivers and lakes from
excessive sedimentation due to development
and
grading
.


Goal
V
-
3 : Protect and preserve riparian habitat along
streams and rivers in the County
.


Stanislaus County requires 200 foot setback from
riparian corridor


Policy and Protection
-
2


San Joaquin County General Plan has policies
to protect water quality and temperature,
protect riparian habitat, protect aquifer
recharge, protect riparian habitat and oak
trees, provide access to waterways and seek
input from community resource groups

Ease of Fish Passage


Watershed developed starting during Gold
Rush


Many dams built for irrigation and
hydroelectric power generation


New
Melones

last large dam built in California


Fish access blocked about halfway up River at
Goodwin Dam
--
built in 1913

Spawning Gravel


Spawning Gravel is a critical issue for
spawning success in the Stanislaus River


AFRP has funded several projects to enhance
spawning gravel sites in the Stanislaus


Coarse gravel moves downstream, dams
preclude gravel moving downstream


Projects to mine gravel from adjacent
floodplain areas and
recontour

flood plain for
annual inundation

Riparian Habitat


Projects have been funded and implemented to
restore and enhance riparian habitat for Riparian
Brush Rabbit populations on the Lower Stanislaus


Take a “flight” on Google earth

most of
Stanislaus River in San Joaquin County is within a
band of riparian vegetation, even adjacent to
urban areas.


Caswell State Park provides a very large area of
riparian vegetation along the Stanislaus River.

Water Quality and Temperature


Water temperature is critical to fish health


High water temperatures adversely affect fish
health and spawning


AFRP funded multi
-
year study of Stanislaus River
water temperatures


Temperature monitored for compliance with
NMFS requirements


DFG monitors at Knights Ferry


Dissolved Oxygen estimated via flow surrogates

Silt and Sediment Control


Silt and sediment balance has been disrupted
in the riparian system


Balance of sediment and gravel is necessary
for spawning success


Too much fine sediment disrupts spawning
success, but sediment is not critical factor

lack of spawning gravel is…


What is missing?


Please ask questions, or identify areas where
additional information is needed about
issues/projects on the Stanislaus


Contact me at: maramburu@pacific.edu