Yolo Bypass and Putah Creek Restoration Projects
Field Tour Coordinators:
Rich Marovich, Solano County Water Agency
Karin Young, Putah Creek Council
Putah Creek flows east from Cobb Mountain in the Mayacamas Range to the Yolo Bypass on the Sacramento Valley floor. With guaranteed flows due to the Putah Creek Accord, it is one of only a few creeks that perennially flows east into the Sacramento Valley. Below Monticello Dam, it provides a rare riparian corridor in a landscape otherwise dominated by agriculture and cities.
After the landmark Putah Creek Accord in 2000, partner organizations and agencies have implemented riparian restoration projects on the 25+ miles of creek between the Putah Diversion Dam and its terminus in the Yolo Bypass. These projects have included channel realignment to improve hydrologic function with limited flows, installation of rock weirs, gravel scarification, erosion control, invasive weed removal, and planting efforts with large-scale community involvement.
This tour will begin at the Monticello Dam at the base of Lake Berryessa and work downstream through the cities of Winters and Davis before ending in the agricultural fields of the Yolo Bypass. Discussions will include the history of Putah Creek, which went dry in 1988, and how the Accord has directed restoration and management practices since 2000.
Since Fall 2013 Putah Creek has experienced significantly higher than normal numbers of fall-run Chinook. While the run is expected to be largely hatchery strays, the potential for a naturalized run has galvanized community interest in local salmon and highlighted the need for ongoing habitat improvement projects.