This report summarizes the key findings from a conceptual analysis that was used to identify and prioritize high value restoration sites and stream reaches where coho rearing habitat can be enhanced within key cold water reaches of the Scott River system. There is a critical need to increase the quantity, quality and availability of complex, deep, slow water habitats for summer and over-winter rearing coho salmon within the Scott River system. It is important that a full understanding of the totality of the current condition of the Scott River Watershed be taken into context when trying to assess desirable conditions. Much of the historic range of habitat used by coho salmon consisted of the low gradient reaches of the Scott River and its tributaries. The loss of floodplain connectivity at varying flow regimes has critically reduced the available habitat to support juvenile salmon.
Restoration of these habitats is needed to increase coho smolt production and build ecosystem resiliency in advance of further impacts related to climate change, local droughts, and legacy and on-going land use practices. The underlying principle of this project is that of stewardship. A deeper understanding of the characteristics of the Scott River system will ensure that stewardship coupled with restoration actions will produce the most benefit for natural resources, human capital, and private and taxpayer funding. Many of the on-the ground projects resulting from this planning effort will likely be a win:win where habitat is restored and landowners also benefit from reduced destructive flooding and increased groundwater recharge.
This report summarizes the anthropogenic impacts within the watershed and outlines a series of possible restoration options which restoration practitioners, landowners and agencies might consider when developing strategies on ways to address limiting factors for coho salmon within the Scott River Watershed.Keyword Tags: