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Lassen Creek Restoration Project (Modoc County, CA)

The Lassen Creek Project has been in the works for over two years. Implementation started in August of 2005 and is expected to be completed by October. This project is based on “pond-and-plug” restoration technique designed to return stream flow to a more natural elevation, meander, and bankfull capacity so that the stream regains its historic interaction with the floodplain.

This method is commonly applied to incised stream channels where adequate floodplain is available to relocate the “design” channel. On Lassen Creek, the channel had been altered by irrigation ditches and past management practices that had severe impacts to the morphology of the channel.

As one of the key tributaries for Goose Lake redband trout, Lassen Creek was a top priority for action by the Goose Lake RCD and CA DFG. A plan was developed by StreamWise in 2003 and implemented in 2005. The plan included relocation of the stream from the irrigation ditch and incised channel to a constructed design channel in the center of the meadow. Extensive revegetation was conducted to promote stability in the first season of flow. The gully and irrigation channels were filled to floodplain elevation by excavating a series of ponds along the gully.

The project is designed to:

•  restore groundwater hydrology to the meadow

•  improve fish habitat and passage

•  reduce water temperature by reducing stream width

•  enhance the riparian corridor vegetation

•  reduce lateral erosion and downstream sediment transport

Photo Gallery - click to open thumbnails

Upper section of Channel
Filling of the incised gully. (Sept. 2005)
 willow growth and floodplain recovery.
Filled portion of the former irrigation ditch. (Design channel in background)

Diversion structures below headwater springs.

Constructed design channel with sod mat transplants. (Sept. 2005)

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