Napa River Fish Barrier Plan

napa river fish plan

This culvert along Dry Creek Road is a high-priority fish barrier.

Fish Barrier Plan Provides Direction for Future Projects

Man-made structures in waterways can often impact local fish populations by restricting access to ideal upstream spawning locations. The fish barriers in the Napa River watershed have contributed to observed declines in the populations of two native salmonid species: steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha). In 2008, the RCD conducted the Watershed Barrier Inventory, which catalogued and classified the various artificial fish migration barriers found in the Napa River watershed.

This information was used to direct the development of the Napa River Fish Barrier Plan, which took the 21 highest priority sites and completed detailed assessments and conceptual modification designs for each barrier. The plan identified 11 sites to be of highest priority, which, if repaired, could restore access to over 33 miles of high-quality salmonid spawning and rearing habitat. This information allows for the pursuit of funding opportunities that will in turn lead to the completion of restoration projects capable of significantly improving the availability of high quality aquatic habitats.

Quick facts:

  • Significance: Over time, many structures have been constructed in the Napa River watershed that have reduced or completely eliminated access to many ideal spawning locations for local salmonid species. Assessing and crafting a plan to remove barriers is an important step to restoration efforts in the Napa River watershed.
  • Where: 21 Sites located throughout the Napa Valley.
  • Results: This project took 21 high-priority fish barrier sites that had previously been identified by the RCD and created detailed assessment reports and conceptual modification designs for each site. The resulting plan provides a clear strategy for future barrier removal projects and helps the RCD to prioritize efforts.
  • Funds: Napa County Wildlife Conservation Commission, State Coastal Conservancy