Bibliography Background About KRIS

Garcia River Flow Data

Flow data in KRIS Garcia come from U.S. Geologic Survey (USGS) records for the lower main Garcia River available on the Internet. Records of average daily flow are in cubic feet per second. Water years begin on October 1 of the prior calendar year. For example, the 1966 water year started on October 1, 1965.  Annual peak flows were measured at USGS Gauge #11467600 for years 1952-1956 and 1963-1983. Graham Matthews and Associates, under contract to Friends of the Garcia River (FROG), estimated peaks in years for which there were no USGS flow records between 1952-1991. They used a regression analysis with flows from the Navarro River near Navarro, CA, USGS gage #11468000. A stage height gage has been operated by FROG since but stage height at flood levels have not been calculated. Consequently, there are no peak flow data on the Garcia River available since 1991, although there have been several large storm events in that period (i.e. January and March 1995 and January 1, 1997). See the Stream Flow KRIS Garcia Background page for more information.


Rainfall Data for Garcia River Watershed and Vicinity

Rainfall data are available in KRIS Garcia from several rain gages in or near the watershed. Data were acquired from the National Weather Service California Data Exchange Center database and James Goodridge, former State Climatologist and now consultant to the California Department of Water Resources. The rain gages used include: Point Arena (DWR # F80 7009 00) in the western Garcia basin, Sail Rock Ranch (DWR # F80 7639 50) on the coastal plain west of the South Fork Garcia watershed, Point Arena 12NNE (DWR # F80 7009 50) in upper Brush Creek, and Yorkville (DWR # F80 9851 00) to the east. The Mendocino Water Agency has rainfall records form the lower Garcia River basin since 1997.


Historical Photos Courtesy of the Held-Poage Historic Home and Mendocino Historical Society

Historical photos in the KRIS Garcia project were scanned from the collection at the Held-Poage Historic Home and Research Library in Ukiah. Rights to use the photos in KRIS were granted by the Mendocino Historical Society. This treasure trove of historical images allows us to see channel conditions and land and gain valuable insight into an era before scientific data was collected. The images are for viewing in this project only and further use of these photos requires the express and written permission of the Mendocino Historical Society. Photo negatives were collected by Robert Lee who developed the prints on display at Held-Poage and also allowed their use in KRIS. Photos date back as early as the 1850s. Notes are from Mr. Lee and numbers in his reference system are entered in the captions for the photos.


California Department of Fish and Game Survey Data

August 1952 Electrofishing: The California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) collected data using electrofishing as early as August 1952 (CDFG, 1953), when the Garcia River was sampled to help determine if streams with anadromous fish should be opened to summer "trout" fishing. The Navarro and Gualala rivers were also sampled in the study. Fish were identified, counted and salmonids measured to fork length. Kimsey (CDFG, 1953) felt that there were few larger rainbow trout and that small salmonids were predominantly anadromous juveniles. He found both steelhead and coho juveniles in the mainstem Garcia River. 

August 1968 Seine Netting: The California Department of Fish and Game (1968) sampled the Garcia River at two locations on August 22-23, 1968 using a seine net. The purpose of the study was to determine if sucker populations had increased and salmon and steelhead populations had declined. Fifteen passes with the net were taken above Highway 1 and 14 passes were made below Eureka Hill Bridge, which was the second sampling site. 

Jones/Harris 1983-2001 Electrofishing: Biologist Weldon Jones began sampling various stream locations throughout Mendocino County watersheds in 1983 with CDFG biologist Scott Harris following a similar regime since 1996. Jones' complete observations and those accumulated from others are available as NMFS (2000). Some long term comparative datasets have been generated where block nets are used and specific reaches are revisited annually. This allows comparison of standing crops and biomass in the defined reach over several years. In the Garcia River basin, only the South Fork has been sampled with block nets and for only five years between 1987 and 1992. 

Other samples are one pass electrofishing without block nets and cannot be used for quantitative purposes, however, they do provide a snap-shot of the fish community structure. Electrofishing samples are generally taken in August through October when juvenile migration has abated and the resident fish population is most easily characterized. Some aquatic vertebrate species and non game fish may have been recorded in earlier surveys. Non detection of a species, such as coho salmon, cannot be taken as total absence from the entire stream.  The ratio of coho to steelhead, and the change in this ratio over time, reveal information about habitat change and suitability (see Fish Population Background page).


Lower Garcia River August 2002 Dive Observations

In August 2002, sites on the Garcia River electrofished by Kimsey (CDFG, 1953), above Highway 1 and below the North Fork, were re-sampled using direct observation dives to see whether the fish community or the age structure of salmonids had changed. Additional sites surveyed in 2002 included near Eureka Hill Bridge and at the Hooper Ranch (Oz). Fisheries biologist Patrick Higgins lead a dive team that included Elizabeth Earthman and Jennifer Fresnell of the Americorp Stewards project. Sampling focused on pools and adjacent flatwater habitats. The dive survey was focused on steelhead abundance and age classification; therefore results likely under represent other species like sculpin, which are low in the water column, and sticklebacks, which are in the margins of the stream. Divers proceeded in an upstream three abreast, with the diver on the shallow side getting up and walking to see fish in the shallows when stream width diminished. Age of fish was judged by length, with fish less than four inches representing young of the year, 4-6 inches equal to yearlings and fish greater than six inches counted as two year olds. Age structure of steelhead was similar between the two periods, but the station below the North Fork Garcia River had coho in 1952 and none in 2002.

Garcia River Estuary Fish and Habitat Study

Higgins (1995) conducted a biological assessment of the Garcia River estuary to discern how salmonids use various habitat types within the estuary and to help determine whether habitat manipulations in the estuary, suggested by the Garcia River Watershed Enhancement Plan (Mendocino County RCD, 1992), would achieve the goal of increasing production of salmonids. The report is part of a larger Garcia Estuary Feasibility Study, Point Arena, California, Phase 1 (Final Report) (Moffett-Nichol Engineers, 1996). Higgins (1995) sampled fish and took water quality measurements at seven Garcia River estuary sites from June-August 1995 and conducted a habitat inventory of the estuary, using techniques similar to those of Cowardin (1978) and Starr (1979). The beach seine used to sample fish was 100 feet long and eight feet high and was deployed using a boat in deeper habitats or by walking in shallower units. Water temperature, salinity and conductivity were measured at each station either immediately before or after each fish sample was taken, using a YSI Model 33 water quality meter. Measurements were taken at the surface, at one meter and at two meters if water depth was sufficient. Time was also recorded so that tide level could also be ascertained. The study concluded that estuary modification by mechanical means would not likely increase carrying capacity of salmonid juveniles.


Miscellaneous Electrofishing Survey Data

Raw Garcia River electrofishing data were found in field notes acquired from Charlotte Morrison, biological consultant, and Thomas Daugherty, formerly the fisheries biologist for the Louisiana Pacific Corp. Morrison (1994) used block nets and a three-pass collection method. She was accompanied by Theodore Wooster of CDFG when she sampled Redwood Creek, tributary of Mill Creek, and the upper Garcia River below Mill and Pardaloe creeks on September 6, 1994. Daugherty electrofished  the mainstem Garcia on August 17, 1987 just above its convergence with Signal Creek. LP holdings have been purchased by the Mendocino Redwood Company (MRC), which now conducts biological studies. 

Mendocino Redwood Company Fisheries Data

The Mendocino Redwood Company (MRC) conducts single-pass electrofishing or snorkel counts of many sites across their holdings. MRC collected fish data in the years 1994-1996, and 2000-02. The sites on MRC land are surveyed for the purpose of detecting the presence of fish species. Reports do not provide raw data that can be summarized graphically, but so provide distribution and relative abundance descriptions for salmonids on their property, including Garcia River data (MRC, 2002).


Michael Maahs Garcia River Spawner Surveys 

Spawner surveys of tributaries of the Garcia River were organized by Michael Maahs were carried in 1989-90, 1990-91, 1995-1996, 1996-1997, and 1998-1999. Maahs (1999) described survey methods as follows: "Two-person survey teams recorded the number of live adult salmonids observed, and measured and tagged any salmonid carcasses encountered. Fish carcasses were tagged with numbered jaw tags whenever a jaw was present and all tails were hole punched. All salmonid redds were marked by attaching flagging to an adjacent streamside branch. The length and width of each redd was recorded on data forms and the date and size of the redd was recorded on flagging. Surveyors recorded the time, as well as stream and air temperature at the upper and lower end of each survey reach. Surveyors also estimated stream visibility and recorded flow information." Spawner surveys were scheduled to be conducted every ten days but only if there was sufficient rainfall and flow for spawners to move upstream. Surveys were often postponed because flows and/or turbidity were too high to allow for survey success. The earlier surveys (Nielsen et al., 1990; Maahs and Gilleard, 1994) covered many other Mendocino coastal streams, but did not have sufficient Garcia River data for graphical representation in KRIS. The 1995-1996 and 1996-1997 surveys also covered other Mendocino coastal streams, and details are available in Maahs (1996) and Maahs (1997).

 Coho Presence and Absence Survey Results

The presence or absence of coho salmon in streams historically inhabited by the species has become one of the main measure of coho status in northwestern California. Data in KRIS Garcia come from the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG), which did an exhaustive survey of northwestern California to determine the status of coho (CDFG, 2002). Their data base also includes all previous CDFG samples back to 1988, Brown and Moyle (1991), National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) data (Adams et al. (1999)) or presence and absence studies funded by NMFS (Brownell et al., 1999). Most recent surveys used direct dive observation in ten pools to note coho presence or absence. Previously collected electrofishing samples were also used (NMFS, 2000). Brown et al. (1994) used presence and absence and other data to characterize the status of coho salmon in California up to 1994. NMFS (2001) also reassessed California coho status based on data collected through the year 2000. NMFS (2001) offers the following caveat for understanding the use of presence/absence data: "It is important to note that a record of 'presence' does not necessarily indicate persistent populations. Nor does a record of 'absence' preclude the possibility of coho salmon within the system, only that they were not detected during sampling." Because the varying returns of different year classes of coho, three consecutive years of survey are needed for definitive presence/absence information. Eli Asarian of IFR KRIS project created the ArcView shape file from this database from CDFG non-spatial data. See the metadata file in the KRIS Map Viewer for more detailed information on the spatial data. For more in-depth information see also Background page on Fish Populations.


Hatchery Fish Supplementation of the Garcia River

The Garcia River has not been as extensively stocked with hatchery fish as have some other northwestern California rivers (Higgins et al, 1992) with plants taking place only from 1978-1988. Stocking records from the California Department of Fish and Game were gathered from the Region 3 office in Yountville and entered into a database for use in KRIS Garcia. Steelhead planted came from the Mad River and the Gualala River Steelhead Project, while coho came from the Noyo River Egg Collecting Station, Mad River Hatchery and the Warms Springs Hatchery. The Warm Springs fish likely were from the Noyo but reared at the hatchery, because the Noyo Egg Collecting Station does no have incubation facilities. Similarly, eggs were also transported to Mad River Hatchery where they were reared and then returned to the Noyo and also transplanted elsewhere.


Stream Temperature Monitoring in the Garcia River Watershed

Stream temperature can be the single most critical feature of habitat for salmonids and other aquatic organisms, and is relatively easy to monitor. Data in KRIS Garcia come from Friends of the Garcia River, the Mendocino County Water Agency, Forest Science Project and the Mendocino Redwood Company (see table of temperature probe locations). The KRIS project uses the floating weekly average temperature (FWA), or the average of seven daily average values around a date, to compare water temperature regimes across sites and in various years. The yearly maximum of the floating weekly average temperature was referred to by Welsh et al. (2001) as MWAT. Reference lines on charts reflect their findings that coho salmon are unlikely to persist where the MWAT exceeds 16.8º Celsius (see table of coho suitability) for all Garcia River locations).  McCullough (1999) provides a wealth of literature on salmonid temperature tolerances from which the KRIS Garcia reference for optimal salmonid juvenile rearing temperature was drawn. Temperature reference for the floating weekly average optimal growth range for steelhead comes from Sullivan et al. (2000), who also defined lethal temperatures for Pacific salmon as 26º C. For more in-depth information on water temperature and reference to key literature, see the Temperature Background page.


Garcia Habitat Typing Surveys

Stream habitat surveys have been conducted for only a few streams in the Garcia River basin. The mainstem Garcia, Pardaloe Creek and the North Fork Garcia River were all habitat typed in 1991 as part of the Garcia River Watershed Enhancement Plan (Mendocino County RCD 1992). Surveys were conducted using recognized inventory techniques as described by McCain et al. (1992) and the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG, 1998). Dives and direct observation from the stream bank were used to assess fish populations in association with habitat typing in 1991. In 2002, Americorp Stewards used CDFG (1998) standard techniques to habitat type the South Fork Garcia River. Work was supervised by CDFG which also published reports for the Lower South Fork (CDFG, 2003a), Fleming Creek (CDFG, 2003b) and the Little South Fork (CDFG, 2003c).

Of all the data available from these surveys, four habitat metrics (percent pools by length, maximum pool depth, embeddedness, and canopy) are considered most useful in assessing habitat suitability for salmonids. Charts of each of these habitat metrics present streams by order (see Stream Order Background Page). Pool depth is an important component of pool habitat quality because juvenile coho and older steelhead prefer pools deeper than three feet (Reeves, 1988; Browne et al., 1994) and may require them for protection from predators. Maximum pool depth is an objective measurement taken at each pool.  Embeddedness is a visual assessment of spawning habitat quality with respect to fine sediment levels. Although embeddedness is a subjective monitoring tool compared to McNeil samples, embeddedness is easily obtained and thus enables assessment of spawning conditions over extensive stream networks.  The percent canopy of trees over the stream is measured at each habitat unit and the relative proportions of canopy by deciduous and coniferous trees is noted. Canopy measurements are not only useful for assessing protection from direct solar radiation, but offer some indication of the structure of the riparian forest for maintaining microclimate and providing large wood to the stream channel. 

For more information on the habitat related features of large wood see Large Wood in Background pages.  To learn more about using fish habitat data, check the Habitat Typing Background pages.


Garcia River Sediment Source Analysis

Much of the information related to sediment sources has been acquired and interpreted in relationship to the Garcia River Sediment Total Maximum Daily Load (U.S. EPA, 1998).  Pacific Watershed Associates (1997) provided the technical support for the TMDL and presented sediment source analysis, including how much sediment stems from controllable sources. Sources are categorized by erosional process and the study also defined data gaps, and made recommendations for reducing sediment production. PWA's analysis involved the review of numerous published and unpublished data that characterize Garcia River watershed conditions, including O'Connor (1997). O'Connor (1997) had used aerial photography interpretation and GIS analysis to estimate sediment yield in the Garcia River watershed, however, no field work was performed for verification of data and assumptions. PWA modified O'Connor's data with field results from a field  analysis (Level II) conducted by Louisiana-Pacific (LP) on the Rolling Brook and South Fork Garcia basins in summer of 1997. LP results indicated that the "depth of slides" and the delivery ratios were greater than assumed by O'Connor (1997). LP also inventoried small inner gorge slides, not included in O'Connor's analysis. PWA (1997) notes that sediment estimates are minimum values and that their analysis should be considered preliminary.


Gravel Quality: McNeil Samples and Permeability

Both wet-sieve and dry-sieve bulk gravel McNeil samples (McNeil and Ahnell,1964) have been collected in the Garcia River basin by Coastal Forest Lands, Louisiana Pacific (now Mendocino Redwood Company), McBain and Trush (for the Mendocino County Resource Conservation District) and by Charlotte Morrison, biological consultant. The Mendocino Redwood Company (MRC) and McBain and Trush (2000) studies also include permeability measurements, longitudinal stream profiles and cross sections. MRC has published their sediment sampling methods for their routine monitoring program (see note) and the location of their sampling sites are available in the KRIS Map Viewer associated with MRC sediment Topics. The McBain and Trush (2000) study was conducted as part of the MCRCD Garcia River Instream Monitoring Project (Maahs and Barber, 2001). Study reaches were located by the MCRCD along the lower approximately 2,500 ft of each tributary’s confluence with the Garcia River. 

Wet Sieve McNeil Samples: Charlotte Morrison used wet sieve samples as an index of spawning gravel quality for salmonid spawning on Mill Creek, its tributary Redwood Creek, upper mainstem Garcia, NF Garcia, Inman Creek and Signal Creek. The former two streams were part of a stream habitat study of the Maillard Ranch (Morrison, 1994), while the latter two were conducted for Coastal Forest Lands (Morrison, 1994b; Morrison, 1997). Sieve sizes included the standard 0.85 mm size class recognized as deleterious to salmonid egg incubation. The Garcia TMDL reference for this size class of sediment is 14% and applies to wet sieve samples. Consequently, a 14% reference is shown on charts from Morrison (1994, 1994b, 1997) for sediment 0.85 mm or less. A 4.0 mm sieve served as the break point for sand and small gravel, while the TMDL (U.S. EPA, 1998) recognizes particles up to 6.5 mm as capable of intruding into the gravel matrix and preventing juvenile salmonid fry from emerging. While the 4.0 mm break point causes sand-sized  particles to be underestimated, the reference of 30% for sediment 6.5 mm and less is still displayed. Four samples were taken at each station and averages are displayed on charts in KRIS Garcia with standard error bars, if raw data were available.  

Dry Sieve McNeil Samples: Both the MRC and McBain and Trush (2000) used the dry sieve method of analysis with McNeil samples from various Garcia River tributary locations. Dry-sieve or gravimetric method produces results that are more accurate than wet sieve methods because of  retention of different proportions of water by size classes of sediment, with water increasingly retained by the finer fraction. However, results from the method are not directly compatible with TMDL references (U.S. EPA, 1998), which are based on wet-sieve based studies. KRIS Garcia uses reference values for percent fine sediment from dry-sieve sampling that utilize a conservative adjustment to be more compatible with wet-sieve/volumetric results.  According to Shirazi and Seim (1979), the fraction of fines less than 0.85 mm from wet/volumetric methods can be adjusted by a factor of 0.739 to reflect actual gravimetric results. Applied to the Garcia TMDL reference of 14%, this correction yields a dry- sieve reference for fine sediment less than 0.85 mm of 10.3%.  McHenry et al. (1994) found an even higher conversion factor for wet to dry sieve comparison. For the fraction of fines less than 6.4 mm from wet/volumetric methods, Shirazi and Seim report a correction factor of 0.866.  Applied to the TMDL target of 30%, this correction yields a dry- sieve reference for fine sediment less than 6.4 mm of 26%. See a McBain and Trush (2000) McNeil sampling methods note for more details. Estimated relationships between percent fines sediment and salmonid egg survival is based on methods from Tappel and Bjornn (1983). Kondolf (2000) found that salmonid spawning success was reduced by 50% when fines less than 6.4 mm exceeded 30%.

Mean Particle Size Distribution: Cumulative distribution of particle sizes allows observation of the ranges of median particle size (D50). Knopp (1993) found patterns in the range of D50 related to watershed disturbance in a study of 60 north coast streams.


Permeability Measurements: The intrusion of fine sediment into gravel reduces intra-gravel flow of water by reducing permeability, which results in reduced rates of oxygen delivery to incubating embryos and removal of metabolic waste from the egg pocket. The volume of fine sediment in spawning substrates is thus an indirect measure of gravel conditions that affect survival to emergence, whereas permeability directly measures conditions affecting embryonic survival. The units of measurement for gravel permeability are cm/hr and describe interstitial flow rate. Both McBain and Trush (2000) and MRC have conducted permeability sampling in Garcia River basin tributaries. MRC follows the methods of McBain and Trush (see a permeability note from their report). The natural log of permeability derived by Tagart (1976) and McCuddin (1977) equates the permeability data to fry survival (Survival = -0.82530 + 0.14882 * ln permeability). The survival relationship is an index of spawning gravel quality and is currently one of the few approaches that quantitatively links a biological relationship to permeability data, although it needs more northern California field validation before results relative to salmonid survival can be fully understood.

For more information on how sediment effects fish, and the basis for percent fines thresholds used in KRIS Garcia, see the Sediment Background page. For more on methodology, be sure to see Measuring Sediment in Streams.


Knopp North Coast Regional Sediment Study

Excessive fine sediment fills pools and causes general instability of stream gravels and channel form.  Loss of pool depth and channel complexity lowers the carrying capacity of streams for aquatic biota.  The various indices for measuring such impairment of stream channels were tested by Knopp (1993) at 60 northwestern California sites. The proportion of a pool's residual volume that is filled by fine sediment is termed V-star (Hilton and Lisle, 1993). V* values from Mendocino streams, including North Fork Garcia River, are presented in KRIS Garcia.  Data from Knopp's testing of other indices are available in the KRIS source table, Knopp.dbf. The Garcia River TMDL for Sediment (U.S. EPA, 1998) set the target for fine sediment in pools as a V* value of 0.21. See the Sediment Background page to learn more.


Cross Section Data in KRIS Garcia

There are several locations for which cross section data are available for the Garcia River. Data began to be collected by gravel mining companies in 1991 and the Mendocino Water Agency , with some assistance from Friends of the Garcia (FROG), continued to take measurements through 1997. A study of the estuary in 1995-1996 also produced additional data from that area. The best synopsis of data and an explanation of results can be found in Jackson (1997) and Jackson (1998). The narratives below explain the location of cross sections and when they have been re-measured.

Estuary Cross Sections: In July of 1991, the Mendocino County Water Agency established nine cross-sections between the parking area at the end of Minor Hole Road and the beach. The cross-sections were established as part of the Mendocino County Resource Conservation District’s (RCD) effort to prepare the Garcia River Enhancement Plan. Scott McBain surveyed six of the nine cross-sections again in March of 1995 as part of the RCD’s Garcia River Estuary study. In October of 1998, Dennis Jackson surveyed five of the six cross-sections that were surveyed by Scott McBain in March of 1995. 

Windy Hollow Cross Sections: The gravel bars upstream of Windy Hollow Road were mined by Baxman Sand and Gravel until 1991. Baxman Sand and Gravel established eight cross sections to monitor the river. Five of Baxman's eight cross sections were found and surveyed by the Mendocino County Water Agency (MCWA) in 1991 as part of the Mendocino RCD watershed assessment. These cross-sections were named Baxman-1 through Baxman-6 (referring to cross sections established by Baxman Sand and Gravel and recovered by MCWA in 1991). Fourteen other cross sections were established and surveyed by MCWA in 1993 and 1994 as part of the bentonite spill monitoring program. These additional cross-sections are not included in this version of KRIS Garcia. 

Kendall Property Cross Sections: Two cross sections established near the power line crossing on the Kendall property by Mendocino County Water Agency (MCWA) in the summer of 1991 as part of the Resource Conservation District's (RCD) Garcia River Assessment. The upstream cross section was located upstream of the power line crossing. The downstream cross section is approximately 400 feet downstream of the power lines. The cross sections were re-surveyed in October of 1993 by MCWA as part of bentonite spill monitoring effort and again in 1996 and 1997.

Hooper Ranch (Oz) Cross Sections: In 1991 MCWA established four cross sections at Hooper's for the RCD's Watershed Assessment. In 1993, the Friends of the Garcia River engaged David Russell, a surveyor from Mendocino, to survey the cross sections and find points from the 1992 AT&T survey. The AT&T points were used to put the cross sections on the State Plane Coordinate system. On July 31, 1996, Graham Matthews surveyed XS-1 and XS-3. In April 1997, MCWA surveyed cross sections 1 and 3. The other two cross sections were surveyed on August 30, 1997 by Jackson.

Conner Hole Cross Sections: Conner Hole is located approximately 4,000 feet downstream of the confluence with the North Fork. In the summer of 1991 MCWA established three cross sections at Conner Hole as part of the RCD's watershed assessment project. All three cross sections were surveyed in 1991 and 1993 by MCWA and in 1996 by the Friends of the Garcia River. The upstream cross section was also surveyed in 1995 by MCWA. The USGS surveyed the reach in 1956 and 1963 for slope-area estimates of the peak flows in the range of 23,000 to 26,000 cfs. 

Eureka Hill Cross Sections: In September of 1993 MCWA made a topographic map of the reach from 400 feet below the bridge to about 1,500 feet above the bridge and surveyed cross sections at the two data loggers established by MCWA in 1992 and 1993. The data logger upstream of the bridge was dubbed "Salmon" and the data logger at the pier downstream of Eureka Hill Bridge was named "Old Pier". In September of 1995 Philip Williams & Associates surveyed the two cross-sections and three additional cross sections. The two cross sections were also surveyed by the Friends of the Garcia in October of 1996 and in August of 1997.

Road Densities in KRIS Garcia

Roads are a major source of sediment to streams. Surface erosion from roads can produce chronic sources of fine sediment which can diminish salmon and steelhead spawning success. Failure of roads during major storm events can lead to large landslides which can overwhelm streams with sediment, thus filling pools and diminishing habitat diversity. Road densities in KRIS Garcia are taken from (O'Connor, 1997) and from the California Department of Forestry Santa Rosa office. Road densities since 1999 are projected in some cases from Timber Harvest Permits (THPs) filed with CDF and but some harvests may have not yet taken place nor related roads constructed. KRIS shows thresholds for roads of 3 miles per square miles based on National Marine Fisheries Service guidelines (NMFS, 1996). Cedarholm, et. al. (1981) suggest that road densities should not exceed 1.6 mi/sq. mi.  See Roads page in KRIS Garcia Background pages for more information.


Road Decommissioning by Pacific Watershed Associates for TU North Coast Coho Project

Pacific Watershed Associates (PWA) conducted erosion potential inventories for the South Fork Garcia Basin in cooperation with the land owner Mendocino Redwood Company, Trout Unlimited, the Mendocino County Resource Conservation District, and the California Department of Fish and Game, which funded the project (SB-217). These inventories were then followed by road and crossing removals and road and crossing upgrades and pictures of activities and data in KRIS Garcia are from PWA (2002). The report supplies information on project cost and the volume of sediment saved.  A detailed key to the column headings of the source table included in KRIS is available here as a table.  See the Roads Background page for more information on how roads impact aquatic ecosystems.

Trout Unlimited North Coast Coho Project

Trout Unlimited (TU) has been working with the Mendocino Redwood Company to decrease erosion in watersheds where coho salmon persist in Mendocino County or where they can be restored. Local guide and watershed coordinator Craig Bell has been a catalyst in the TU projects which have been funded by the California Department of Fish and Game. See the Trout magazine article about this project to learn more. . 

Vegetation and Timber Types of Cal Water Watersheds

The vegetation and timber types used in the KRIS Garcia project was derived from Landsat multi-spectral images taken in 1994. The U.S. Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region Remote Sensing Lab, in cooperation with the California Department of Forestry, analyzed the Landsat images to formulate a California wide electronic map layer of vegetation as part of the Northwest Forest Plan (Warbington et al., 1998). See the Vegetation Types Background page for more information.

Stand conditions are accurately represented at the one hectare scale by the USFS vegetation data. Data is quarried for tree size or community type in ArcView (KRIS Garcia Maps). This allows quantitative assessment of vegetation types for seral stage based on tree size for geographic areas such as Calwater Planning Watersheds in the KRIS Garcia database. For use in KRIS, vegetation and timber types were simplified into ten classifications. Vegetation classifications are:

Very Large Trees = 40" in diameter or greater
Large Trees = 30-39.9" in diameter
Medium/Large Trees = 20-29.9" in diameter
Small/Medium Trees = 12-19.9" in diameter
Small Trees = 5-11.9" in diameter
Saplings = 1-4.9" in diameter
Non Forest = Non tree species such as shrubs, grasses or bare soil

This simpler classification provides an easy to understand index of watershed disturbance for use in coastal watersheds. Large components of early seral stage conditions (Saplings, Non Forest) are often associated with recent logging disturbance, particularly in the western part of California North Coast watersheds. Large patches of Non Forest also may be the signature of natural grasslands associated with the Central Belt of the Franciscan Formation, which occur in the eastern portion of the Garcia River basin. Undisturbed redwood forests would show as Very Large Trees (>40 inch diameter). Virgin redwood in the Garcia would have sometimes exceeded ten feet in diameter. 

The KRIS vegetation classification scheme can also be used for a quick analysis of riparian conditions. Ninety meter (297 ft.) zones of riparian influence are assigned to the 1:24000 stream layer in ArcView and only the vegetation within this zone is displayed and analyzed. Because the scale of the vegetation GIS is one hectare, individual large trees or very narrow riparian leave strips may not show up when using this analysis tool.


Logging Damage Assessment by California Department of Fish and Game in 1966

Fish et al. (CDFG, 1966) surveyed damage resulting from logging activities and road building in several northern California streams after the 1964 flood. Basins surveyed included not only the Garcia River but also Redwood Creek, Battle Creek near Mt. Lassen, and the Mokelumne River. Damage classes were severe, moderate, light and undisturbed. Fisk et al. (1966) described the consequence of damage to the Garcia River as follows: "A large portion of the stream that was suitable for spawning and suitable for nursery area for salmon and steelhead have been severely damaged. Suckers now appear to have replaced salmonids as the dominant fish in a large section of the Garcia River. This can be directly attributed to deterioration of the stream habitat." 


Timber Harvest Data in KRIS Garcia

Timber harvest data in KRIS comes from the California Department of Forestry (CDF). The CDF data is included in its entirety in the KRIS Garcia Map project and allows query on timber harvest type, acres, year, ownership and other parameters. Timber harvest summaries in the KRIS Garcia database show the percent of the area harvested between 1987 and 2001 summarized by Calwater Planning Watershed. The reference of 25% of the watershed area and timber harvest is from Reeves et. al. (1993), who found that basins on the Oregon Coast harvested over this amount had diminished Pacific salmon species diversity. The timber harvest disturbance in the Reeves et al. (1993) study had taken place over the prior 30 years and most silvicultural prescriptions had been clear cuts.


Large Woody Debris Data in KRIS Garcia

O'Connor (2001) surveyed large wood in Garcia River tributaries in 1999. The stated purpose of his study was to collect data that would "serve as a baseline for evaluating status and trends of LWD conditions in the Garcia River over the next several decades. Second, current LWD conditions in the Garcia River will be evaluated through comparisons with existing data for LWD load in streams draining old growth and second growth coast redwood forests in northern California." Protocols for surveys came from O'Connor and Ziemer (1989) and Taylor (1998). The reference of 1200 cubic meters per kilometer came from Maahs and Barber (2001).


Wood Removal

The removal of wood from streams or "stream cleaning" was began in coastal rivers of Mendocino County in the late 1950s and was an attempt to improve fish habitat that had been degraded by logging activities. The idea was to re-establish fish passage around large wood jams and allow for faster flushing of sediment. More recent large wood removal in the Garcia River Basin is documented by memos from 1982-1984.  These documents are available in the KRIS Bibliography Garcia River section as California Department of Fish and Game memos. 

To learn more about removal of wood from streams see the Background page on Stream Clearance.


Aquatic Insect Samples from the Garcia River

Aquatic insect samples were collected and analyzed by aquatic entomologist John Lee as part of a biological assessment of the impacts of the ATT drilling mud spill (Higgins, 1992). Lee collected samples in riffles with a kick net above and below the drilling mud spill, using equal time in sampling each area. His results showed that there was a decline in both species and individuals in samples downstream of the spill and a marked difference in the Simpson Diversity Index. Summary data shown in KRIS Garcia are the ten most abundant species above and below the spill. Ecologically stable benthic invertebrate communities tend to be have more even distribution among their most abundant species (Lauck and Lee, 1990). The community above the spill had a more even distribution than below, which indicated perturbation associated with the spill.

For more information on how to understand the use of aquatic invertebrates to gauge aquatic health see the Aquatic Insects Background page.


Information on the 1992 ATT Drilling Mud Spill

On July 29, 1992 the American Telephone and Telegraph (ATT) company was contracting for the laying of an undersea cable to Hawaii and Japan which was to go offshore near Pt Arena. Crews responsible for the laying of the cable puncture aquifers of actually had drilling holes that surfaced in the bottoms of streams themselves. Drilling mud is a bentonite-based lubricant used to keep drills from over-heating and this substance was pumped into a small lower Garcia River tributary and into Moat Creek, which is about five miles to the south. Patrick Higgins, a consulting fisheries biologist, and John Lee, an aquatic entomologist, were retained by the Friends of the Garcia River to study the effects of the spill and their results are available in the KRIS Garcia Bibliography (Higgins, 1992). ATT paid $500,000 in mitigation for effects on the Garcia River, which was largely invested in Garcia River restoration activity. Immediate actions to abate problems were appropriate and damage from the drilling mud was limited.

Higgins (1994) also studied Moat Creek, on behalf of the Surfrider Foundation, which won a settlement for the creek, and the Moat Creek Management Agency. Moat Creek actually does not harbor salmonids because of a lack of any competent bedrock to form materials for spawning gravel (Higgins,1994). After reconnaissance studies, the Moat Creek Management Agency decided to use remaining funds originally allocated to Moat Creek to nearby Schooner Gulch. Those funds provided a match for subsequent grants from the California Department of Fish and Game and helped win the cooperation of Louisiana Pacific and later the Mendocino Redwood Company to fix potential sediment sources.


Photographs from Friends of the Garcia River

The Friends of the Garcia River (FrOG) is an active conservation group that has worked for the protection and restoration of the river. The group plays an advocacy role but also collects data (see Stream Temperature Monitoring above). Peter Dobbins of FrOG has helped monitor watershed conditions through aerial photo reconnaissance and there are dozens of his pictures used in KRIS Garcia to understand changes in the river, adjacent wetlands and riparian and the landscape over-all. Peter also had acquired other types of data such as SPOT satellite images, historic maps and aerials from other sources, which he generously shared with the IFR KRIS project. 


Mendocino Watershed Service Photographs

The Mendocino Watershed Service operated from 1994-1997 on funds allocated by the Jobs in the Woods Program and also with restoration grants from the California Department of Fish and Game. MWS was physically located in Pt. Arena and was formed to train displaced timber workers and people that formerly salmon fished for a living how to restore watersheds. The program was mostly geared toward job training and those who attended were often trained in projects in local watersheds, including the Garcia River. Craig Bell was the Director of MWS and many photos in KRIS come from his collection.


Photographs from the Mendocino Fisheries Program of the E-Center in Ukiah

The Mendocino Fisheries Program focuses on watershed health, training, and employment of displaced commercial fishermen and timber workers, the education of local youth in watershed principals, and has participated in numerous fishery restoration and community education projects in several watersheds throughout Mendocino County for the past 16 years. They operate under the guidance of the Center for Education, Environment, and Employment (E Center) a non-profit organization in Ukiah, California. The E Center specializes in providing infrastructure support for community service projects in the areas of most severe need. It has extensive experience in empowerment-based models of community development, currently assisting endeavors in Mendocino, Yolo, Yuba, and Sutter Counties. Salmon-oriented stream restoration via the Mendocino Fisheries Project (MFP) is a small part of the E-Center’s service delivery.


California Department of Fish and Game Historical Photos

The Institute for Fisheries Resources KRIS team visited Central Coast Region (formerly Region 3) Headquarters of the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) and copied some historical photos from their files. Yountville is the official archives for the DFG region, and houses historical data and photographs, organized by county and by stream. CDFG historical photos may have also been on file at other locations, such as the E-Center in Ukiah, but are ascribed to the Department.


Institute for Fisheries Resources Photos

The IFR KRIS team visited the field on a number of occasions  for scoping purposes and meeting with cooperators. While in the field, IFR staff often took photos of site conditions, aquatic habitats or other points of interest. These photos are copyright free, but credit would be appreciated if they are used in other projects. Photographers included Vivian Bolin, Eli Asarian and Pat Higgins.


Photo Tours from a Combination of Sources

Most photo tour topics contain photos from a single source.  However, sometimes it is beneficial to combine photos from multiple sources into a single tour to group photos of a particular site or theme and make comparisons.  For these combination topics, please read the caption below each photo to learn who the photographer is.  For contact information and background information on a particular photographer, look for another photo tour topic that includes pictures from the same photographer, and read the InfoLink or metadata.


Photos from the Staff of the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board

Holly Lundborg of the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board provided photographs form her files for the KRIS Garcia project. Aerial photos of Olsen Gulch showing cumulative watershed effects are originally from Alan Levine and the Coast Action Group. The series of restoration efforts in Olsen Gulch were taken by staff during field trips hosted by Jack Monschke and Coastal Forest Lands, Inc.


KRIS Garcia Map Project

The new KRIS Map Viewer allows complete access to spatial data layers for KRIS Garcia database users. Maps were assembled into a companion ArcView project called KRIS Garcia Maps and the Map Master topics display full Views of associated themes similar to the original project. The map data are also available on a separate CD for use with the program Arc View, which allows users to query relationships, not just view theme relationships. Data in the KRIS Garcia Map project are an assimilation of information from many different sources. Metadata is available by highlighting a theme, when using the KRIS Map Viewer from your hard drive, and using a right click and selecting Metadata.


Note about documents in KRIS