In the heart of ranch and wine country outside of Santa Barabara, CA, area conservationists were focused on enhancements to Quiota Creek, a tributary to the Lower Santa Ynez River, to open fish passages for migration.
Southern California Steelhead trout were federally listed as an endangered species in 1997. The fish passage enhancement project included opening barriers to the upper portions of the creek suitable for spawning and over-summering for salmonoids, like steelheads and resident rainbow trout. Consulting Engineer, HDR/FishPro performed site reconnaissance of eight (8) crossings along Quiota Creek to develop recommendations, then plans to remove salmonoid migration barriers as part of the fish passage enhancement project by the Cachuma Operation & Maintenance Board (COMB) on behalf of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.
Quiota Creek Crossing #6 is approx. 3 miles upstream from the Santa Ynez River, and was a significant barrier to salmonoid migration. Here, water ran through a damaged low flow underneath but also washed over the pavement when the creek was high, creating safety issues on the narrow, tree-lined, onelane road for trailer traffic crossing to nearby rural ranches. This was a priority crossing for replacement, and HDR/FishPro chose a 48’ x 11’ x 26’ CON/SPAN prefabricated bottomless arch culvert as their solution. As part of the project, the streambed was enhanced as habitat for fish.
The CON/SPAN bridge project at Crossing #6 was completed in time to handle winter rains. This project primarily was funded by a California Department of Fish and Game Restoration Grant, with support from the five water district member units that make up COMB: the Santa Ynez River Water Conservation District, ID1; Goleta Water District; City of Santa Barbara; Montecito Water District; and Carpinteria Valley Water District.