Bull Creek Hamilton Reach Instream and Floodplain Habitat Restoration

Bull Creek Hamilton Reach Instream and Floodplain Habitat Restoration

Home | Key Initiatives | Protect the Best | Bull Creek Hamilton Reach Instream and Floodplain Habitat Restoration

Project Goal:

Restore and protect important riparian, instream, floodplain and side-channel habitat in Bull Creek, which supports four anadromous fish species, Coho and Chinook Salmon, Steelhead, and Pacific Lamprey.

Learn More

Project Stages


Resource Collection

Conceptual Design

Relationship Building

Impact Study

100% Planning, Design, and Permitting




Post-Restoration Monitoring

Estimated Completion Date:
March 2025


Project Funders

California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Fisheries Restoration Grant Program

Prop 1

Fish Affected:

Project Description

The Bull Creek channel and its watershed exemplify the North-Coast’s century-and-a-half history of early settlement centered on rapid and excessive resource extraction leading to erosion, instream sediment deposition, and reduced quality and quantity of instream salmonid habitat. The Bull Creek Instream and Floodplain Habitat Restoration Project will restore floodplain habitat along the Hamilton Sub-reach of Bull Creek and provide multiple benefits to all life stages of Bull Creek salmonids. The project will result in improved floodplain connectivity, instream channel complexity and pool frequency, create off-channel winter rearing habitat, reduce summer stream temperature, and promote sediment sorting and spawning riffle development.

The project models a comprehensive process-based approach to restoring geomorphic function, floodplain connectivity, and listed species habitat. Paired with a fire risk reduction project in Bull Creek headwaters, a supply of logs will provide for large wood structures to be installed on the floodplain and engineered wood jams to be installed in the mainstem. This will increase channel complexity, providing water temperature benefits and summer rearing habitat. The floodplain will be lowered to remove aggraded sediment and it will be re-contoured to create a side channel and off-channel ponds. This will provide low velocity winter rearing habitat for juvenile salmonids.

Lastly, the floodplain will be replanted with a diversity of native riparian vegetation to accelerate recovery of natural wood recruitment and provide summer shade – decreasing summer water temperatures.

The project and Bull Creek are located in the South Fork Eel River watershed and managed by CA State Parks, ensuring long term protection of the restored habitat for all life stages of salmonids that utilize the Bull Creek watershed. Opportunities for public outreach and education, given State Parks public programs and CalTrout's communications capacity are amplified, as is our coordinated monitoring plan. The success of this project will affirm the partnership of CA State Parks, CDFW, and a regional NGO in delivering multiple climate benefits and specifically protecting and restoring anadromous fish habitat.

Project Partners:

California State Parks (Humboldt Redwoods State Park)

Northern Hydrology and Engineering

Mattole Restoration Council

Privacy Policy Cookie Policy