Evans Spring Flow Restoration to Little Shasta River

Evans Spring Flow Restoration to Little Shasta River

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Project Goal:

Restore Evan's Spring flow to the Little Shasta River and improve summer conditions for juvenile rearing among native fish. Ultimately, reconnect the Little Shasta River to the Shasta River at critical periods of time for native anadromous fish.

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Project Stages

35% Planning and Design

100% Planning, Design, and Permitting

Post-Restoration Monitoring


Estimated Completion Date:

Project Funders

CDFW Prop 68

USFWS National Fish Passage Program

WCB Prop 1 Streamflow Enhancement Funding

Fish Affected:

Project Description

Evan’s Spring is an off-channel spring with roughly 2.36 cfs of flow. Historically, Evan’s Spring flowed into the Little Shasta River via a tributary channel. However, for the past 160+ years the Hart Ranch has diverted the entirety of the spring’s flow at its source, via open ditch, for year-round irrigation purposes and stock watering. The goal of this project is to finalize a plan to return the flow from Evan’s Spring back to the Little Shasta River, improving important habitat for all aquatic species, but particularly for anadromous fish species of state and federal concern. Furthermore, we will finalize a plan to increase irrigation efficiencies on the Hart Ranch, allowing the cold clean, nutrient-rich Evan’s Spring water to be left instream to benefit fish and wildlife all the way to the mouth of the Little Shasta – adding roughly 1710 acre-ft of water per year to the system.

The Little Shasta River is generally assumed to support runs of anadromous salmonids (McBain & Trush, 2013). Studies by UCD and the 2013 Study Plan to Assess Shasta River Salmon and Steelhead Recovery Needs found that the Little Shasta River has available habitat for all life stages of coho and other salmonids, and they also state that only moderate streamflow would be required to sustain high quality year-round rearing habitat (McBain & Trush, 2013). This analysis concluded that the Little Shasta River presents the ideal opportunity to augment life history diversity for coho salmon, Chinook salmon, and steelhead populations as a way to hedge against unforeseen constraints in other reaches or tributaries of the Shasta (McBain & Trush, 2013). Similar to the ongoing restoration and habitat improvement efforts in Parks Creek (the other main flow contribution other than Big Springs Creek), the Little Shasta River provides the possibly of adding another refugia to the ecologically important Shasta River to help springboard restoration in the Upper Klamath Watershed.

This project is an important step forward in ameliorating the problem of temperature and flow barriers to the seasonal movements of coho and other juvenile salmonids in the upper Little Shasta River. The limiting factor for juvenile coho is insufficient flows below the Hart-Haight Diversion at river mile 12 through the bottom-lands reach of the Little Shasta River during their spring outmigration period (March through May). This project could more than double the current amount of flow dedicated instream for fish and wildlife below river mile 12.

Project Partners:

US Fish and Wildlife Service

California Department of Fish and Wildlife


North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board

Shasta Valley Resource Conservation District

The Nature Conservancy

UC Davis