Hat Creek Restoration

Hat Creek Restoration

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Project Goal:

Use large woody debris to restore 1.5 miles of instream habitat for the benefit of wild trout while helping protect cultural resources on over 5,000 acres of ancestral lands of the Illmawi Band of the Pit River Tribe.

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Project Stages


Post Monitoring


Estimated Completion Date:

Project Funders

Pacific Forest and Watershed Stewardship Council
Natural Resources Agency

Fish Affected:

Project Description

Hat Creek, located on the ancestral lands of the Illmawi Band of the Pit River Tribe, is a legendary fishery and the birthplace of CalTrout. Resting atop an immense lava field known as the Modoc Plateau, Hat Creek is a unique spring-fed system with the constant flows, stable temperatures, and abundant nutrients that allow fish, bugs, and aquatic plants to grow at extraordinary rates. However, this incredible area also suffers from a sedimentation problem resulting from a volcanic eruption of nearby Mount Lassen at the beginning of the 20th century, compounded by bank erosion due to historical grazing and ranching practices throughout the area.

In 2017, CalTrout completed an extensive restoration project, installing multiple large woody debris structures throughout the Carbon Reach of the Hat Creek Wild Trout Area. These structures not only provide cover for juvenile trout, but also help move sediment and reprofile the stream channel. This project also involved riparian planting to stabilize the stream banks and combat erosion.

CalTrout is committed to continuing the protection of Hat Creek and we are actively working with the Pit River Tribe and our other partners to leverage years of scientific data collection to continue restoring this unique spring-creek ecology and wild trout fishery.

Project Partners:

Pit River Tribe
US Fish & Wildlife Services
CA Department of Fish & Wildlife
UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences
Waterways Engineering Inc.
Pacific Forest and Watershed Lands Stewardship Council