Hat Creek Restoration

Hat Creek Restoration

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Project Goal:

Restore Hat Creek wild trout populations to over 5,000 fish per mile, restore 1.5 miles of instream habitat with large woody debris structures, and 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


Conceptual Design

Estimated Completion Date:

Project Funders

Pacific Forest and Watershed Stewardship Council
Natural Resources Agency

Fish Affected:

Project Description

This legendary fishery is the birthplace of CalTrout and where we continue to protect its wild trout waters. Hat Creek’s spring-fed flows also produce a unique water chemistry that contributes to high ecological productivity. Hat Creek rests atop an immense lava field known as the Modoc Plateau where volcanic flows overlie marine sedimentary rocks. As groundwater filters through these rocks, it picks up nutrients that otherwise wouldn’t exist in a run-off dominated system. This recipe of constant flows, stable temperatures, and abundant nutrients grows fish, bugs, and aquatic plants at extraordinary rates. The Hat Creek Restoration Project is critically important to sustaining California’s cold-water biodiversity and wild trout populations. We are continuing to maintain and steward the land. After the extensive restoration completed in 2017, Caltrout is working to secure another large grant from the Pacific Forest and Watershed Lands Stewardship Council to carry out additional habitat restoration work in partnership with the Pit River Tribe, CDFW, and PGE. This work leverages years of scientific data collection to continue restoring Hat Creek’s 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

Latest Project Info:

Hat Creek-A Wild Trout Legacy

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