The History of Fife Creek

During the late 1960’s concrete check dams, rip-rap and stream bank revetments were installed in Fife Creek within Armstrong Redwood SNR with the intent of alleviating bank erosion.  Immediately following the installation of the check dams, park staff recognized the negative affect of these  dams on Fife Creek. Since the installation of concrete check dams and sackcrete revetments within Fife Creek, sediment has aggraded behind the check dams, eliminating or reducing summer flows and flattening the channel gradient.  This has resulted in lateral bank erosion as the channel increases its meander amplitude in response to the lower gradient.  In response to bank erosion, stream-bank revetments were installed in an effort to armor or protect stream banks.  While the stream-bank revetment has reduced stream-bank erosion where installed, it has resulted in increased erosion where stream banks have not been armored.  Sackcrete revetments: eliminate riparian vegetation and instream habitat (such as overhanging banks);   are subject to sudden failure; reduce channel sinuosity and complexity;  do not allow for channel response to changing conditions.

Between 2000 and 2003, 41 check dams were removed from Fife Creek within Armstrong Redwoods SNR.  This project proposes to remove most of the remaining sackcrete over a three to five-year period.  Specifically, this project will remove approximately 750 linear feet of sackcrete and concrete rubble from within Fife Creek in Armstrong Redwoods SNR and place natural revetments of logs, rock, brush mattresses and/or live plantings to stabilize the stream banks.  

In 2013, projects within the Fife Creek watershed included the implementation of sediment source reduction prescriptions and continued invasive species control. In addition, large woody debris was positioned in the Gilliam and Thompson Creeks to aid in creating habitat for young salmonids. These measures constitute a long-term program geared toward the restoration of predevelopment processes and biota to the Fife Creek watershed, with the ultimate goal of returning the Fife Creek watershed to a naturally functioning habitat.

Fife Creek Watershed Documents

Stewards, in partnership with California State Parks and other private and public agencies, have been working on restoring the Fife Creek watershed so that it will once again be hospitable for salmonids. The following are documents pertain to the project.


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