Little Shasta River Aquatic Habitat Assessment

Document Details:

Title: Little Shasta River Aquatic Habitat Assessment
Category: Technical Report
File: 2016_0559_Little-Shasta-River-Aquatic-Habitat-Assessment.pdf
Updated Date: 22.03.2022
Author(s)/Source(s): Andrew Nichols, Robert Lusardi, Ann Willis,
Publication Date: 2017-Jul
Focal Topic: Aquatic Habitat / Invertebrates / Insects
Location: Shasta River
Watershed Code: 180102

The Shasta River and its tributaries provide critical spawning and rearing habitat for threatened and endangered salmonids within the lower Klamath River Basin of northern California and southern Oregon (NRC, 2004; NOAA, 2012). Over the last decade, conservation and restoration activities in the Shasta River Basin have principally focused on channel reaches along the mainstem Shasta River and spring-fed reaches of the Shasta River tributaries including Big
Springs Creek, Parks Creek and Hole in the Ground Creek (e.g. Jeffres et al., 2008; Nichols et al., 2010; Willis and Deas, 2012; Willis et al., 2012). These tributaries are all located adjacent to the upper reaches of the Shasta River and accessible to anadromous fish (rkm 50 to 65). Several tributaries are also found entering the lower reaches of the Shasta River (rkm 0 to 25), of which the Little Shasta River and Yreka Creek are the largest by annual flow volume (McBain & Trush, 2013). The Little Shasta River is prominent among these tributaries due to its reliance on both groundwater and precipitation/snowmelt runoff for streamflow (NCRWQCB, 2006; McBain & Trush, 2013).

Recent hydrologic and water temperature assessment activities along the Little Shasta River (Nichols et al., 2016) suggest the upper reaches accessible to anadromous salmonids (rkm 18.5 to rkm 25) may provide suitable thermal and structural aquatic habitat for cold-water fishes. Data collected throughout the 2015 water year showed that approximately 3 ft3/s of cool water remained in the Little Shasta River above rkm 18.5 (see Figure 1 and Figure 2) throughout the annual irrigation season (March through October). However, channel reaches downstream from rkm 18.5 had zero flow (or were dry) through much of the same period.

Keyword Tags:
Habitat Assessment, Little Shasta,