Beith Creek 

Water Quality Improvement for Aquatic Species Project

Completed: 2003

Overview

  • The project addressed the historical consequences of logging road construction.
  • Reduced fine sediment flow into Beith Creek.
  • Widened the channel and upgraded the culvert.
  • Enhances water quality and the projects efforts are instrumental in revitalizing salmonid populations.
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History/Location

Historic logging road construction practices had a significant impact on Beith Creek's watershed. These practices led to adverse effects on the ecosystem. Improperly constructed roads reduced streamside vegetative cover, altered water depths, and allowed soil and debris to runoff into the stream, increasing water temperatures and negatively affecting water quality and aquatic life. Moreover, culverts obstructed fish and amphibian passage, impacting federally listed juvenile Coho and Chinook salmon, and steelhead trout's journey to Gannon Slough and Humboldt Bay.

Restoration Enhancements

The Beith Creek Road Restoration Project, executed in two phases, addressed the historical consequences of logging road construction. The project first, prioritized the removal of 13 stream crossings and repair of two 'fill-slope' landslides. Unnecessary roads, no longer vital for timber management, were removed. Second, the Lower Beith Creek culvert upgrade project was successfully completed in 2003. Positioned between Old Arcata Road and Highway 101, this initiative aimed to enhance water flow conditions. The project's focus on widening the channel and upgrading the culvert included the installation of 2-8’ x 26’ steel rail car bridges to strengthen the stream crossing.

The project cumulative efforts successfully reduced fine sediment flow into Beith Creek, projected to mitigate 95% of future sediment concerns. As part of the projects commitment to enhancing water quality in the Beith Creek watershed, the ongoing project is instrumental in revitalizing salmonid fish populations. It notably prioritizes the restoration of Coho salmon—a joint priority for both the City of Arcata and its key partner, the California Department of Fish and Game.

Partnership and Funding

City of Arcata contributed $84,000 including $5,000 from State Community Development Block Grant funds.