Giving Steelhead a Fighting Chance: San Pedro Creek and the Power of Teamwork and Volunteers

By Paul Jones, February 2019 The main trail in San Pedro Valley County Park is the Weiler Ranch trail, which runs parallel to San Pedro Creek for about 3/4 of a mile until it crosses over the creek affording a good look down at the stream. From long ago until 2001, the trail crossing consisted of a 6-foot diameter culvert about 25 feet long that was topped by soil and other waste material the farmer dumped to get the farm road level with the field. Over time, the Creek developed a “scour pool” on the downstream end of the culvert, making it almost impossible for adult steelhead to migrate past the barrier.  In 2001, the San Pedro Creek Watershed Coalition, working with San Mateo County Parks, County Maintenance Division, the City of Pacifica and volunteers, took to removing the old crossing and replacing it with a free-spanning bridge. The culvert was removed and we laid back the banks to match the upstream and downstream contours, installed rock weirs to control the stream, and used “bio-engineering” to stabilize the banks. This involved planting willows and alders to supplement the coir blankets that held in the soil until native plants could re-colonize‚Ķ

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