Green Valley Creek Dam Removal

In the summer of 2019, PCI’s construction crew removed a channel-spanning concrete dam on Lower Green Valley Creek at Iron Horse Vineyards in Sebastopol, CA. Green Valley Creek is a major tributary to the Russian River and has historically provided critical spawning and rearing grounds for coho salmon. However, coho populations have declined due to channel incision (which reduces floodplain access for winter rearing and spring out-migrating smolts), encroachment of development on the riparian zones, and fish passage barriers like this dam. The goal of this project is to enhance coho habitat by removing the dam and creating edge habitat in the form of large woody shelter structures in the channel. The project was implemented by Gold Ridge Resource Conservation District, which has led many efforts to enhance salmon habitat along Green Valley Creek. The project was funded by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

PCI’s scope of work for the project included:

  • Development of site access through sensitive riparian and floodplain habitat
  • Stream dewatering and assistance to the project biologists for fish rescue and relocation
  • Demolition, removal and offhaul of all dam and debris materials generated as part of the project, including concrete, metal, soil, gravel, vegetation, logs, and wood, along with excavation for bank layback
  • Construction and installation of large wood habitat structures along both banks
  • Implementation of erosion control and slope protection measures

Concrete dam spanning Green Valley Creek

Dam removal

Constructing and installing large wood structures

Completed project