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Stream Flow

Our river runneth over

South Fork Gualala River at Twin Bridges, Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Here are two photos of the South Fork Gualala River at Twin Bridges, taken two days apart: Monday, December 1, 2014 (before the recent rain) and Wednesday, December 3, 2014 (after some much needed rain)

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Protect Threatened Salmon & Steelhead: Support Improved Low-Flow Closures

Action Alert: The native, Endangered Species Act-listed salmon and steelhead of the drought-stricken Gualala River, in California, need your help. Thanks in large part to the pressure that [fishermen] put on the California Department of Fish & Wildlife (CDFW) a year ago, the CDFW is finally taking action to fix the critically flawed low-flow closure system on the North Central-Coast …

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FoGR Files Lawsuit over Sonoma County’s Vineyard Erosion and Sediment Control Ordinance (VESCO)

2014 Reservoir above Haupt Creek

Friends of Gualala River (FoGR), along with Center for Biological Diversity and Sierra Club, has filed a suit against Sonoma County to close a major regulatory loophole. This time it’s not our typical campaign to stop destruction of redwood forest. It’s to fix a serious problem in a Sonoma County permitting process that is allowing developers to circumvent the California …

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Wine industry resists rising tide to regulate groundwater as California drought deepens

Wheatfield Fork, Gualala River, upstream of the Annapolis Road bridge at Skagg Springs Road, August 17, 2013

State legislation to regulate the depletion of groundwater is moving forward as the current historic drought continues and reservoirs draw precipitously down. State water agencies support legislative proposals to monitor and regulate groundwater in the public interest as the drought threatens both surface and below-ground water supplies. But North Coast grape growers and the wine industry are opposed to this …

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Protect state’s groundwater and the public interest now!

Wheatfield Fork Gualala River, August 2013

Friends of Gualalal River (FoGR) is a member of the North Coast Stream Flow Coalition, which supports rational management and regulation of groundwater to protect streamflows. FoGR endorses Chris Malan’s policy analysis and recommendations in her op-ed essay, below. Protect state’s groundwater and the public interest now! by Chris Malan Chair, North Coast Stream Flow Coalition Op-ed published in the …

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Streamflow Depletion by Wells

Understanding and Managing the Effects of Groundwater Pumping on Streamflow by Paul M. Barlow and Stanley A. Leake November, 2012, U.S. Geological Survey Introduction Groundwater is an important source of water for many human needs, including public supply, agriculture, and industry. With the development of any natural resource, however, adverse consequences may be associated with its use. One of the …

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Cumulative Effects of Logging Linked to Coho Decline


by Rob DiPerna Environmental Protection Information Center January, 2013 [excerpt:] Throughout the north and central California coast, Coho salmon are teetering on the brink of oblivion. According to the National Marine Fisheries Service, 85-90 percent of remaining Coho population in the Central California Coast ESU occurs in watersheds with privately managed forestlands. The 2011 Central California Coast Coho Recovery Plan …

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Time-lapse videos of the Gualala River mouth

These are time-lapse videos of the Gualala River mouth in Northern California during the months of February, March & April, 2009, taken by Dane Behrens, a PhD student in Environmental Science at UC Davis. They were taken with a time-lapse package from Harbortronics (www.harbortronics.com) at 20-minute intervals. This was taken with the permission of Don and Jan Plenty, who let …

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“Psst… Groundwater and Surface Water Do Mix” – New York Times

by FELICITY BARRINGER © New York Times February 3, 2011 [Excerpt:] “An article published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters this week describes a new and simple way of measuring groundwater’s contribution to small streams on the surface. . . Groundwater, they found, tends to be cooler than surface water in summer and warmer in winter; the infrared devices record …

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Gualala River Steelhead Studies

A fish and wildlife biologist, retired from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, has been conducting systematic studies of the population status of steelhead in the Gualala River since 2001. Annual spawning surveys focus on an 18 mile reach of the Wheatfield Fork selected as a population-indexing reach. GualalaRiverSteelhead.info Over the years, he has compiled a wealth of detailed information …

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Gualala River: North Coast Stream Flow Campaign

Despite protections in our system of laws, rivers and streams on California’s north coast being progressively de-watered with disastrous impacts to fisheries, aquatic ecosystems, recreational opportunities and the regional economy. The North Coast Stream Flow Campaign is a movement to get water back in northern California rivers. Mighty rivers that once teamed with fish and provided countless hours of recreation …

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Gualala River: Unauthorized diversion by the North Gualala Water Company

Settlement Agreement between State Water Resources Control Board and North Gualala Water Company Water Company will pay a fine of $11,600, avoid making new service connections until it has submitted a revised water supply contingency plan and a revised streamflow measurement plan, and petition for change in the existing bypass term or apply for additional water appropriation. The North Gualala …

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April showers bring May flows to the Gualala River

The low flow winter drought conditions that prevailed on the Gualala River were erased by late April rainfalls that scoured the gravel beds and flooded bars and floodplains. Aquatic wildlife that breed in well-oxygenated flowing water on coarse gravel and cobbles, like foothill yellow-legged frogs, got a reprieve. So did recreational users of the river. Whether this year will be …

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Gravel Mining

Letter to the editor published in the Independent Coast Observer November 2, 2007 Editor: Early in September, Friends of the Gualala River asked hydrologist Dennis Jackson to analyze the impacts of in-stream gravel mining in the Gualala River and to comment on the Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND) for the Gualala Redwoods gravel mining permit renewal that is being considered by …

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Changes at Valley Crossing

“At Twin Bridges (Valley Crossing), the big gravel bar at the confluence of the south fork has split into two channels: one running right through the alder riparian zone, and a shallower one that has breached the gravel bar. The gravel bar is very low in height compared with previous years.” “The willows planted by Matrix of Change a few …

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North Fork After the Winter Storms

3/7/2006   Britt “A break in the weather provided an opportunity to check out the stability of the soils along the North Fork and Little North Fork of the Gualala River.” “A hill slide onto the main haul road which runs alongside the North Fork.” “At the convergence of the North Fork and Little North Fork, the haul road is …

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Mud Season

3/6/2006   John “Old-timers say that Annapolis has two seasons… dust and mud. Well, with several days of non-stop heavy rain, I have to say we are definitely still in the mud season.” “Here’s a mudslide that closed Annapolis Road during yesterday’s storm. The Gualala River is down in the canyon to the left.” “A small muddy stream is flowing …

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After the Storm

2/20/2006   Peter “The river mouth has formed a double sand spit, an atypical configuration — a small ‘counter-spit’, growing in the reverse (south) direction of the main spit’s growth, overlaps the ocean side of the spit, and deflects the shrunken mouth southward about a hundred feet. It partially chokes the mouth, so the lagoon stands above the low tide.” …

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Willows hold their ground

“The South Fork of the Gualala River at the confluence with the Wheatfield Fork, at Valley Crossing, has changed configuration of its channel and bar.” June 2006 March 2006 “The lowered bar was “split” during winter and spring high flood flows, and now the main low-flow channel has stabilized in the middle of the broad gravel bar (above left). It …

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Year-end storm: Valley Crossing

“Here also the entire riparian zone was submerged and part of the channel, with rapid currents among alders. The high water level (mud with ripples, debris lines) went up to the edge of the loggingroad parallel with the river on the N side….highest I’ve ever seen. A thick deposit of silt (over 20 cm deep) covered the extensive ground that …

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