Restoration of Creeks in the Mono Lake Basin, Rush & Lee Vining Creeks, Lee Vining, California
Client: El Dorado County Superior Court, The Mono Lake Committee, California Trout, National Audubon Society, California Department of Fish and Game, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, and Trihey Associates
Northwest Biological Consulting provided stream restoration design and construction services to the above mention parties from 1990 through 1996. Additional stream restoration consulting services were provided to the Mono Lake Committee from 2006 to present. The restoration efforts were precipitated by a Court Order to restore stream and aquatic conditions that used to exist in Rush and Lee Vining Creeks prior to the streams being diverted in the 1940ís to Los Angeles for power and water. These streams provided the main water input into Mono Lake and used to provide excellent trout habitat and wetlands for a variety of wildlife. Most of the streams had been dewatered for over 50 years and required considerable effort to design and implement a restoration effort that would restore many of the habitat conditions that used to exist prior to the streams being diverted and dewatered.
Initially, NBC provided stream design and restoration supervision regarding Parker and Walker Creeks, tributaries to Rush Creek. After that work was completed, NBC worked on Rush and Lee Vining Creeks. The stream restoration services that NBC provided encompassed over 35 miles of streams and included the following:
- Design and Construction of pools, riffles, spawning habitat, object cover, side channels, sediment removal, and revegetation of riparian habitat
- Dam removal on Lee Vining Creek and removal of a gravel plug on Parker Creek that contained over 50,000 cubic yards of side-cast gravels
- Rewatering of numerous historic channels on both creeks which also included planting thousands of riparian trees and shrubs
- Removal of numerous diversion structures and rerouting the streams back to their original channels