Discuss Hastings Reservation Ford Removal from Finch Creek


Meeting Date:

March 28, 2019





Beverly Chaney




Associate Fisheries Biologist

Line Item No.:    



Prepared By:

Beverly Chaney

Cost Estimate:



General Counsel Approval:  N/A

Committee Recommendation:  

CEQA Compliance:  Action does not constitute a project as defined by the California Environmental Quality Act Guidelines section 15378.




















SUMMARY:  Finch Creek, in upper Carmel Valley, is the primary tributary to Cachagua Creek, and is potentially one of the most productive, highest habitat value creeks downstream of Los Padres Dam. In normal and above water years, much of Finch Creek remains wetted, allowing steelhead to survive the summer and contribute to the overall success of the Carmel River watershed’s steelhead population.


In 2014, as part of the large regional IRWM grant, District staff surveyed four Carmel River tributaries for potential steelhead passage barriers, ranking the 12 worst sites based on the severity of the barrier, the length of additional stream that would become accessible if the barrier were removed, and the general “value” of the creek for steelhead spawning and rearing.


The wet stream crossing (ford) at UC Berkeley’s Hastings Natural History Reservation on Finch Creek was identified as a “yellow/red” barrier with “inadequate passage”, a likely steelhead barrier to some life stages at some flows, and was ranked #6 in the District’s barrier assessment report (see Exhibit 4-A, attached). Removal of this barrier would allow unrestricted passage to an additional 3.5 miles of quality stream habitat in more years. Work to remove other barriers further downstream is currently being undertaken by Trout Unlimited and their partners.


The Resident Director of Hastings Reserve, Dr. Jennifer Hunter, has expressed an interest in forming a partnership to fund the removal of the ford and replace it with a small bridge. Likely funding sources are UC Berkeley, the California Coastal Conservancy, and possibly other groups.  Financial support by the District would not only help with the overall cost of the project (estimated at $300,000 - $650,000) but would help secure the support of the other partners.  Positive public relations and supporting the District’s mission of benefiting the environment are additional benefits of the project.



4-A      Hastings Reserve Ford: map, photo, and rankings table