|Shasta Big Springs Ranch Study Site (Reference Note 1)|
Big Springs Creek’s water source provides water in the 10C-12C temperature range year-round and has flow rates that seasonally range from 40 to 80 cfs. Therefore, to create and maintain a suitable habitat for the Salmon along Big Springs Creek and downstream of the creek, maintaining the flow and these lower water temperatures provided by Big Springs Creek is critical.
Elevated water temperatures on Big Springs Creek were caused by low water levels and lack of shade due to loss vegetation, and inflows of irrigation return water. In 2009 livestock were prevented from entering Big Springs Creek which caused an increase in the aquatic vegetation including extensive emergence vegetations. This added vegetation increased water depth (via flow resistance) and shade, both aided in reducing heating of the water in Big Springs Creek. The added vegetation also provided cover for juvenile salmon and formed a basis of the food web (primary production and invertebrate populations) that support young salmon.
|Year-on-year temperature measurements from Big Springs Creek and nearby irrigation canal|
TNC was targeting a living landscape approach the would support both instream flow and habitat as well as providing a means to support agricultural practices. In 2010 Eyasco was contracted to install a network of wireless solar-powered monitoring stations that would collect temperature and flow data and display real-time data on a web site that could share the data with ranch managers and staff.
|Automated temperature and flow monitoring stations on Shasta Big Springs Creek|
|Daily temperature swings in creek and canal|