Dry Creek Valley is home to an important creek, which is now undergoing a vital restoration with help from several wineries providing refuge in the creek for young Coho salmon and Steelhead trout. Since 2012, wineries with properties bordering Dry Creek and its tributaries have partnered with The Sonoma County Water Agency, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) to restore six beautiful miles of habitat.
One of the keys to population growth and Sonoma County agriculture was the creation of Warm Springs Dam and Lake Sonoma in 1982. But despite the dam’s benefits, two problems arose because the water flowed more rapidly: it became an inhospitable environment for migrating steelhead trout and salmon to thrive, and creekside erosion occurred.
“Essentially the restoration project involves building backwater ponds and side channels in order to create slow-flow areas in the creek so that the juvenile fish have a place to feed and thrive during periods when there are high river flows through the watershed,” explains Andrew Fegelman of Quivira Vineyards and Winery.
Planting native flora also builds root systems that prevent erosion. Beyond fishes, many riparian species are repopulating the region and bringing the local ecosystem into balance.
Wineries contributing to the restoration project include Amista Vineyards, Quivira Vineyards and Winery, Dry Creek Vineyard, Seghesio Family Vineyard, and Rued Winery, all of which are recognized by the Sonoma County Water Agency as Salmon Stewards of Dry Creek Program.
“We are doing our part to restore the incredible beauty of Dry Creek and at the same time recreate a vibrant habitat for endangered fishes,” says Vicky Farrow, owner of Amista Vineyards.
To read more about sustainability in Dry Creek Valley, visit: