Join us on February 13th at the Lake Sonoma Steelhead Festival
Rain or shine, the Winegrowers of Dry Creek Valley will be pouring your favorite wines at Lake Sonoma. Come celebrate Valentine’s Day weekend with the Steelhead and their annual journey up the Creek.
The festival will be held from 10a to 4p at the Mill Brandt Visitors Center at Lake Sonoma. This family friend event will have food trucks, wine (that’s us!), beer (Bear Republic), live music, interactive exhibits, and of course, plenty of fish! Did we mention that admission is FREE?!
A big THANK YOU to the below wineries for their continued dedication in both the Dry Creek restoration process and for graciously donating wine to pour at this event. All proceeds made from wine purchases will be going back to the Friends of Lake Sonoma to help keep this event free and keep fish happy on their adventure up the creek.
When you come visit our tent, be sure to stop by the Sonoma County Water Agency’s table and learn more about their amazing restoration project and progress. Continue reading to learn a little bit more.
There’s plenty of fish in the sea Dry Creek, thanks to the Fish Habitat Restoration Project!
A six-mile habitat enhancement project is being conducted by the Sonoma County Water Agency in cooperation with wineries, private landowners, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in order to provide an enhanced habitat for endangered Coho salmon and threatened Steelhead and Chinook. The project will use boulders, root wads, and logs to create backwaters, side channels, and shady habitats for the young fish that live in Dry Creek during the summer. The project is intended to restore Dry Creek to its original flow and restore the original ecosystem so that wildlife can thrive.
This project has been in the works since 2008 and is over half way complete! We’ve restored the first mile of Dry Creek, and in the coming years will restore an additional two miles of habitat. You can download a PDF of this timeline if you’re interested in more information.
Many of our wineries border Dry Creek and are an integral part of the initiative to create a friendlier habitat for migrating steelhead and chinook. The restoration process involves two steps – the first involves restoring the gravel beds that are the spawning grounds for salmon and steelhead and the second requires pulling back the steep creek banks and building natural retaining walls using rocks and willow trees.
Amista Vineyards was one of the first on board with the SCWA’s restoration and have monitored the progress over the past year as the creek banks have been rebuilt at their property. Don Wallace of Dry Creek Vineyards states that, “the project makes good sense. It’s going to be good for our land values. But even more important, it’s good for the environment.” All natural materials are used to create a more stable stream bank and resting points for these fish on their adventures to Lake Sonoma. Martorana Family Wineries has been recognized for their efforts in restoring Dry Creek by The Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies in 2014 with the Private Lands Fish and Wildlife Stewardship Award.
In 2010, The Department of Fish & Game worked closely with Quivira in a restoration project that released 6,600 juvenile Coho Salmon into Wine Creek, which adjoins with Dry Creek at the winery. The Coho are equipped with a PIT tag antenna that can estimate efficiency and determine the number of migrating Coho and the number of adults returning to the creek. Read more about their other great conservation projects on their website. Quivira’s bio-dynamic friends at Truett-Hurst are no stranger to these efforts. Visit their winery and sit in their classic red Adirondack chairs by the creek with a glass of their Dragonfly Red Blend to appreciate what these efforts have all worked for.