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    Stillwater Creek Workshop:  SUCCESS!

    The Stillwater Creek Stream Workshop was a huge success.

    Over 36 professionals attended the 3.5 day workshop hosted by Shasta College and organized by the Shasta College Foundation and Sacramento Watersheds Action Group (SWAG).  We had some Military people from Kansas, almost 10 professionals fro Caltrans, CA Fish and Game was represented (2 wardens attended), a City of Roseville planner, and many more.

    David Derrick, from Bovina, Mississippi (yup, Bovina, right near Vicksburg, home of the USCOE Waterways Experiment Station), was in super great form.  For those of you who haven't caught David teach about streams, well .....so sad.  Scott Thompson, SC Foundation stopped by and commented about david, "that guys is a great instructor!".   But hey, you can catch him next year as we plan to make this a yearly affair.  The entire workshop was about practical application and experience.  Both David and myself have  designed and built tons of projects, which we have dutifully documented and monitored through the years.

    The College provided bus transportation (and oh, the lunches provided by the College were deeLISH) so we could visit Sulphur Creek, a Redding Urban Salmonid stream that SWAG started restoring in 1996.  The attendees got to see restoration and biotechnical techniques that are over 10 years old (Newbury Rock Riffles, Viffles, Rock Vanes, Live Siltation w/ LPSTP).

    If these sound foreign to you well, I taught some modules on biotechnical EC/ Bioengineering and all the attendees got free copies of NCHRP Report 544 / ESenSS - Environmentally-Sensitive Streambank Stabilization (this CD has all the practices (54) that are environmentally-sensitive alternatives or enhancements to traditional rip rap, including digital drawing files, BMPs, design criteria, case studies, photos etc.)

    Besides the classroom instruction by David and myself, the real high point(s) were the field trips out to Stillwater Creek that bounds the College campus to the East.  We all got to "Read The Stream" with David's help - through the eyes of an experienced stream and river guy.  There was a lot to see too, or more correctly, a lot NOT seen.  Such as proper stream function.  There was almost no large wood in the stream, even though wood was probably an important component to proper stream function.   David help us see that there were a lot of other components like overhanging branches and "dragging limbs", no substrate complexity like pools and riffles.  

    We learned a lot about "Roughness", not the Manning's n - type, but instead David explained how the vegetation, rocks, pools/riffles etc provide the necessary roughness during high flows to dissipate stream energy while relatively smooth banks (no veg, riprap, etc.) will erode or accelerate the stream energy.  More on this in upcoming blogs!

    The stream was / is incised at a Stage 3-4 on the Channel Evolution Model.  David and I spent significant time explaining geomorphic features and stream energy, and the resulting dis-equilibrium.   This reach of creek was a classic example showcasing the state-of-the-art streambank stabilization practices circa 1960-1970s, e.g., Gabion baskets, tires, or rock places along a straightened reach of stream that is separated from it's floodplain and then historically gravel mined for good measure!  Yes, this reach of Stillwater Creek will provide a "learning laboratory" for many years to come.  It is also has very valuable potential as critical Salmonid habitat if restoration projects are implemented.

    And this is exactly what Shasta College, the Shasta College Foundation, and SWAG want.  To restore the habitat and stream function while providing a hands-on learning laboratory.  We want to offer more workshops, at least on an annual basis.  What would you say if Shasta College offered curriculum in Stream Restoration?  

    Give us your feedback please.

    And stay tuned for more information.  We are going to offer additional Stillwater Creek blog topics over the next few weeks.

    • How was the Vegetated Mechanically Stabilized Earth (VMSE Soil Wrap) built during the workshop?
    • What did the workshop attendees observe and why were there differences observed between the East Fork and the West Fork? 
    • What are the hydrologic and geomorphic conditions within and above our reach and what were the historical land uses ?
    • What were those old practices - gabions, tire, and rock resistive techniques - and how have they worked?  For all intents and purposes, the channel is straightened, lined and probably acts similar to the LA River (without the concrete protection).  
    • What are the recommendations we have at this stage of analysis - what projects have been identified and where shall we start heading?  


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      Response: Hollister
      Hi, this essay is despite the small, but rich in content. Reverie verbiage. If you want to see details:Hollister or Hollister or Hollister Hollister Online Shop
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      Response: helpful hints
      Stillwater Creek Workshop: SUCCESS! - WatchYourDirt- Blog - WatchYourDirt.Com: Home of Dirt Time - The Erosion and Sediment Control BMP Show
    • Response
      Response: my review here
      Stillwater Creek Workshop: SUCCESS! - WatchYourDirt- Blog - WatchYourDirt.Com: Home of Dirt Time - The Erosion and Sediment Control BMP Show
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      Response: Visit Home Page
      Stillwater Creek Workshop: SUCCESS! - WatchYourDirt- Blog - WatchYourDirt.Com: Home of Dirt Time - The Erosion and Sediment Control BMP Show

    Reader Comments (3)

    Hey... there was an environmental scientist from DFG there too!
    Offering courses in stream restoration at Shasta College is a great idea! Go get 'em!

    December 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMicah

    Great Workshop! I especially appreciated the field surveys and the real world options to rehabilitate the Stillwater Creek after seeing the work examples on Sulphur Creek.

    The photo of David on the bar constructing LPSTP with his hands (that says it all!) was excellent visualization as was the comparative tests of the hook, the bendway wier, and the vane on the erosion test bed. When one can see what is happening in sequence it really helps the perspective. The suggestion that the next Workshop utilize the test bed was a good one and I hope it is part of the program next year.

    December 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJay Greening

    CA Fish and game was really well represented, I neglected to mention their environmental scientist also attended, sorry Micah. Plus the local Redding Office helped us with permit submission to do demonstration project, thanks Toby and Katherine.

    December 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJohn McCullah

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