Butte Creek Watershed

Butte Creek is one of only three Central Valley streams that continue to harbor a sustaining population of the threatened SRCS.   The other two are nearby Deer and Mill creeks, located to the north in Tehama County.  SRCS were listed as threatened under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA) and federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) during 1999.  While historically, SRCS populations were found in most of the eastern tributaries of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers, large dams and water development eliminated access to all but the few remaining tributaries such as Deer, Mill, and Butte creeks (CDFG, 1998).

The first written record of salmon in Butte Creek was by G. H Clark in 1929 (Clark, 1929).  Clark in referring to Butte Creek stated “… has been known as a very fine salmon stream and as a good spawning ground”.

Watershed Information
Sacramento River Watershed Program
Butte Creek Existing Conditions Report

Restoration Programs
The Anadromous Fish Restoration Program (AFRP)
The San Joaquin River Restoration Program (Donor Stock Collection Plan)

Public Groups
Butte Creek Watershed Conservancy (BCWC)
Friends of Butte Creek
Monitoring Programs

Click a monitoring program to expand for description.

Adult Spring-Run / Fall-run Chinook - Mark / Recapture Carcass Surveys

Monitoring Method Mark/recapture carcass surveys.
Variable Measured 1. Annual in-river escapement.
2. Ocean/Inland contribution rates, age structure, and straying rates.
Program Objectives • Estimate spawner escapement of fall and spring-run Chinook.
• Estimate pre-spawning mortality of spring-run Chinook.
• Determine age at spawning.
• Determine contribution to, and impacts of ocean and sport harvests.
• Develop estimates of straying from and to other watersheds.
Lead Agency CDFW
Contact Clint Garman
Clint.Garman@wildlife.ca.gov
Reach Covered Quartz Bowl to Parrott-Phelan Diversion Dam (PPDD); spring-run Chinook PPDD downstream to Western Canal Siphon; fall-run Chinook.
Sampling Frequency Weekly
Sampling Period - Prespawn Mortality survey; June 1 – September 15th (SRCS)
- Carcass spawning survey; September 15th- November 1st (SRCS)
- Carcass spawning survey; November 1st- December 31st (FRCS)
Data Analysis - Methods Escapement estimate using Cormack-Jolly Seber model. Pre-spawn mortality carcass survey-Estimate mortality using Cormack-Jolly Seber model.
Data Analysis - Results 1. Total annual escapement estimate – including an estimate of pre-spawning mortality.
2. Spatial and temporal holding and spawning distribution.
3. Length frequency and sex composition of spawning population.
4. Recovery of coded-wire tag information.
Reporting • Escapement Estimate;
• Carcass estimate- Annually in November to Grand Tab;
• Pre-spawn mortality estimate – Annually in March.
Annual Report:
• Annual Report, “Butte Creek spring-run Chinook Salmon, Pre-Spawn Mortality Report” to PG&E.

Adult Spring-run Chinook & Steelhead - Snorkel surveys

Monitoring Method Snorkel surveys.
Variable Measured Annual in-river escapement and holding distribution.
Program Objectives • Estimate spawner escapement.
• Provide an alternative long term trend in populations.
Lead Agency CDFW
Contact Clint Garman
Clint.Garman@wildlife.ca.gov
Reach Covered Quartz Bowl to Covered Bridge.
Sampling Reaches Quartz Bowl to Covered Bridge.
Sampling Frequency Annually
Sampling Period 4 days in July
Data Analysis - Methods Escapement estimate by direct observation.
Data Analysis - Results 1. Total annual escapement estimate.
2. Spatial holding distribution.
Reporting Annual estimate to Grand Tab by November.

Adult Spring-run/Fall-run Chinook & Steelhead - Vaki RiverWatcher

Monitoring Method Vaki RiverWatcher
Variable Measured Annual in river escapement and distribution.
Program Objectives Measure relative abundance, temporal distribution, age structure from length frequency distributions and hatchery contributions of spring and fall-run Chinook salmon and Steelhead above Durham Mutual Fish Ladder.
Lead Agency CDFW
Contact Clint Garman
Clint.Garman@wildlife.ca.gov
Reach Covered Stationary video and infrared scanner located at Durham Mutual Fish Ladder.
Sampling Reaches Same as above.
Sampling Frequency Annually
Sampling Period Daily from October 1 through June 30.
Data Analysis - Methods Relative abundance estimates, timing and size charts using visual counts of video images and infrared silhouettes.
Data Analysis - Results 1. Relative abundance of adult spring/fall –run Chinook and Steelhead.
2. Evaluate potential relationships between water temperature, flow, and the timing of adult salmonid immigration.
Reporting Annual summary statistics reported to Region 2 fish files.

Juvenile Spring and Fall-run Chinook, Steelhead - Rotary Screw Trap & Coded-wire Tagging/Marking

Monitoring Method Rotary Screw Trap, Diversion Fyke Trap & Coded-wire Tagging/Marking
Variable Measured 1. Relative juvenile abundance and collection for coded-wire tagging.
2. Ocean/inland contribution rates, age structure, and straying rates.
Program Objectives • Identify and monitor time of alevin emergence, monitor and document juvenile size at emigration.
• Develop a measure of juvenile relative abundance.
• Document rearing and emigration patterns.
• Determine contribution to and impacts of ocean and sport harvest.
• Develop estimates of straying from and to other watersheds.
Lead Agency CDFW
Contact Clint Garman
Clint.Garman@wildlife.ca.gov
Reach Covered Quartz Bowl to Sutter Bypass (Sacramento Slough).
Sampling Reaches Parrot-Phelan Dam, Sutter Bypass.
Sampling Frequency Daily
Sampling Period January1 – June 30
Data Analysis - Methods 1. Relative abundance estimates determined by rotary screwtraps and diversion fyke trap totals.
Data Analysis - Results 1. Relative abundance of juvenile spring-run.
2. Annual release group size.
Reporting • Annual Report to California Bay-Delta Authority
Huell Howeser with carcass survey crew.
Courtesy of Tracy McReynolds (CDFW)
Spring Run Chinook Salmon Holding in Upper Butte Creek
Photo Credit: Zeke Lunder (Creative Commons)
Spring-run Chinook salmon holding in Quartz Bowl pool
Courtesy of David Little (Chico Enterprise Record)
Spring-run Chinook salmon migrating past Parrott-Phelan diversion dam.
Courtesy of Scott McReynolds (DWR)
Spring-run Chinook yearling.
Courtesy of Tracy McReynolds (CDFW)
Reports


    File Date Size  
Butte Creek Snorkel Survey – 2016 02/17/2017 12:15 305 K DOWNLOAD
Butte Creek Snorkel Survey – 2015 02/17/2017 12:14 350 K DOWNLOAD
Butte Creek Snorkel Survey – 2014 02/17/2017 12:14 229 K DOWNLOAD
Butte Creek Snorkel Survey – 2013 02/17/2017 12:13 241 K DOWNLOAD
Butte Creek Snorkel Survey – 2012 02/17/2017 12:13 189 K DOWNLOAD
Butte Creek Snorkel Survey – 2011 02/17/2017 12:12 189 K DOWNLOAD
Butte Creek Snorkel Survey – 2010 02/17/2017 12:12 109 K DOWNLOAD
Butte Creek Snorkel Survey – 2009 02/17/2017 12:11 154 K DOWNLOAD
Butte Creek Snorkel Survey – 2008 02/17/2017 12:11 112 K DOWNLOAD
Butte Creek Snorkel Survey – 2007 02/17/2017 12:10 113 K DOWNLOAD
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