After heavy rain and wind caused havoc in the area, the Friends of Marsh Creek Watershed made their way out to the fish ladder along Marsh Creek in Brentwood to prepare for the next storm which should hit today. The fish ladder was clogged with brush, garbage and other items which the crew of three worked tirelessly to clean as the water level had risen from the downpour.
Here are some photographs I took yesterday which include Oakley City Councilwoman elect/ executive director of Friends of Marsh Creek Diane Burgis long with her Board President Brian Curran and Barry Margesson who is also on the board.
Here is a 2010 article from the San Francisco Chronicle which has more background on the fish ladder.
The fish ladder is a 50-foot-long sloped concrete chute bypassing a 6-foot waterfall on the creek. The waterfall was built in 1958 to slow the creek’s flow, protecting nearby farms from erosion and flooding. Salmon, once plentiful in Marsh Creek, have been unable to pass the waterfall since then.
With the fish ladder, salmon will be able to travel 7 more miles up Marsh Creek, wending through shady, gravel-filled pools until they hit the dam. The county has no plans to remove the dam, so this is as good as it’ll get for salmon in Marsh Creek.
Residents, environmentalists and county officials have been working on helping salmon on Marsh Creek for 10 years. The primary hurdles were money and engineering, finding a simple and cheap way to make the creek friendlier for salmon without eroding adjacent farms.
By Michael Burkholder