State grant awarded to free up Glen Ellen creek for steelhead

Sonoma Land Trust has been awarded nearly $700,000 to remove three manmade barriers on Stuart Creek in Glen Ellen that for decades have blocked upstream access for steelhead.

Stuart Creek is a tributary of Sonoma Creek, which once supported the second-largest steelhead trout run among Bay Area streams. The fish swim up the creek from San Francisco Bay to spawn.

The $691,644 grant from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife's Fisheries Restoration Grant Program will enable the Land Trust to remove the barriers, which include a culvert under a deteriorated wooden bridge alongside Arnold Drive and an old flash dam on the Glen Oaks Ranch.

The stream bed also will be modified in an effort to bring back the steelhead.

Construction is expected to begin this summer and wrap up in November.

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