Steelhead Creek flows south from the Elverta area in the north county through the Northgate community to Discovery Park in the American River Parkway. It the turns west and flows parallel to the American River before entering the Sacramento River just north of the two rivers’ confluence. The creek often flows directly into the submerged floodplain of Discovery Park during high water flows causing it to join with the American River. Steelhead Creek is used by fall-run Chinook salmon and Steelhead trout that pass through the creek on their way north to Dry Creek to spawn. It is a main drainage canal traversing urban areas, therefore it is impacted by trash and debris from illegal dumping and homeless encampments.
VFWC assists with collaborative efforts of watershed stakeholders to improve resource management and maximize collaboration among landowners, land users, recreational users, government agencies, and conservation groups for Steelhead Creek through the American River Basin Collaborative.
Community members are working together to clean up the creek, address homeless encampment issues and develop projects that include data collection and citizen science. The goal is to convene stakeholders and develop a plan for future restoration projects.
Using grant funds from SACC, community members have been able to illustrate the problem, develop and test a protocol to estimate amount of trash in the streambed and bring a wide range of agencies together to partner on a large scale cleanup of a portion of the creek.
Rolan Brady PhD, presented the project at the ARBC meeting in December 2018. Click the following link for a copy of the presentation: Steelhead Creek to Valley Watershed 12-18 updated reduced File Size
The Regional Sanitation District has received recognition for assisting with funding for the cleanup.
Attention has been brought to the public by a variety of stakeholders including concerns regarding levee maintenance issues caused by homeless encampments. In May 2019 local media completed segments:
Visit Friends of Steelhead Creek on Facebook for more information.