photo of Mark West Creek

Creek Report

The beautiful upper Mark West Creek and some of its tributaries
are still supporting populations of migratory steelhead. Spawning
steelhead have been witnessed in the upper reaches of the Mark
West Watershed.

However, the lower stretches of Mark West Creek, particularly
where it joins the Laguna de Santa Rosa, are choked with aquatic
plants robbing dissolved oxygen from the streams. Plus high
levels of nutrients from effluent discharge and fertilizer runoff is
evident.

To address these concerns and improve the health of this
watershed, the FMWW is expanding its effort to include concerned
neighbors downstream.

Working toward these goals, FMWW has officially partnered up
with the Laguna Foundation to help each other in developing
and implementing restoration and conservation plans.

FMWW is also working with Dept. of Fish and Game, Sotoyome RCD and the Sonoma
County Water Agency to collect data and assess the watershed’s
health as regard to steelhead and coho habitat.

Although this was a low rainfall year, health of the watershed
is evident by the return of many spectacular wild flowers [native
orchids-- spotted coral root and calypso bulbosa--leopard lily,
scarlet monkey flower, CA Indian pinks, sidalcea], plus flowering
dogwood and western azalea creekside.

Many reported wildlife sightings of raptors, owls, red-breasted sapsucker, downy woodpecker
and fox. Mountain lion sighting were reported by Sherry
Soleski, Janis Jordan and Richard Baril. However, some watershed
residents [coyote and otter] sightings are down.

This is some of the good and bad news as we learn more about the wildlife
community of which we are all a part. With streamflows so
low, one of the best things we can do right now as good stewards,
whether on well water, springs or public or community water systems,
is to practice stringent water conservation.

We must continue to be aware of our impact upon the wildlife community and
indeed this planet of which we are a part and hopefully educate
each other toward good stewardship of this critical habitat area
and important natural resource.

Call me with any concerns or ideas. Richard 538-2673.


Friends of the Mark West Watershed • 6985 Saint Helena Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95404
Email • Tel: 707-538-5307 • Fax: 707-595-5322

Friends of the Mark West Watershed is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
Your contribution is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.
FMWW’s Federal ID number is  81-2838263.

The views expressed on this website reflect those of the submitting writer(s).
They do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Friends of the Mark West Watershed or its members.
The FMWW does not warrant or assume legal liability or responsibility for
the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information disclosed.
FMWW encourages any and all community members and interested persons to attend
our monthly meetings to discuss these watershed issues.