Trout Creek (Truckee River tributary)

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Trout Creek (Truckee River)
Trout Creek Beaver Dam.jpg
Beaver Dam on Trout Creek in Truckee, CA courtesy Ted Guzzi 2010
Country United States
State California
Region Nevada County
 - elevation 6,550 ft (1,996 m)
 - coordinates 39°20′49″N120°14′46″W / 39.34694°N 120.24611°W / 39.34694; -120.24611   [1]
Mouth Confluence with the Truckee River
 - location Truckee, California
 - elevation 5,745 ft (1,751 m) [1]
 - coordinates 39°19′56″N120°09′54″W / 39.33222°N 120.16500°W / 39.33222; -120.16500 Coordinates: 39°19′56″N120°09′54″W / 39.33222°N 120.16500°W / 39.33222; -120.16500   [1]
Relief map of California.png
Red pog.svg
Location of the mouth within California

Trout Creek is a small tributary of the Truckee River draining about 5.1 square miles (13 km2) along the eastern crest of the Sierra Nevada. It originates east of Donner Ridge and north of Donner Lake in the Tahoe–Donner Golf Course and flows through the town of Truckee, California, to its confluence with the Truckee River in Nevada County, California, just west of Highway 267.

Truckee River stream in US states of California and Nevada

The Truckee River is a river in the U.S. states of California and Nevada. The river flows northeasterly and is 121 miles (195 km) long. The Truckee is the sole outlet of Lake Tahoe and drains part of the high Sierra Nevada, emptying into Pyramid Lake in the Great Basin. Its waters are an important source of irrigation along its valley and adjacent valleys.

Sierra Nevada (U.S.) mountain range

The Sierra Nevada is a mountain range in the Western United States, between the Central Valley of California and the Great Basin. The vast majority of the range lies in the state of California, although the Carson Range spur lies primarily in Nevada. The Sierra Nevada is part of the American Cordillera, a chain of mountain ranges that consists of an almost continuous sequence of such ranges that form the western "backbone" of North America, Central America, South America and Antarctica.

Truckee, California Town in California in the United States

Truckee is an incorporated town in Nevada County, California, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 16,180, reflecting an increase of 2,316 from the 13,864 counted in the 2000 Census.


Trout Creek restoration project

Historically, Trout Creek was re-routed for development of downtown Truckee, to power a lumber mill in a flume, channelized, and used to feed ponds for ice harvesting and logging. None of the lower portion of the creek follows its original channel and a large portion has been channelized within a concrete flume between Jibboom Street and Donner Pass Road. [2]

The Town of Truckee is working to restore Trout Creek in order to:

The restoration is on the section of the creek from its I-80 undercrossing east of Bridge Street, under Donner Pass Road, past the Lumber Yard, through the Railyard Development area, and to the Union Pacific Railroad right of way line, which is immediately north of the Truckee River. [3] [4]


Observed species include a variety of birds, including killdeer (Charadrius vociferus), belted kingfisher (Ceryle alcyon), hairy woodpecker (Picoides villosus), Steller's jay (Cyanocitta stelleri), common raven (Corvus corax), mountain chickadee (Poecile gambell), white-breasted nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis). brown creeper (Certhia americana), and dark-eyed junco (Junco hyemalis) and several mammals. including California ground squirrel (Spermophilys beecheyi), North American beaver (Castor canadensis), raccoon (Procyon lotor), and mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus). [3] The primary fish species that are present through the project reach are brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis), rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus myklss), brown trout (Salmo trutta), and Paiute sculpin (Cottus beldingi). All of these fish species, except for the sculpin, are introduced species. The presence of highly aggressive salmonids, such as non-native rainbow trout, probably depredated the historically native, federally listed, Lahontan cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki henshawi). [3]

Belted kingfisher species of bird

The belted kingfisher is a large, conspicuous water kingfisher, the only member of that group commonly found in the northern United States and Canada. It is depicted on the 1986 series Canadian $5 note. All kingfishers were formerly placed in one family, Alcedinidae, but recent research suggests that this should be divided into three subfamilies.

Stellers jay species of bird of the family Corvidae

The Steller's jay is a jay native to western North America, closely related to the blue jay found in the rest of the continent, but with a black head and upper body. It is also known as the long-crested jay, mountain jay, and pine jay. It is the only crested jay west of the Rocky Mountains.

North American beaver species of mammal

The North American beaver is one of two extant beaver species. It is native to North America and introduced to Patagonia in South America and some European countries. In the United States and Canada, the species is often referred to simply as "beaver", though this causes some confusion because another distantly related rodent, Aplodontia rufa, is often called the "mountain beaver". Other vernacular names, including American beaver and Canadian beaver, distinguish this species from the other extant beaver species, Castor fiber, which is native to Eurasia. The North American beaver is an official animal symbol of Canada and is the official state mammal of Oregon.

North American beaver (Castor canadensis) are now prevalent on Trout Creek, and have built over 30 dams from the bridge on Donner Pass Road to the Truckee River. Beaver were re-introduced to the Tahoe Basin by the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) and the U. S. Forest Service between 1934 and 1949 in order to prevent stream degradation and to promote wetland restoration. That beaver were once native to the area is supported by the fact that the Washo have a word for beaver, c'imhélhel [5] [6] and the northern Paiute of Walker Lake, Honey Lake and Pyramid Lake have a word for beaver su-i'-tu-ti-kut'-teh. [7] When Stephen Powers visited the northern Paiute to collect Indian materials for the Smithsonian Institution in preparation for the Centennial Exhibition of 1876, he reported that the northern Paiute wrapped their hair in strips of beaver fur, made medicine from parts of beaver and that their creation legend included beaver. [7] In addition, fur trapper Stephen Hall Meek "set his traps on the Truckee River in 1833", which strongly suggests that he saw beaver or beaver sign. [8] The presence of beaver dams has been shown to either increase the number of fish, their size, or both, in a study of brook, rainbow and brown trout in nearby Sagehen Creek, which flows into the Little Truckee River at an altitude of 5,800 feet (1,800 m) and is a stream typical of the eastern slope of the northern Sierra Nevada. [9] Not only have aspen and cottonwood survived ongoing beaver colonization but a recent study of ten Tahoe streams utilizing aerial multispectral videography, including Trout Creek and Cold Creek, has shown that deciduous, thick and thin herbaceous vegetation has increased near beaver dams, whereas coniferous trees are decreased. [10] Benefits of beaver dams include removal of sediment and excessive pollutants travelling downstream, which improves water clarity, which was shown to worsen when beaver dams were recently removed in nearby Taylor Creek and Ward Creek. [11] Flooding from beaver dams is relatively inexpensively controlled with flow devices.

Donner Pass mountain pass in the northern Sierra Nevada above Donner Lake about 9 miles (14 km) west of Truckee, California

Donner Pass is a mountain pass in the northern Sierra Nevada, above Donner Lake about 9 miles (14 km) west of Truckee, California. Like the Sierra Nevada mountains themselves, the pass has a steep approach from the east and a gradual approach from the west.

Lake Tahoe lake in California and Nevada, United States

Lake Tahoe is a large freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada of the United States. Lying at 6,225 ft (1,897 m), it straddles the state line between California and Nevada, west of Carson City. Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America, and at 122,160,280 acre⋅ft (150,682,490 dam3) trails only the five Great Lakes as the largest by volume in the United States. Its depth is 1,645 ft (501 m), making it the second deepest in the United States after Crater Lake in Oregon.

United States Forest Service federal forest and grassland administrators

The United States Forest Service (USFS) is an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture that administers the nation's 154 national forests and 20 national grasslands, which encompass 193 million acres (780,000 km2). Major divisions of the agency include the National Forest System, State and Private Forestry, Business Operations, and the Research and Development branch. Managing approximately 25% of federal lands, it is the only major national land agency that is outside the U.S. Department of the Interior.

See also

Related Research Articles

Pyramid Lake (Nevada) lake in Nevada, United States

Pyramid Lake is the geographic sink of the basin of the Truckee River, 40 mi (64 km) northeast of Reno, Nevada, United States.

Carson River river in Nevada, USA

The Carson River is a northwestern Nevada river that empties into the Carson Sink, an endorheic basin. The main stem of the river is 131 miles (211 km) long although addition of the East Fork makes the total length 205 miles (330 km), traversing five counties: Alpine County in California and Douglas, Storey, Lyon, and Churchill Counties in Nevada, as well as the Consolidated Municipality of Carson City, Nevada. The river is named for Kit Carson, who guided John C. Frémont's expedition westward up the Carson Valley and across Carson Pass in winter, 1844.

Owens River river in the United States of America in California

The Owens River is a river in eastern California in the United States, approximately 183 miles (295 km) long. It drains into and through the Owens Valley, an arid basin between the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada and the western faces of the Inyo and White Mountains. The river terminates at the endorheic Owens Lake south of Lone Pine, at the bottom of a 2,600 sq mi (6,700 km2) watershed.

Kickapoo River river in the United States of America

The Kickapoo River is a 126-mile-long (203 km) tributary of the Wisconsin River in the state of Wisconsin, United States. It is named for the Kickapoo Indians who occupied Wisconsin before the influx of white settlers in the early 19th century.

Coyote Creek (Santa Clara County)

Coyote Creek is a river that flows through the Santa Clara Valley in California, United States.

Ward Creek (Lake Tahoe)

Ward Creek is a 6.1-mile (9.8 km) eastward-flowing stream in Placer County, California, USA. The creek flows into Lake Tahoe 2.7 miles (4.3 km) south of Tahoe City, California, and has undergone extensive restoration to reduce sediment and surface run-off to maintain the purity of Lake Tahoe.

Lahontan cutthroat trout subspecies of fish

Lahontan cutthroat trout is the largest subspecies of cutthroat trout, and the state fish of Nevada. It is one of three subspecies of cutthroat trout that are listed as federally threatened.

Paiute cutthroat trout subspecies of fish

Paiute cutthroat trout is one of fourteen subspecies of cutthroat trout. Paiute Cutthroat are native only to Silver King Creek, a headwater tributary of the Carson River in the Sierra Nevada, in California. This subspecies is named after the indigenous Northern Paiute peoples.

Beaver in the Sierra Nevada

The North American beaver had a historic range that overlapped the Sierra Nevada in California. Before the European colonization of the Americas, beaver were distributed from the arctic tundra to the deserts of northern Mexico. The California Golden beaver subspecies was prevalent in the Sacramento and San Joaquin River watersheds, including their tributaries in the Sierra Nevada. Recent evidence indicates that beaver were native to the High Sierra until their extirpation in the nineteenth century.

Martis Creek river in the United States of America

Martis Creek is a northward-flowing stream originating on Sawtooth Ridge, west of the peak of Mount Pluto in Placer County, California, United States. After crossing into Nevada County, California, it is tributary to the Truckee River on the eastern side of Truckee.

Weister Creek stream in Vernon County, Wisconsin, United States of America

Weister Creek is a stream, some 25 miles (40 km) long, in Vernon County in southwestern Wisconsin in the United States and is a tributary of the Kickapoo River. It lies in the Driftless Area which is characterized by hills and valleys apparently missed by the last glacial advance during the Pleistocene. Much of the lower half of Weister Creek is surrounded by wetlands and lies in the Kickapoo Valley Reserve.

Meeks Creek river in the United States of America

Meeks Creek is a western tributary of Lake Tahoe which has its source on Rubicon Lake, 1.2 miles (1.9 km) northeast of Phipps Peak in Desolation Wilderness, trends northwest through Stony Ridge Lake, Shadow Lake, Crag Lake, and Lake Genevieve 3.5 miles (5.6 km), continues northeast 3.5 miles (5.6 km) to Meeks Bay on Lake Tahoe. At its mouth is the tiny town of Meeks Bay, California, in El Dorado County, California, United States.

Red Clover Creek is a northwestward-flowing stream originating on Horton Ridge east of the Sierra Nevada crest in Plumas County, California, United States. It courses 27 miles (43 km) through Dotta Canyon and the Red Clover Valley, culminating in Last Chance Creek, which flows in turn, into Indian Creek in the Genesee Valley, and from there to the East Branch North Fork Feather River. The Red Clover Valley sits at an elevation of about 5,400 feet (1,600 m) and is located on the east side of the Sierra Nevada crest, approximately 60 miles (97 km) north of Truckee and 30 miles (48 km) southeast of Quincy. This region of the northern Sierra Nevada is known as the Diamond Mountains.

Griff Creek river in the United States of America

Griff Creek is a southward-flowing stream originating on Martis Peak in Placer County, California, United States. It culminates in north Lake Tahoe at Kings Beach, California.

Trout Creek is a northward-flowing stream originating on the west side of Armstrong Pass on the Carson Range in El Dorado County, California, United States.

Taylor Creek (Lake Tahoe) river in the United States of America

Taylor Creek is a 2.2-mile-long (3.5 km) northward-flowing stream originating in the Fallen Leaf Lake and culminating at Baldwin Beach at Lake Tahoe, about 1 mile (1.6 km) west of Camp Richardson in El Dorado County, California.

Blackwood Creek (California) river in California, United States of America

Blackwood Creek is a 8-mile-long (13 km) eastward-flowing stream originating on the southwest flank of Ellis Peak in the Sierra Nevada. The creek flows into Lake Tahoe 4.2 miles (6.8 km) south of Tahoe City, California, between the unincorporated communities of Idlewild and Tahoe Pines in Placer County, California, United States.

Spooner Lake

Spooner Lake is a man-made reservoir located just north of the intersection of Highway 50 and Highway 28 near Spooner Summit, a pass in the Carson Range of the Sierra Nevada leading to Carson City, Nevada from Lake Tahoe. It is located in Lake Tahoe – Nevada State Park.


  1. 1 2 3 U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Trout Creek
  2. Initial Study/Proposed Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND) (Report). Town of Truckee. 2010-12-08. Retrieved 2010-12-24.
  3. 1 2 3 "Trout Creek Restoration Project". Town of Truckee. Retrieved 2010-12-03.
  4. "Trout Creek Restoration Project". Santa Cruz, California: Waterways Consulting. Retrieved 2010-12-03.
  5. A. L. Kroeber (1919). "30". Handbook of Indians of California . Retrieved 2010-08-19.
  6. "The Washo Project". University of Chicago. Retrieved 2010-08-19.
  7. 1 2 Don D. Fowler, Catherine S. Fowler, Stephen Powers (Summer–Autumn 1970). "Stephen Powers' "The Life and Culture of the Washo and Paiutes"". Ethnohistory. 17: 117–149. doi:10.2307/481206. JSTOR   481206.
  8. Jesse D. Mason (1881). History of Amador County. Oakland, California: Thompson & West. Retrieved 2010-12-24.
  9. Gard R (1961). "Effects of beaver on trout in Sagehen Creek, California". Journal of Wildlife Management. 25: 221–242. doi:10.2307/3797848. JSTOR   3797848.
  10. Michael Benson Ayers (October 1997). Aerial Multispectral Videography for Vegetation Mapping and Assessment of Beaver Distribution within Selected Riparian Areas of the Lake Tahoe Basin (Thesis). University of Nevada at Reno. p. 71. Retrieved 2010-08-26.
  11. Sarah Muskopf (October 2007). The Effect of Beaver (Castor canadensis) Dam Removal on Total Phosphorus Concentration in Taylor Creek and Wetland, South Lake Tahoe, California (Thesis). Humboldt State University, Natural Resources. hdl:2148/264.