San Jose Creek Channel Fish Passage Improvement Project

In 2014, the City of Goleta completed the reconstruction and widening of the existing San Jose Creek Channel that runs parallel to State Route 217. Included with the improvements was a fish passage facility located along the eastside of the channel. The purpose of the fish passage facility, consisting of a low flow channel and a series of concrete and wooden weirs, was to promote migration of the endangered steelhead trout from the Goleta Slough to the natural creek upstream. Unfortunately, the performance of the completed facility has not met expectations from a fish passage standpoint and has also resulted in excessive sediment entrapment between the weirs. As a result, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife is requiring that the City implement a fish passage project to modify the existing facility.

The City Council approved the establishment of a new Capital Improvement Program (CIP) project, the San Jose Creek Channel Fish Passage Modification Project on January 18, 2022. The scope of the new project will be to develop weir modification alternatives, evaluate the alternatives through computerized and physical modeling protocols, select an optimum alternative, develop a final design for the selected alternative, secure environmental approval and permits and construct the approved modification. Following construction, the City will monitor the modified fish passage facility for three years to ensure it is functioning as envisioned in the design.  

Pictured (above): San Jose Creek Channel – Trapped sediment with vegetation in between weirs, 2019 and (below): San Jose Creek Channel – Wooden weirs with trapped debris, 2019