California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Real Time Flow Monitoring

photo of gaging station exterior and interior telemetry

(Left) Toadtown, Butte County, gaging station monitors temperature of water diverted from West Branch Feather River into Butte Creek (2006). Photo by John Clements, Department of Water Resources.

(Right) DWR Project Manager, John Clements, explains the telemetry housed in the Butte Creek gaging station near Durham (2011). Photo by Eda Eggeman, CDFW

Location: Project locations include four eastside Sacramento River tributaries: Big Chico Creek, Butte Creek, Deer Creek and Mill Creek.

Total Project Cost: $473,000 (Ecosystem Restoration Program)

Partners: California Department of Water Resources, CDFW, United States Geological Survey, Pacific Gas & Electric

Project Summary: For 14 years the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) received grant funding to operate 13 stream gaging stations (stations) and associated real-time telemetry equipment in four eastside Sacramento River tributaries. The four tributaries are Mill Creek, Deer Creek, Big Chico Creek, and the Butte Creek system which includes Willow Slough and Sacramento Slough. The purpose of the stations is to monitor dedicated instream base flows and water temperatures for management of instream flows to benefit salmonids including spring-run Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) and Central Valley steelhead (O. mykiss). Telemetry equipment installed at each station provides the data on a real-time basis via the California Data Exchange Center (CDEC) website. Ecosystem Restoration Program funding ended in February 2012, but DWR was able to find additional funding sources to keep these stations in operation.