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Pine Gulch Creek facts for kids

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Pine Gulch Creek
Country United States
State California
Region Marin County
District West Marin
City Bolinas, California
Physical characteristics
River mouth Bolinas Lagoon
Bolinas, California
0 ft (0 m)
Basin features
Tributaries
  • Right:
    Copper Mine Gulch, McCormick Creek

Pine Gulch Creek is a 7.6-mile-long (12.2 km) south-flowing stream in western Marin County, California, United States which empties into Bolinas Lagoon.

Course

The creek parallels State Route 1. Copper Mine Gulch enters from the east, then McCormick Creek enters from the west at Pablo Point. After crossing under Olema-Bolinas Road, it feeds into the west side of Bolinas Lagoon just north of the town of Bolinas.

History

Pine Gulch Creek was used for generations by the Coastal Miwok Native American tribe that inhabited the areas of western Marin County for hundreds of years. Artifacts of the tribe can still be found along Pine Gulch Creek.

The Creek was home to many fish species such as Rainbow Trout and Coho Salmon, but these species disappeared mostly from the waterway after irrigation from the Creek lowered water levels. A small comeback was made by these species in 2001 and their populations have continued to grow. This is partially thanks to a campaign from the Marin County Resource Conservation District, to limit the amount of water drawn from the Creek, thus raising water levels to a safer level to foster fish life in the waterway. Local farmers have undertaken this initiative by constructing a series of ponds to irrigate their fields instead of using Pine Gulch Creek as a source of water.

Habitat and human influences

Pine Gulch Creek once supported both steelhead trout and Coho salmon. The salmon run, made vulnerable by overfishing, disappeared after 1968, but reappeared in 2001 and since the population has been steadily growing, helped by new restrictions on water use from the creek.

Many farmers in area have switched to using rain filled ponds to irrigate their crops, helping fish populations to rise in the waterway. The most notable of these farmers include, Dennis and Sandy Dierks of Paradise Valley Produce, Peter Martinelli of Fresh Run Farm and Warren Webber of Star Route Farms.

Bridges

The only notable crossing of Pine Gulch Creek is the 42-foot (13 m) concrete slab at the Olema-Bolinas Road crossing, located 1.3 miles south of State Route 1. It was built in 1986.

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