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Cache Creek Vegetation Management program

Project Summary
Report date November 2005
Type Habitat restoration project
Project Lead Tanya Meyer/ Gillies Robertson
Partner Center for Land-Based Learning, Cache Creek Watershed Stakeholder Group, USDA, Cache Creek Conservancy

Project Overview

Considerable effort and funding has already been directed towards managing invasive species infestations throughout much of the watershed.  The Bureau of Land Management is working on tamarisk and arundo in Colusa and Lake Counties, and the Cache Creek Conservancy is doing an exceptional job removing infestations in the lower watershed.    The 33 mile middle stretch between the Yolo-Colusa county line and the Capay Dam not only compromises the wildlife values and stability of the creek banks in Capay Valley, but also threatens the viability of the control work on the lower Cache Creek by serving as a nursery of seeds, stems and rhizomes to re-infest sites downstream.

Treatment of this ‘missing link’ in the chain of riparian weed management and revegetation along Cache Creek enhances the viability of existing work and protect the resources of Cache Creek in Capay Valley, but to fully coordinate upstream and downstream vegetation management work as a unified watershed effort, ultimately the most logical and likely successful approach. YCRCD received funding from the Wildlife Conservation Board to work with private and government landowners to control Tamarisk, Arundo and Ravenna grass along Cache Creek from the County line to Rumsey, “Phase I.”  We will apply for funding for Phases II and III to complete the work to the Capay Dam.

Project Description

Start date November 2005
End date April 2011
Type of Activity
  • Monitoring the population growth of Tamarisk, Arundo and Ravenna grass

  • Working with landowners to educate them about the weeds on their land

  • Applying for permits for work along the creek

  • Treating the weeds with herbicide

  • Planting native plants on appropriate sites

Deliverables Control of tamarisk, Arundo, Ravenna grass and other noxious weeds along Cache Creek from the County line to Rumsey.
Goals To control weed populations in order to allow native plants to re-establish to improve wildlife habitat and creek bank stability.


Site Name

Cache Creek, Yolo County

Address N/A
Tract/APN N/A
Size (acres) Phase I: about 11 miles of Cache Creek

Additional Information


The Cache Creek watershed and riparian corridor hosts a wealth of wildlife and native habitat as it winds through publicly and privately managed wildlands and farmlands. While impressive bands of riparian and upland habitat remain along the section of creek that runs from the Yolo-Colusa county line to the Capay Diversion Dam, the habitat is significantly impacted by the dense stands of Tamarisk and Arundo.  These stands completely displace native wildlife-friendly vegetation in some places, and exacerbate streambank erosion and flooding by constricting and deflecting flow in many locations on the creek.  As a result, many landowners have lost substantial acreage to the erosion, which has decreased valuable riparian habitat, farmable area and land supporting structures such as homes.

Flood Analysis

Tamarisk and arundo tend to cause flooding by redirecting stream flows.  Because these plants can establish quickly and from stem sprouts, they will spring up in the middle of the creek, making islands that push the water more aggressively against creek banks.  Arundo roots form dense clumps and is also known to pull down banks when the clumps fall.


$500,000 from Wildlife Conservation Board