In Marin County, California, Millerton Creek overlooks Point Reyes National Seashore and flows through the bucolic hills and pasture of Millerton Ranch into Tomales Bay. Millerton Ranch is a working ranch, where the rancher, the Marin Agricultural Land Trust, North Bay Trout Unlimited, and other partners are working together to show how a profitable ranching operation can operate while simultaneously restoring steelhead trout, which are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. In the 1960's, Millerton had a healthy population of native steehead trout. Local residents remember how thick the runs of steelhead were. Sadly, as a result of historical ranch and quarry operations which rerouted a section of the creek and put in an impassable barrier to migration, those populations steelhead populations are gone. However, with a little help, the future can be bright. The ranch is now protected by a conservation easement held by the Marin Agricultural Land Trust, and the rancher on the property has a dream of restoring native fish populations. Some water quality issues have already been addressed and corrected, and quarry operations have ceased. However, a need remains to remove the migration barrier, install fencing to keep cows out of the creek, and bring the creek back to its original course. For this, we need your help. The creek today holds much promise. Good riparian cover lines the streambanks. Flow is perennial, and abundant water sources, including numerous natural springs and large reservoirs exist throughout the property. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife noted in a 1976 survey that “good to excellent” potential spawning areas exist.
But we need your help to take the steps necessary to bring native steelhead back to the creek! Please contribute what you can, and together, we can restore steelhead to Millerton Creek.