Case Studies

The easiest way to understand what Stillwater does is to show you. We’ve selected a variety of watersheds and problems to give you a sense of the scope and depth of our science.  Please feel free to contact the project scientists whose names can be found on each page if you have additional questions, or want to know more about the project.

Ten Mile Coho Restoration

Working with The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Stillwater Sciences developed a scientifically-based framework to guide restoration of winter habitat for coho salmon in the Ten Mile River basin of Mendocino County, California.  

Mokelumne River Ecosystem Services

Stillwater scientists are developing tools to quantify environmental benefits of restoring the Lower Mokelumne riparian corridor as part of a voluntary payment for ecosystem services program that links public and private money to participating landowners.

Green River Spawning Habitat

Working with the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, we evaluated the impacts of fine sediment on the survival of salmonid eggs on the Green River in Washington in order to guide future habitat protection and management.

Missouri Flat-Gold Hill Reconductoring

Stillwater Sciences is conducting biological resource surveys, preparing environmental compliance documents, and providing construction compliance for the reconductoring of the Missouri Flat–Gold Hill 115 kV power line in El Dorado County, CA.

SLO Instream Flow

Using existing data and a field assessment, we developed a predictive model to estimate instream flow requirements for steelhead throughout all watersheds in San Luis Obispo County. 

Virgin River Restoration

Combining ecological, hydrological, and geomorphic analyses to prioritize restoration locations and strategies for the flood-prone and ecologically sensitive Virgin River flowing through Utah, Arizona, and Nevada.

Hydrology and channel conditions

We helped our client understand effects of sediment and hydrology on fish habitat in the Sultan River, Washington to better manage river reaches downstream of dams on the Jackson Hydroelectric Project.

Alaska salmon habitat

Using spatial data sets and GIS analysis that was corroborated with field data, we developed a monitoring plan that identified and characterized risks for salmon habitat in the Copper River Watershed.

Bay-Delta levee restoration

We have developed numerous environmental permitting documents and an aquatic habitat assessment model, provided conceptual design support, and performed bank surveys and mapping for over 50 levee repair sites in the Delta and Sacramento River system.

More Case Studies

Climate change and stormwater infrastructure

We developed a series of recommendations to help the state of Washington effectively allocate funding to reduce potential impacts of climate change on stormwater infrastructure as part of this multi-disciplinary study.

Sediment transport following dam removal

We evaluated possible impacts of removing Marmot Dam – one of the first large-scale releases of dam-impounded sediment in the United States.

Instream flows in semi-arid stream

We have recently begun a study in northern Santa Barbara County to identify the flows necessary for steelhead passage through the Santa Maria River during their winter/spring adult and juvenile migration period.

Dam removal and fish

To understand the potential effects of various dam removal scenarios on the Klamath River, we applied our DREAM-1 suspended sediment transport model, and assessed the potential biological effects of sediment release and water quality impacts.

Klamath River Water Quality Workshop and Feasibility Study

Stillwater led a team of technical experts to develop and evaluate approaches for reducing nutrient loads and improving water quality in the Klamath River Basin.

Fish passage for endangered steelhead

Through geomorphic, fisheries, and engineering studies, Stillwater is supporting the development of a detailed watershed assessment and set of restoration alternatives for southern steelhead passage in the Santa Paula Creek Watershed.

Wildfire and flood risk

In order to evaluate the Sespe Creek watershed’s response to the 2006 Day Fire, Stillwater is conducting a geomorphic assessment to understand the fire-related effects on hydrology, hydraulics, and sedimentation in the watershed.

Watershed sediment budget

We hypothesized that sediment infiltration into redds may be causing low coho and steelhead returns in certain years, and implemented a pilot study to assess possible mechanisms.

Wetland restoration

We developed the conceptual restoration design and are currently monitoring post-implementation revegetation success on Bradford Island in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Hydroelectric project relicensing

Stillwater is supporting the Eugene Water & Electric Board in its relicensing of the Carmen-Smith Hydroelectric Project, located on the McKenzie River in the western Cascades of Oregon.

GIS and watershed management

To help guide the discussion and establish baseline conditions, Stillwater is conducting a limiting factors analysis on four focal species in the basin and has developed an innovative on-line tool for managing information related to the project.

Floodplain Restoration

Stillwater Sciences is evaluating ecological conditions in the lower Santa Clara River to inform and develop a Floodplain Restoration Feasibility Study.

Instream flows downstream of dams

Stillwater is overseeing the compilation and delivery of the license application for PG&E's McCloud-Pit Hydroelectric Project.

Streambank Stabilization

A geomorphic evaluation and site-specific hydraulic modeling were used to develop bank protection and stabilization measures along an eroding bluff on the lower Mad River.

Sediment transport modeling experiments

A flume provides a small-scale version of a stream reach and enables researchers to investigate specific geomorphic questions with applicability to large-scale restoration projects.

Wood and boulder habitat enhancement

Most of the large woody debris and boulders have been placed in a reach of Rock Creek, a tributary to the North Umpqua River, to test juvenile coho salmon population response to large-scale habitat enhancements.

Corridor restoration planning

From developing the nearly 300-page Merced River Corridor Restoration Plan, to implementing on-the-ground vegetation and channel restoration and establishing baseline ecological conditions, Stillwater has been a key player in helping to guide the management of the Merced River.