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Cheney Gulch: Bodega Bay, CA

Cheney Gulch runs along Highway 1 from Bodega to Bodega Bay, emptying into the coastal wetlands of the Bay behind Doran Beach. This small watershed has a remnant population of steelhead trout and provides vital habitat functions as an estuary as it enters Bodega Bay. Most of the land is occupied as cattle pasture, though sections of the Bodega Harbor subdivision and golf course are also part of the watershed. Two retired gravel quarries are located along Cheney Gulch, and an Aggregate Corporation considering opening a large open pit mine in the watershed along Quinlan Gulch. To read about this gravel mine issue, visit

Site descriptions:

Just upstream of the Hwy.1 bridge over Cheney Gulch across the street from the bird watch trail and wastewater treatment plant.

CHG015: On the south side of Hwy 1 just east of the entrance to Bodega Bay Harbor.
CHG029: Just below confluence with Quinlan Gulch on Bodega Harbor property.
QNG011: Confluence of Quinlan Gulch and Cheney Gulch.
HMD011: Stormwater discharge from the existing Hagemann Quarry.


Cheney Gulch Monitoring Plan

Objectives: The focus of this project is to identify pollution sources and problems in water quality, and use data collected to develop fact sheets and educational materials for the general public highlighting best management practices and strategies for reducing pollution.

Data Collection Activities:
Monthly plus storm event water quality monitoring:

Dissolved Oxygen
Total Phosphorous
Heavy Metals*(infrequently)

When: The project's orientation and initial sampling date was November 1, 2006.

Why: Sites were chosen according to the following criteria:
- Representative of the areas of the Creek for general characterization.

- Concerns of water pollution resulting from potential erosion from upstream ranching.
- Concerns with pollution from gravel mine operations.
- Accessibility and safely throughout the year, as well as trespassing constraints.

How: The monitoring program is intended to develop baseline characterization data, document water and habitat quality changes over time and to help establish a scientific basis for land use decisions. Sites and parameters were chosen after discussions with local residents.

Citizen Monitors:
Karey Kumli, Bodega Bay
E.T. Lode, Bodega Bay
Joe Mortensen, Bodega
John Pawson, Bodega Bay

Thank you to the Tides Foundation California Wildlands Grassroots Fund for supporting our effort to monitor and protect Cheney Creek watershed.

California Department of Fish and Game 2006 Stream Inventory Report: Cheney Culch

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