Puneet Varma

Laguna Creek (Santa Cruz County)

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- left  Y Creek
- elevation  2,210 ft (674 m)
Mouth  Pacific Ocean
- right  Reggiardo Creek
- elevation  13 ft (4 m)
Country  United States of America
Laguna Creek (Santa Cruz County) httpsiytimgcomviFySYPEqi0jkmaxresdefaultjpg
Similar  San Vicente Creek, Scott Creek, Loch Lomond, Bonny Doon Beach, Coast Dairies State Park

Laguna Creek is a 8.5-mile-long (13.7 km) south by southwest-flowing stream originating on Ben Lomond Mountain in the Santa Cruz County, California, United States. It culminates in a lagoon before reaching the Pacific Ocean about six miles northwest of Santa Cruz, California.

Contents

Map of Laguna Creek, California, USA

HistoryEdit

The creek is shown on the 1836 diseƱo of Rancho Arroyo de la Laguna which ran from Vicente Creek in the north to Laguna Creek in the south. Archaeological excavations at Sand Hill Bluff, just south of Laguna Creek, have produced evidence of ancestral Ohlone people occupation of the area since 5,400 B.C.

Watershed and CourseEdit

The Laguna Creek watershed consists of Laguna Creek, Reggiardo Creek and several other unnamed tributaries that drain about 8 square miles (21 km2). The creek arises at 2,210 feet (670 m) on the western flank of Ben Lomond Mountain in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Y Creek flows 1.6 miles to join Laguna Creek at stream mile 1.5. Reggiardo Creek joins Laguna Creek from the left (heading downstream) and is the largest named tributary.

EcologyEdit

Steelhead trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) utilize Laguna Creek historically and in the present, despite 100% diversion of the headwaters to the City of Santa Cruz and heavy cattle grazing on the upper reaches. Waterfalls about two miles from the stream mouth apparently are not an impassable barrier for migrating trout. The Laguna Creek lagoon may host approximately 675 steelhead smolts, providing freshwater refugia for them to attain large enough size for survival in the ocean. Although under current conditions, the creek is not good habitat for Coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch), they have been observed in the creek as recently as 2005. The silted in Reggiardo Creek Diversion and Laguna Creek Diversion are high priorities for the Santa Cruz Habitat Conservation Plan because of their impact on low flows for salmonid fishes, reducing flows by up to 45% in critically dry years. The lagoon, which was diked off and farmed for many years, also provides habitat for endangered Tidewater goby (Eucyclogobius newberryi). Levees constraining the creek and its lagoon were removed by State Parks over several years ending in 2010, and were restored using native plants.

References

Laguna Creek (Santa Cruz County) Wikipedia


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