today at mono lake

the mono-logue

mono lake live

live webcam images

calendar of events

Member-only content is enabled for all users in this directory while we upgrade our login method.

click here to log in to other parts of the Website
 

register
login help


The Mono-logue


Major Categories   Search Blog:

The Mono-logue » Stream Restoration

‘Stream Restoration’ Category

Native plant conditions at Mill Creek improve

Monday, May 23rd, 2016 by Robbie, Restoration Field Technician
Share...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on RedditShare on TumblrEmail this to someone

On May 18, 2015 I wanted to assess the types and quantities of invasive plants that were present at Mill Creek. Melilotus albus (sweet clover) was quickly identified as the most prolific and abundant invasive plant species present along Mill Creek, which I documented with GPS points and photos. With the help of volunteers and school groups, we were able to remove over 730 pounds of sweet clover from Mill Creek in 2015 from mid-June to mid-August by manually pulling and clipping the invasive plants. Now in 2016 the difference is noticeable.

Image on the left shows an island in Mill Creek totally dominated by invasive Sweet Clover on May 18th, 2015. The image on the right shows the same island on May 13th, 2016 with only a small patch of Sweet Clover in the center of the island; the rest of the vegetation consists of native clovers, moss, and willow saplings.

Image on the left shows an island in Mill Creek totally dominated by invasive sweet clover on May 18, 2015. The image on the right shows the same island on May 13, 2016 with only a small patch of sweet clover in the center of the island; the rest of the vegetation consists of native clovers, moss, grass, and willow saplings. Photos by Robbie Di Paolo.

Areas of Mill Creek where we focused sweet clover removal efforts in 2015 are now showing native plants retaking the prized riparian habitat in 2016 (as demonstrated by the photo above), which is exactly what we want to be seeing.

Unfortunately, we can’t take all the credit. Seasonal variation has a big impact on what plants dominate a landscape year to year and compared to the last three years, we had much more snow this year. That snow probably helped a lot with inhibiting sweet clover growth and development. But I believe with continued efforts, we are giving the native plants a chance to secure their place along Mill Creek for years to come.

Special thanks to outdoor clothing company Patagonia Inc. for their support of the Mono Lake Committee’s restoration stewardship program.

Invasive plants at Mill Creek inspire stewardship

Friday, April 22nd, 2016 by Robbie, Restoration Field Technician
Share...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on RedditShare on TumblrEmail this to someone

It’s the early afternoon and I’m standing in Mill Creek on July 30, 2015. The sun is warm when you stand in its rays and the cool softly flowing water is refreshing and welcomed. Standing still I can see bees and butterflies dancing among violet pink, periwinkle blue, and bright yellow wildflowers. It’s hard to believe that two months ago, this particular stretch of Mill Creek was almost entirely dominated by invasive white sweet clover (Melilotus albus).

Wildflowers along Mill Creek. Photo by Robbie Di Paolo.

Wildflowers along Mill Creek. Photo by Robbie Di Paolo.

White sweet clover plants can live for 2–3 years before casting thousands of seeds and dying. The seeds are hard and light (ideal for stream transportation) and have been shown (more…)

Rush Creek dodges another setback: Mono Lake Committee action prompts flow adjustment

Wednesday, March 16th, 2016 by Lisa, Eastern Sierra Policy Director
Share...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on RedditShare on TumblrEmail this to someone

Despite some snow on the peaks and forecasters still calling for an El Niño weather pattern, Grant Lake Reservoir remains at a precariously low level. With three Southern California Edison (SCE) reservoirs upstream, and four years of drought to catch up from, Grant will be the last reservoir to benefit from this year’s runoff. Since lower Rush Creek is dependent on Grant Lake Reservoir for its water, and because special water management rules are triggered when Grant drops to a certain level, the Mono Lake Committee was busy in December ensuring that the best possible situation was secured for Rush Creek for the remainder of the winter.

A snow-covered Grant Lake Reservoir at the lowest it has been since 2009, showing the current low volume of water (approximately 11,000 acre-feet) and exposed banks. Photo by Santiago Escruceria.

A snow-covered Grant Lake Reservoir at the lowest it has been since 2009, showing the current low volume of water (approximately 11,000 acre-feet) and exposed banks. Photo by Santiago Escruceria.

Grant can only go so low

In 1994, the California State Water Resources Control Board, by way of Decision 1631, had the foresight to protect flows in Rush Creek from scenarios in which Grant Lake Reservoir gets abnormally low. (more…)

A wetter but still below-average winter in the Mono Basin

Thursday, February 25th, 2016 by Greg, Information & Restoration Specialist
Share...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on RedditShare on TumblrEmail this to someone

The strong 2015–2016 El Niño winter is likely to turn out below-average in the Mono Basin. The 90% of average February 1st snowpack, and an 80% of average preliminary runoff forecast based on that snowpack, were followed by a dry February. In the next week, March 1st snow surveys will reveal how bad things are. A wet March might be able to catch things back up to average, but it would take a very wet spring to shift the snowpack and snowmelt runoff above average at this point. From 1980–2010, the lowest March snowpack that resulted in above-average runoff was 110%. (more…)

Progress toward a new license for streams in 2016

Monday, November 16th, 2015 by Geoff, Executive Director
Share...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on RedditShare on TumblrEmail this to someone

The 2013 Mono Basin Stream Restoration Agreement is a major milestone in the long-running effort to recover the health of Rush, Lee Vining, Parker, and Walker creeks after the damage caused by decades of excessive water diversions. The current priority is for the terms of the Agreement to be incorporated into the official water license issued by the California State Water Resources Control Board to the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power.

Mono Lake, Negit Island, and the Bodie Hills beyond. Photo by Robbie Di Paolo.

Mono Lake, Negit Island, and the Bodie Hills beyond. Photo by Robbie Di Paolo.

While progress has been slow, completion and formal approval of the newly revised license draws ever closer. Once the license is issued, the many benefits of the (more…)

More delays for Mill Creek: Administrative technicality delays return conveyance construction

Friday, November 13th, 2015 by Lisa, Eastern Sierra Policy Director
Share...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on RedditShare on TumblrEmail this to someone

Unfortunately, the saga continues for the lawful return of water to Mill Creek.

The Mono Lake Committee has been monitoring Mill Creek water in the Mono Basin since 1999. Photo by Sara Matthews.

The Mono Lake Committee has been monitoring Mill Creek water in the Mono Basin since 1999. Photo by Sara Matthews.

After Mono County denied Southern California Edison (SCE) an easement necessary to rehabilitate the existing Mill Creek return conveyance, SCE was forced to file for an extension from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to explore other pipe routes. Over the summer, FERC denied the request on the grounds that it did not demonstrate that the submitted proposals were within the scope of the originally authorized construction. Fortunately, this technicality can easily be resolved by (more…)

Mono’s streams fare better than expected: Record summer precipitation spared streams worst of the drought

Tuesday, November 10th, 2015 by Lisa, Eastern Sierra Policy Director
Share...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on RedditShare on TumblrEmail this to someone

A surprising thing happened this year in Lee Vining: record-breaking spring and summer precipitation which, thankfully, minimized drought-related stress on vegetation and trout in Mono Lake’s tributary streams. Instead of the brown-gray colors of drought, we saw unusually green vegetation for most of the summer—even the wildflowers were surprisingly robust. The rain was mostly
associated with thunderstorms, when twenty-degree drops in ambient air temperature weren’t unusual. This cooling effect, in the form of rain and air temperature, helped keep the creeks cool enough for trout.

But as soon as the effects of the precipitation dropped off in August, vegetation immediately responded to the extremely dry conditions—an indication that the plants had been living off surface moisture and not a healthy groundwater system.

Trout monitoring on Lee Vining Creek happens annually to track the health of individual fish and population numbers. Photo by Lisa Cutting.

Trout monitoring on Lee Vining Creek happens annually to track the health of individual fish and population numbers. Photo by Lisa Cutting.

Committee expands monitoring program

In an effort to better understand the effects of the drought, the Mono Lake Committee added bi-monthly monitoring of (more…)

2015 Mono Lake Committee Annual Report

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015 by Arya, Communications Director
Share...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on RedditShare on TumblrEmail this to someone

The Mono Lake Committee’s 2015 Annual Report is now available online.

The 2015 Mono Lake Committee Annual Report is now available online. Cover photo courtesy of Phil Lindsay.

The 2015 Mono Lake Committee Annual Report is now available online. Cover photo courtesy of Phil Lindsay.

It is chock-full of photos of the Mono Lake Committee in action in our focus areas of protection, restoration, education, and (more…)

Lee Vining High School students monitor Mill Creek’s health

Wednesday, October 14th, 2015 by Santiago, Outdoor Experiences Manager
Share...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on RedditShare on TumblrEmail this to someone

Usually the Mono Lake Committee’s Outdoor Education Center hosts groups of kids and young adults from Los Angeles in the Mono Basin for five days and takes them to explore the wonders of the Eastern Sierra while learning about water conservation. This past week the OEC team had the privilege to work with a group of teenagers from just next door: Lee Vining High School biology students.

Lee Vining high school biology students inspect Mill Creek's macroinvertebrates during their field day along Mill Creek. Photo by Santiago Escruceria.

Lee Vining high school biology students inspect macroinvertebrates during their field day along Mill Creek. Photo by Santiago Escruceria.

For several years the OEC program and biology students from the high school have been monitoring Mill Creek, Mono Lake’s northernmost tributary stream that enters Mono Lake just west of Black Point, to gauge (more…)

Great Sierra River Cleanup 2015: Lee Vining Creek

Sunday, September 13th, 2015 by Mono Lake Committee Staff
Share...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on RedditShare on TumblrEmail this to someone

This post was written by Sarah Angulo, 2015 Mono Lake Intern.

On a sunny, hazy Saturday morning in the Mono Basin, myself and four other volunteers gathered in front of the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore. We all had the same goal in mind: to clean up Lee Vining Creek.

Mono Lake Committee staff and volunteers with the 70 pounds of trash and recycling collected from Lee Vining Creek. Photo by Sarah Angulo.

Mono Lake Committee staff and volunteers with the 70 pounds of trash and recycling collected from Lee Vining Creek. Photo by Sarah Angulo.

A week prior, I had scouted the Lee Vining Creek Trail, particularly at the bottom of the hill closest to the highway. I found that this summer had not been kind to it—July’s floods had brought a mixture of natural debris and trash from town down the hill. In addition, some visitors had left remnants of a good time in the rocks near the trail and highway wall. I knew when I saw the trash there, at (more…)

The Mono-logue is powered by Wordpress
Subscribe to entries with RSS or by Email. Subscribe to comments (RSS).

Find us on Facebook

 

Follow us on Twitter

 

Print this page
print