The California Department of Transportation (Permittee) proposes to widen SR 121 over Huichica Creek by removing the existing triple metal culverts (Bridge No. 21-0001), replace them with a single span bridge and incorporate fish passage improvements and creek restoration along approximately 460 feet of Huichica Creek, with an additional 20 feet at each end for conform grading.
Project activities and their resulting impacts are expected to result in the incidental take of individuals of the Covered Species. The activities described above expected to result in incidental take of individuals of the Covered Species include dewatering an approximately 620-foot long channel reach of bed, bank and channel, as well as removing riparian vegetation and complex riparian canopy, complex root structure and/or overhanging vegetation in the stream (Covered Activities), resulting in approximately 0.266 acres of temporary impact to aquatic Covered Species habitat and 0.03 acres of permanent impact to riparian Covered Species habitat within 460 linear feet of channel. Major Amendment No. 1 proposes to increase the previously identified in-water construction work window from June 15 to October 15 to May 16 to November 15. Additional conditions of approval have been included in Major Amendment No.1.
The Project is expected to result in incidental take of the Covered Species, as defined by Fish and Game Code in the form of crushing or injury from in-channel demolition, dewatering and Project-related habitat alteration. Incidental take of individuals of the Covered Species may also occur from the Covered Activities in the form of catch and capture of the Covered Species during temporary dewatering, fish rescue operations, and monitoring. Additional indirect impacts may occur due to minor changes in local drainage patterns, reducing water quality due to increased turbidity, inhibiting movement and potential changes in flow velocities. Take may also occur in the form of pursue, catch, capture, or attempt to do so from capture and relocation attempts. Relocation could result in mortality, injury, and/or undue stress to Covered Species, both designated as a threatened species under CESA. The ITP referenced above as issued by CDFW authorizes incidental take of species listed under CESA that may occur as a result of Project implementation.