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Almaden Lake Project

The Almaden Lake Improvement Project is a Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Priority D Project. The project is a creek/lake separation project intended to improve access to spawning and rearing habitat within the Guadalupe Watershed by removing an artificial in-stream impoundment resulting from the co-mingling of Alamitos Creek with Almaden Lake.

This project will restore the Alamitos Creek channel section and its connectivity to the Guadalupe River within the footprint of Almaden Lake. Restoring Almaitos Creek will improve sediment transport and restore its natural creek functions by developing a stable geomorphic channel dimension, pattern and profile. The project will help restore and maintain healthy steelhead trout populations by improving fish habitat and passage through the lake's footprint.

The project will also address the lake's mercury related water quality issues by capping existing elemental mercury in the separated lake and continuing the effective source control measures to control further methylmercury production and bioaccumulation to the meet the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board site-specific mercury water quality objectives in the 2008 Basin Plan Amendment.

Project objectives

  • Separate Alamitos Creek from Almaden Lake
  • Reduce the thermal barrier to migration of anadromous fish
  • Remove entrainment, incidental trapping of fish and impacts from predatory species to anadromous fish
  • Reduce mercury concentration in target fish to meet applicable water quality objectives
  • Minimize impacts to recreational features

The latest as of March 2016

The water district's project team has hired an environmental consultant to prepare the project's environmental document for a project that will separate Alamitos Creek from Almaden Lake. This will result in a distinct creek and lake within the current footprint of the existing water body known to the community as Almaden Lake.  

The goals of separating the creek from the lake are to restore Alamitos Creek's historic stream function. The restored creek section will be designed to be a stable geomorphic channel that will be self-sustaining and will not agrrade or degrade. This will establish a channel that would require very little maintenance to keep it viable for fisheries and wildlife benefits.

Separating the creek from the lake will improve water quality and physical habitat for steelhead trout and other aquatic species. Creek habitat will be created adjacent to the restored stream channel that will provide numerous ancillary wildlife benefits. Separating the creek from the lake will reduce high water temperatures released from the lake into the creek and entrainment, predatory and methylmercury impacts to anadromous fish that currently exist from the comingled water body. 

Contacts:

Project Manager Rechelle Blank at 408-630-2615
Associate Engineer James Ujah at 408-630-3014
Neighborhood liaison Tony Mercado at 408-630-2342

You can also use Access Valley Water to submit questions, complaints or compliments directly from your computer to a water district staff person who can help you. Click on the "Projects planned for my neighborhood" tab and select "Almaden Lake Project."