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Environmental Services

Dean Messer, Chief

3500 Industrial Blvd.
West Sacramento, CA 95691
(916) 376-9699

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 942836
Sacramento, CA 94236-0001



Tuolumne Gravel Augmentation

Completed Projects: Tuolumne River Gravel Augmentation

tuolumne gravel aug

Tuolumne River - Gravel Augmentation


The project site is located near the town of La Grange between RM 50 and 51. The lower portions of the Tuolumne River, like other regulated rivers in the San Joaquin system, have been deprived of coarse sediment. Since the construction of La Grange Dam in 1893, coarse sediment supply from the upper Tuolumne River watershed is no longer supplied to the lower reaches of the river. This causes bed degradation, bed coarsening, and loss of alluvial deposits which negatively impacts salmon production by reducing quantity and quality of spawning and rearing habitat.

The purpose of this project is to augment the coarse sediment supply to the lower Tuolumne River with clean, graded gravel that is intended to mimic the natural process of coarse sediment supply transport.

The California Department of Fish and Game is the primary partner for the implementation of this project with monitoring performed by DWR staff.


Current Status

Gravel additions in this reach are planned for multiple phases. Phase I of the project was completed in 1999, when approximately 12,500 cubic yards of gravel was placed below the Old La Grange Bridge. During Phase II, approximately 9,600 yd3 (14,400 tons) of gravel was placed in 4 different locations on the Tuolumne River in 2002, and an additional 12,000 yd3 (8,000 tons) of gravel was placed in 2003.


Phase II monitoring data, as well as details about the Phase II work done, can be found in the 2004 geomorphic monitoring report.


The 2004 geomorphic monitoring report can be found on the Publications section of this website.