Department of Water Resources Home

Yolo Bypass


sutter bypass

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



Yolo Bypass Links

Lower Putah Creek Restoration Project

photo of putah creek Putah Creek entering the Toe Drain.
Photo Credit: Eva Olin


Putah Creek flows from the inner Coast Range to the Yolo Bypass. At this point, the creek becomes a straightened ditch used mainly for irrigation. A small number of fall-run Chinook Salmon spawn in the creek in wetter years when adult fish that reach the Cache Slough area of the Sacramento River swim up the Toe Drain along the east levee of the Yolo Bypass and find their way into Putah Creek.

Where Putah Creek joins and flows through the Yolo Bypass, the project will create a new creek channel that will improve fish passage and native fish habitat, including seasonally flooded wetlands. The project also will connect Putah Creek with previously restored tidal channels along the Toe Drain and widen and enhance those channels. This will create tidal habitat and provide better passage for salmon. Finally, the project will improve fish passage to and from spawning grounds on upper Putah Creek by installing a structure that will better control the seasonal timing and magnitude of creek flows. Completion of this project will fulfill NMFS BO RPA Action I.6.3

Next Steps


Construction is anticipated to begin in or after 2018.

Planning and Design Status

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has led the planning effort and CEQA compliance for this project. In the future, DWR may take the lead in finalizing the project design, CEQA compliance, and permitting.