Goose Creek

In the rugged backcountry of California's North Coast, WRC protected nearly all of Goose Creek, the most important source of cold water for the legendary Smith River. The Smith is the state's last major undammed river, famous for its salmon, steelhead and clean, emerald waters. Here, Goose Creek flows into the Smith upstream of the angler on river left. Photo by Ken Morrish.

In 2006, WRC purchased 9,501 acres of land from Green Diamond Resource Company, allowing it to incorporate nearly every inch of the Goose Creek watershed into the surrounding Smith River National Recreation Area.

As one of the healthiest salmon and steelhead streams in California, the Smith River is critical to the survival of these imperiled fish. By protecting Goose Creek, WRC is able to help ensure the Smith remains cold and clean, even during time of low flow and increasingly hot summers.

Along with salmon and steelhead, sea-run cutthroat trout thrive in the Smith River.

Typical of the Klamath-Siskiyou ecoregion, the riparian areas and surrounding forests of Goose Creek are rich in plant and animal life. The watershed supports black bear and mountain lion, along with rare animals like wolverine, northern spotted owl, Del Norte salamander and tailed frog. Chinook steelhead and sea-run cutthroat trout all inhabit the lower reaches of Goose Creek.