California Red-legged Frogs Relocated During Emergency Stream Diversion—Elk, CA.

California State Highway 1 took a beating during the heavy rain season of 2018-2019, damaging the foundations of the road and the bridge over Elk Creek—prompting emergency repairs of the scenic route. To prevent further damage and potential failure of these structures, Caltrans contracted with Wylatti Resource Management on the Emergency Scour Repair Project (Project). The Project included placing Rock Slope Protection (RSP) to armor around the bridge piers and creek banks. Placement of the RSP required the installation of a stream diversion to contend with the tidally influenced Elk Creek and the listed species therein. Under contract with Wylatti Resource Management, Gallaway Enterprises worked extensively to conduct daily clearance surveys and biological monitoring for the life of the project to minimize the take of listed species. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) approved Gallaway Enterprises’ biologists to relocate listed species, including red-legged frogs, to suitable habitat out of harm’s way. Between Point Arena and Elk California, there is overlap between the federally threatened California red-legged frog (Rana draytonii) and the California species of special concern northern red-legged frog (Rana aurora). Thanks to the careful monitoring of Gallaway Enterprises experienced biologists 39 California red-legged frogs, eight adults and 31 juveniles were relocated, with zero mortalities. In addition, Gallaway Enterprises and CDFW performed several days of fish relocation using electrofishing equipment. Species relocated during these efforts included common garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis), Northern California coast steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss), Prickly sculpin (Cottus asper), Coast range sculpin (Cottus aleuticus), red-legged frog, and Threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus).