Thursday, May 14, 2009

RSRA: San Pedro Creek upstream of SR14 Overpass

San Pedro Creek flows out of the San Pedro Mountains, located between the Ortiz and the Sandia Mountains in New Mexico. It may be impacted by current and historic mining in its headwaters, and is currently heavily grazed in this reach. We did notice many small fish, tadpoles, dragonflies, and mayflies, however.

Water Quality: 2,2 = 2
Hydrogeomorphology: 4,5,3,1,1 = 2.8
Fish / Aquatic Habitat: 3,3,5,4,1,2 = 3
Riparian Vegetation: 4,4,2,2,3,2,1,3 = 2.6
Terrestrial Wildlife Habitat: 4,2,1,2 = 1.75

Overall Average: 2.4

The stream radically changes downstream of the highway overpass, where it is managed as a conservation area and supports a rich growth of willow and cottonwood. It goes from a braided channel upstream to a deepened and narrowed channel with plenty of over and underbank cover. It is likely that the grazing regime in our study reach is not condusive to the establishment and growth of woody vegetation.

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